Friday, November 22, 2013

10 years of DD NEWS VIDEO

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Lambi Judaai Reshma the voice of many eternal songs ‘Dama Dum Mast Kalender’ and ‘Lambi Judaai’ was a treat to listen and my association was rather by accident but it was a memorable one. As a sports correspondent I was in Pakistan covering the India Pakistan cricket series with a game in Lahore over which India lose and with four games left we headed for Rawalpindi. I got a call from my office which asked me to return to Lahore to cover the resumption of the bus service from Lahore to the Wagah Border. The call from Delhi was a tiring one as I had to head back to Lahore. I reached the bus stand in Lahore city in the wee hours of the morning. I wanted to cover the event and head back to Pindi which is a good three hours drive from Lahore. I was trying to get some visuals and a good story so that I could finish the task and head back to cricket which I was meant to cover. The bus stand had few cameras from Pakistan TV channels and I happened to be the lone Indian TV journalist from India. Reshma was the noted name from Pakistan suddenly descended like manna from the sky and she rendered some hit numbers for the TV journalists who recorded her views and her songs with great interest. Since being the only TV journalist from India I walked up to her and introduced myself and she sang those songs all over again and asked me if these songs would run on the national broadcaster in India. I assured her that people in India love her and she said that she wanted to visit India and Ajmer Sharif more than anyone else. I called up office and told them that the job was done but I was given orders to now board the bus and head towards Wagah Border with the people in the bus. Reshma the Sitara-i-Imtiaz reeled out hit numbers from films and ghazals. Some of her songs she sang "Dama Dam Mast Kalandar", "Hai O Rabba nahion lagda dil mera", "Sun charkhe di mithi mithi cook mahiya meinu yaad aunda", "Wey main chori chori", "Ankhiyan no rehen de ankhyan de kol kol" and "Lambi Judai". She kept all of us engrossed in the 35 minute journey to the border and sang the song “Lambi Judai” thrice. Remembering her origins to the sandy lands in India, she said: "People in India showered me with a lot of admiration. In Pakistan, people have given me respect. But in India also, they listen to me with lot of love. It does not matter to them that I am a Pakistani singer." She during the journey asked me more about Bikaner city and her dream to visit Rajasthan and the Taj Mahal. As we reached the Wagah Border and as people got off the bus to get the passports stamped she had tears in her eyes as she walked into India. She had returned to the place of her birth and wanted to talk to the Pakistan Government to talk to their counterparts in India to hold a musical on the Wagah border involving stars from both sides of the fence. She walked slowly into India. I still remember the sight when she carefully put her right foot first as she crossed the border and signed off that it will bring good luck to the Indo-Pak relations. As a parting shot said "the borders do not matter to me...because, an artiste belongs to all". I was left back while she walked into India. The feeling was tearful as being an Indian I was on the other side of the fence and was warned by the officials that I cannot enter my own country. Headed back and continued to visit four more venues in Pakistan and headed back home happy as India won the one day series 4-1. As news of her demise broke in India, I was in office as India pocketed another bi-lateral one day series against Australia. I felt Reshma’s lose was immense. She had left a mark in my life during my short meeting with her thoughts and actions. She is not with us, but her voice will always be with us. I will always remember Reshma, the flower of desert, symbol of love, music and peace!”. We miss you Reshma, and I thank the golden opportunity I got to meet this music maestro who belonged to the world.