Backtracks | Rup trivialises struggle to ingrain passion

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Ram Rup at his home in Saru, Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Many bhajan lovers in the country are still in awe of the longevity and passion for singing that veteran bhajania Ram Rup has ingrained in himself.

Now at 63 years of age, Rup overcame a series of personal tragedies that only fuelled his willpower.

Rup, renowned locally for his soulful renditions had a stroke in 2013, which not only affected him physically but forced him out from doing what he loves the best — singing.

However, encouraged by his fans and well-wishers, he resumed singing.

In 2017, while travelling in a cab, with his wife, they met with a road accident, that further halted his musical journey.

A year later, his wife passed away because of the injuries sustained from the accident.

Rup found solace in his music and again backed by supporters; he started singing bhajan’s a few years later.

Rup’s love for music started at a very young age.

“I first started singing when I was 16. It was a beautiful phase of my life, going to village mandali and in the process learning about bhajan and kirtan as well.

“My inspiration and guru in bhajan was my cousin brother late Chandar Hass, who taught me the basics about bhajan and I owe a lot to him for guiding me.

“There are lots of different forms of vistaari bhajan such as Rama Avatari, Krishna Avatari, Piya Sara, Hansa Sara which I have a very good grip on.”

The Saru, Lautoka bhajan maestro said it had been about 40 years since he had been entertaining the local bhajan fraternity.

“Before I met with my accident and the stroke, I used to play the harmonium and dholak as well.

“I did my first stage show with the legendary Kanda Sami Balak from whom I learnt a lot of things.

“Bal Ram, who has been entertaining the public for so many years now, I have learned many things from him as well.”

He said bhajan artiste needed to be respectful towards their elders.

“I have mentored and guided a lot of people as well.

“I want to continue singing bhajan for as long as I can as this is the only thing that gives me happiness and peace,” he adds.

Rup said it felt very nice when people appreciated him for his singing.

“It always motivates me to continue honing my craft and I look forward to every challenge that comes my way.”

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