Earlier this year,at the annual PTC awards function,an entire audience went into a trance the moment Gurdas Maan began reciting lines he had penned as a tribute to roti. It was only seconds before the videos of this performance went viral,stirring the hearts of those present with this soul food served by the legendary singer-actor. On Thursday afternoon,Maan presented it one more time,in the form of his eight-track album,Roti.
The 56-year-old launched the album along with his wife Manjit Maan. Cardiologist Dr HK Bali,Speed Records director Balwinder Singh Ruby,music director Jatinder Shah and Vineet Joshi,assistant media advisor,Punjab Government,were also present at the event.
As a child,Id take this roti for granted. I would come home and it would be ready,off the tawa (griddle),and we would gobble it down. But once I was in college,in a hostel,with no one to make or serve it,I realised the importance of it and how difficult it is to earn this roti, says Maan. Roti banani,kamaani te khaani aukhi (Chapati is difficult to make,earn and eat), he speaks in chaste Punjabi,lending it his signature poetic alliteration.
For the last 25 years,Maan has consciously stayed away from light-weight regular bhangra numbers,and much has to do with his simplistic nature. His face softens and glows as he speaks of niyat (will) and seerat (character),of submitting to gods will and letting nature and destiny take its own course. Does the spiritual philosophy help him survive this competitive rat race? Maan says with a smile. Where gyan finishes,bramhgyan begins. Where everything ends,God and nature begin. It is all his will,he is making me do what I do,sing what I sing,be where I am. I am just a medium of his will, says Maan. Clearly,hes exited the race long back.
While he will announce a new film later this year,Roti is another milestone in his career. Presented by Sai Lok Sangeet Pvt Ltd on Speed Records,it consists of eight tracks,some of which are called Roti,Pind di hawa,Sajna tenu tak tak nahi rajna,Raati chann naal gallan karkey and Farmaan. All of them have been composed and penned by Maan himself.
Punjab has been at the centre of biopics. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehras Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is based on the life of Milkha Singh. Vindoo Dara Singh is in talks with Akshay Kumar for a biopic on his father,late wrestler and actor Dara Singh. Are there plans for a film on Maans life and times? No,my life is too straight and boring, he says with a laugh. But,he adds that its been inspired by Milkha Singh and Dara Singh. During my days at the physical education college in Patiala,these were the sports stars we would read about. Their struggle and success has been my biggest inspiration as I feel health is wealth,and one needs to stay on to the top of their game,physically and mentally,something I learnt from these legends, he concludes.