Noor Mohammad Shah

Despite his talent and popularity, Noor rues how some affluent families would ask him to sing in their lawns, instead of letting him inside their houses. “It is humiliating for a singer, but I have no choice. I have to feed my family.”
No recognition, no respect, not enough money to feed his family, yet Noor Mohammad Shah sings to keep the art alive. Brought to life by a youtube video Noor now hopes for a miracle and recognition.

“My life as a musician started from a sufi saint Samad Khan’s house,” recalls Noor. “I was at his residence where local singers were singing Kashmiri poetry for the saint.”
Noor, who was nine then, recalls, how he fell in love with the singing and decided that he’ll become a singer one day. One night, when a local singer was singing at Samad’s house, the saint suddenly pointed towards Noor and asked him to join them. “As I began to sing, everybody, including the godman was mesmerised by my voice.”

A few years later Noor left Shah’s group and started his own journey as a lead singer. “Soon I started getting offers to sing at marriage parties and big mehfils.”
Noor was a permanent face at gatherings for late sufi saint Ahad Sahib of Sopore. “This helped me reach a wider audience,” said Noor. “Ahad sahib would enjoy my singing. I might have sang for him over a two dozen times at least.”

Noor is sad that despite people love to hear him sing, he is not respected as a singer. “There is no value for talent in Kashmir. But I never lost hope. I am sure one day people will respect me for my talent and art.”

Source & Photo: Kashmir Life

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