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STORY OF THE UNTOLD LAND OF MUSICIANS WHO INHALE GAANA

By Ritika Nath . 21st June 2018 09:30pm
STORY OF THE UNTOLD LAND OF MUSICIANS WHO INHALE GAANA

This World Music day, we remember all the legendary singers that have walked surface of the earth. But we leave the ones who did not get the popularity they deserved. So here is the story of Gaana. The man whose name meant a 'song' was more than just a singer for his community; he was a hero. This is the story of Gaana Palani, a common man from North Chennai, who became a singing sensation among his people. [caption id="attachment_40233" align="alignnone" width="320"]gaana palani Source[/caption] Deceased last year, Gaana Palani was a popular singer living in a small town of Pulianthope in North Chennai. He dedicated his whole life to singing and used to perform at nearby places. He used to be taken on a horse and was whole-heartedly welcomed by cheering locals. Greatly inspired by BR Ambedkar, Gaana condemned caste discrimination. This is why he sang about love, humour and casteism. Gaana believed that music was not only for entertainment but also for the progress of his community. Today not just his family, but nearby neighborhoods have musicians in every corner. Gaana’s 22-years-old son, Gaana Uagam Dharani says, "Knock every door here, you will find a gaana artiste”. He believes that there are more than 100 musicians living in the congested alleys of Ansari street. Even little children know how to play musical instruments. Neighbourhoods like Puliantope, Vyasarpaadi, Purusaiwalkam and Kasimedu are famous for their musical forte in gaana. [caption id="attachment_40231" align="alignnone" width="660"]Gaana palani Source[/caption] Dharani, who is a musician himself, says that his father used to sing through vintage microphones. He had written more than 3,000 songs during his 30 years of singing. He had a very powerful voice that mesmerised the audience with admiration. Gaana used to say to his son, ‘When you sing you should feel like you are dying. You must sing with such earnestness’. Even after his demise, Gaana is still an inspiration to many hundreds of performing artists who hail from his neighborhood. His songs are still played like anthems in autos, tempos and lorries in North Chennai.

He would say, ‘Let my people grow first, then I will’. Father always used to tell us how you need to be political. But, that does not mean we have to enter politics. It can reflect in our music.
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