November 12, 2011 admin

Wadali Brothers – The Gems of India

—Anant Dhillon**—

By now, The two Wadali Brothers-Padamshree Ustad Puran Chand Wadali and Ustad Piyare Lal Wadali need no introductions for those familiar with the trends and artists of the music world, especially those associated with the sufi style of singing. The Wadali Brothers (Padamshree Ustad Puranchand Wadali & Ustad Pyarelal Wadali) are Sufi singers and musicians from Village GURU KI WADALI the Birth Place Of Dhan Dhan Shree Guru Hargobind Rai Ji (The Sixth Guru Of Sikhs) in the Amritsar District in Punjab, India. Born into the fifth generation of musicians given to singing the messages of Sufi saints, the Wadali Brothers dabbled in the most unexpected of professions before they became Sufi singers. While Padamshree Ustad Puranchand Wadali, the elder brother, was a regular in an akhara (wresting house) for 25 years, Pyarelal contributed to the meager family income by playing the role of Krishna in the village rasleela.

Early life and education::
Though neither of them went to school for any formal education, the wadali brothers have come to occupy the position of masters in the music world largely because of their dedicated approach to learning and understanding great Indian classical music which runs in their blood, their father Shri Thakur Dass Ji, forced Puranchand Wadali into music. Puranchand Wadali studied music from celebrated masters like Pandit Shri Durga Dass Ji and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib of the Patiala Gharana. Pyarelal was trained by his elder brother, whom he considers his mentor and guru even today.


Humility is their hallmark unlike in the case of many other artists, their first musical performance outside their village was in Harballabh Temple in Jalandhar. The duo went to Jalandhar to perform at the Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan,Jallandhar but was not allowed to sing because their appearance did not pass muster. Disappointed, they decided to make a musical offering at the Sangeet Sammelan,Jallandhar, where an executive of All India Radio, Jalandhar, spotted them and recorded their first song.
The Wadali Brothers sing in the gurbani, kaafi, ghazal and bhajan genres of music. They live in their ancestral house in Guru ki Wadali, and teach music to those who promise to preserve it. They do not charge their disciples, and lead a very simple life devoted to the divine one.
Padamshree Ustad Puran Chand Wadali was able to perceive the significance behind his voice which was different from that of other singers. Encouraged by the interest shown by his listeners,They believe in the Sufi tradition deeply. They consider themselves as a medium through which the preaching of great saints has to be passed on to others. They have never indulged commercially and they have only a handful of recording to their name (mostly from live concerts). They believe in singing freely as homage to the divine one. They do not feel very comfortable in using electronic gadgets in their music, and stress on Alaap and Taans. They believe that spiritual heights can only be attained if you sing unreservedly, in a free atmosphere. They are particularly at ease in presenting the verses of Baba Farid Sahib Ji, Baba Bulle Shah Ji, Shah Hussain Ji, Saif-Ul-Maluk Ji, Shiv Kumar Battalvi, besides folk takes associated with Sassi-Punnu, Laila-Majnu, Jugni, Heer-Ranjha, etc. The utterances of Sufi Fakirs like Amir Khusrou Sahib and others are fact of their music. Wadali Brothers attend many other Cultural Programme in United States Of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Pakistan, Dubai, Singapore, and number of other coutries.
Recently they stepped into the world of Bollywood music, rendering music director and writer Gulzars soulful lyrics in their unique style in the film PINJAR. Also on the cards is a documentary which the DiscoveryChannel is planning to make on them.

* Aa Mil Yaar
* Paigham-e-Ishq,
* Ishq Musafir
* Folk Music of Punjab, all released by Music Today
* Yaad Piya Ki
* Tere Naal Prita Pakiya

* Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 1991.
* Tulsi Award, 1998.
* Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 2003.
* Puranchand Wadali was awarded the Padma Shri award by the President Of India Dr. APJ Abdull Kallam, 2005


** Anant Dhillon is Executive Editor of Bharat Sandesh Poratl and is based in the city of Victoria-Canada.

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