Home means different things to different people. For Kashmiri folk-pop singer Aabha Hanjura, it is about returning to her native place. Her latest song, Roshe Walla Chalo Chinaro Ke Gharo, performed by her band Sufistication, will strike a chord with all Kashmiris living elsewhere.
"This song was inspired by own story, as well as that of the many Kashmiris living away from home, and who want to return," says Hanjura.
"It is for those who miss their home, and the particular shade of sky and colour of chinar tress which can only be seen there." She adds, "Though I have written songs in Hindi before, this was the first song I have put out in this language, so I wanted it to mean something and I wanted it to be my story. It carries the message hope, peace, and love for the homeland, and reuniting with it."
The song is in two parts, and its appealing videos show puppets in front of an audience comprising children. The melody has a playful, upbeat element about it, which as she says is, "A melody which is age-old, festive, and about love at the same time."
Talking about the use of puppetry, she says, "There is a fusion of folk art and folk music. Puppetry is a beautiful part of our culture, and I wanted to create something novel. We also aimed to create a balance between reality and fantasy. We wanted to bring Kashmir alive in a new format of storytelling, through a fairytale, therefore the entire story has been shown through the eyes of children."
The instrumentation of the song is a mix of Kashmiri folk instruments rabab, santoor, along with guitar, drums, bass, and a string section. She describes the genre as in between folk-pop and pop-rock.
While Hanjura is on the vocals, Sanjay Chandrakand is on the electric guitar, Bharat Kashyap on the acoustic guitar. Bipla Bhattacharji handles Indian percussion, and John Melvin is on the drums.