Singing leaves of Gorakhpur

May 6th, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by admin  

Gorakhpur, May 6 (ANI): Believe it or not, Mahendra Singh Rana of Gorakhpur has developed an unusual ability to sing several popular musical tunes with leaves!
Rana, who is a 69-year-old is a retired Indian Army offical, learnt the art from a Neaplese lad when he was just 11-year-old. Having practiced the unusual technique for decades he has mastered the special art.
Unlike the musical notations composed on string, wind, percussion and drums, Rana does it with leaves. Though he values leaves of Moneyplant as the best but he maintains any soft leaved help.
He likes singing legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and late Mohammad Rafis popular tunes.
“One night I heard a boy playing a beautiful tune and the sound echoed as it was during the night particularly in the hills. It seemed very strange. From that day on I decided to learn this art. I had to travel on foot to learning and used to practice this art on different leaves. This way, I learnt to create my tunes. Soon I learnt the basic notes and later practiced playing different songs also,” said Rana, the leaf musician.
But Rana is worried that there is nobody to learn his heard learnt art.
“I want other kids to learn it so that it does not die with me. By way of my programmes, the kids are now developing interest in this art,” he added.
Rana has demonstrated his skill in various programmes including the one before former Nepal monarch King Mahendra.
He believes with government support, the art can be preserved in a proper way.
“At present I objective is to teach kids and encourage them to learn this art. I do not charge them. If the Government puts in some efforts to promote this art, I will welcome it,” said Rana.
One of Ranas students has been Arijit Banerjee, who is also his next-door neighbour.
He said: “I feel music is something that everybody wants to learn. I’ve heard music from a synthesizer, Tabla and Harmonium. But being played on a leaf is something very big for me. Uncle (Mahendra Singh Rana) has played music on a leaf before me and this is something which I’ve seen fro the first time in my life.”
He wishes to work with new music directors like A.R.Rahaman and Himesh Rashmiya. (ANI)

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