Kamla Devi takes Rajula Malushahi to Coke Studio

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    Courtesy: Kamla Devi Lok Gayika Page

    Dateline Bageshwar:  Born in Lakhni village Bageshwar, Kumaoni folk singer Kamla Devi, has taken Uttarakhand’s epic love story Rajula Malushahi to the 2nd  Season of Coke Studio Bharat.

    Self-taught Kamla learnt vocals at the age of seven when she accompanied her doting father Bir Ram, a traditional bard as he travelled  from village to village singing laurels of Rajula Malushahi, Chapeli, Jagar, Neyoli, Hurkiya Boul (sung during sowing), Maangal (during weddings),  Dhora Chachari during festivities.

    Married off at an early age, Kamla the mother of three sons and a daughter,  never gave up on her talent. She continued to sing at local events and festivities. In 2005 she took part in Nainital Autumn Festival and since then, there has been no stage too big for her. She has given umpteen live-concerts at various Fests held in Nainital, Banbassa, Dehradun and has her own dedicated YouTube channel ‘Kamla Devi Lokgayika.’

    Recently returned from her stint in Mumbai.  She tells Newspost about her all-time favourite song Rajula Malushahi, “It’s a three-hour love song which my father used to sing during wedding festivities. I learnt to sing and play the hurka along with the song as a seven-year-old. This song has given me name and fameThe Coke Studio version of the song will be launched two months from now and am sure it will be a hit!”

    Talking about her Mumbai experience, Kamla reminisces, “It was a very different experience, yet unforgettable.  I was at the venue from 9 am to almost midnight shooting with Singers Neha Kakkar and Digvijay.”  She further adds, “The stage resembled our home in the hills, complete with Aipan and women working in the farm, it was as if the hills had come to Mumbai.

    While none of her children took to carrying forward this oral tradition, Kamla has kept the guru-shishya tradition alive by passing on her passion for Kumaoni folk art to her grand-daughter along with five other children living in her vicinity, ensuring that the musical folklore of warrior queen Rajula and her prince Malushahi resonate in their homestate, forever.