January 24, 2021 10:36:20 am
“Not a believer in the mosque am I,
Nor a disbeliever with his rites am I.
I am not the pure amongst the impure,
I am neither Moses nor Pharaoh.
Bulleh, I know not who I am.”
Many voices have embodied the soul of this verse, but only some are able to render the sensibilities of its lyrics.
It was a balmy afternoon in the city, when Chandigarh’s own kudi Jasleen Aulakh, an upcoming sensation in Bollywood and soft Sufi rock genre resounded the audience with her soulful and eloquent rendition of this verse by Bulleh Shah.
An alumnus of Vivek High school and Government College of Girls, Sector 11, Jasleen’s journey has been the kind one would relate to self actualization.
The beginning of her singing career was dream-like, she says. “My voice was noticed on YouTube by a Hindi movie director who then took the pains to find out who I am and where I am, and took a song written by my lyricist Polly Saghera and composed and sung by me in his film.”
She adds, “This song was our version of the folk song ‘Chamba’ and was based on the requirement of the movie which told the story of the situation in Kashmir. It all happened so fast that before I knew it, I had flown to Bombay and was taken straight to the recording studio.”
Speaking about her most memorable work as an artist, she says, “All my songs are very close to my heart and I find it hard to pinpoint at any particular song as my most memorable work. May be I could say that the first song that my lyricist Polly Saghera and my music producer Aman Nath worked on together is the one that I could say is our most memorable work. This particular song is called ‘Jo beet gayee so baat gayee’. This song marked the birth of our collaboration and the creation of so much more music.”
To many, the mother-daughter duo of Polly Saghera and Jasleen Aulakh is a reminder of Surinder Kaur’s legendary ‘Maanwan Te Dhiyan’ and the embodiment of the real inspiration of Jasleen— her mother. “My inspiration- Polly Saghera, who is also my lyricist, is my mother,” she says.
Speaking about the times of Covid-19, Jasleen, who has been home since March, says she too has discovered a baker trapped in some corner of her vocal cords. “Being someone who has been completely averse to any kind of cooking, the pandemic has made me discover the baker in me. For the past seven months, I have been baking the bread required at home. Not to sound immodest, I feel that it tastes better than what we have always bought from the market. Life is very different during the pandemic and it seems to be more curbed. At the same time, it has taught me that we all need to count our blessings and think of those who are less fortunate. If we can help people in need in anyway, then we must.”
About the myriad perceptions of her among her fans, Jasleen says, “Sometimes people form their own impressions of me based on the way they perceive my music. I am the most overwhelmed when I get comments like ‘Jannati ladki hai’ meaning pure soul, which a listener from Pakistan had written.” However, she chooses to describe herself as “a dreamer with a wanderlust and a proud daughter”.
The “wanderlust” being the ‘Bulleh’ in her and her voice!
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