Fateh Veer Singh Guram, The Hush Post: On Friday morning people woke up to a sad news that famous Sufi singer Pyarelal Wadali of Wadali Brothers duo was no more. Their hearts were still, eyes were watery and there was a general atmosphere of disbelief after hearing the news.
The man who formed one half of the famous duo, ‘Wadali brothers’, was usually a very quiet, and soft-spoken person. It was on the stage, while performing, that he would transform into a completely different individual. His usually quiet voice would reach an unattainable crescendo, and his soulful, deep and penetrating voice had the power to touch and caress the toughest of souls.
Born in ‘Guru ki Wadali’ village near Amritsar, the Wadali brothers did not have a particularly easy childhood. While the elder brother, Puranchand, wrestled in Akharas, the younger Wadali played the role of Krishna in local plays, and that is how he contributed to the family income. Since the village has been blessed by Guru Arjan Devi Ji, people ultimately find their calling in things which are beautiful and peaceful. Thus, the Wadali brothers found their calling in Sufi Sangeet.
Their ardent devotion to the almighty was passed onto them by their father. However, this solidified when Pyarelal Wadali was struck by a deadly brain fever. His elder brother sat by him, day and night while the doctors worked tirelessly to save him. After Pyarelal became completely fit, he started singing with his brother again. The fever, however, struck again. But this time it was more deadly. The doctors gave up hope. Pooranchand took his younger brother home, and abstained from food and water for four days. He prayed continuously for his younger brother. On the fifth day, a saint from Baba Mastan Shah’s mazaar visited their house, and sat by Pyarelal’s side. Singing a few verses, he got up and before leaving, said “Shamman nu bol payega.” Pyarelal miraculously recovered, and the brothers gave themselves to God completely.
This incident also made the bond of the brothers rock solid. Terming his elder brother as his Guru, Pyarelal would always say that the reason for his success is the support given to him by his elder brother.
“When I decided to stop playing Krishna in local plays, our father was scared that the family income would decrease. But my brother stood by me and helped me immerse myself in Sufi music,” said Pyarelal in an interview to The Tribune.
In fact, the spirit of Sufism became so deeply embedded in them that they would initially refuse to sing for films. “Hum toh bass rabb se ley lagaate hain. Fakeeron ki baani ko sur dete hain. Is hee mei hume sukh millta hai.” (We simply immerse ourselves in the worship of God. We try to give a voice to the poetry of the saints. This is what makes us happy.) Although later, they sang for a few films, but ultimately decided not to, since they were more comfortable in singing in a freer environment.
Pyarelal Wadali was a part of a legacy so powerful and touching, it could make statues weep. While he may no longer be with us, his legacy, and his voice, will forever supplement his elder brother’s and it will live on till posterity.
Hailing from Guru ki Wadali village in Amritsar Wadali Brothers’ duo began performing at Harballah Temple in Jalandhar. Popular for Bollywood numbers including Aye Rangrez Mere from Tanu Weds Manu and Ik Tu Hi Tu Hi from Mausam, the Wadali Brothers’ duo have carried forward legacy of famous saint poets such as Bulle Shah, Kabir, Amir Khusro and Surdas for years.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the passing away of the renowned Sufi singer Pyarelal Wadali. “Saddened by the demise of Shri Pyarelal Wadali. His renditions attained great popularity globally. His work will continue to draw people towards the joys of Sufi music. May his soul rest in peace”, the Prime Minister said.
Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has also expressed deep shock over the demise of the world famous Sufi singer Pyarelal Wadali.