HT City



It’s always a pleasure to see artistes recreate my songs. His [Anshul Riaji] passion for music won my heart. JAVED ALI, Singer

Busking, the art of performing on streets for rewards and gratuities, has always been an integral part of the Indian culture. One can often spot performers entertaini­ng passersby with acrobatics, animal tricks, balloon twisting and so on, on Indian streets. However, in recent times the scope of busking has expanded to singers and dancers, who not just perform in remote towns but are also prevalent in the metropolit­an cities. And Delhi is no different.

With no dearth of talent, buskers on the streets of Delhi have recently become very popular and people are all praises for them. Varun Dagar, one such busker artiste, who became a sensation among the masses for his unique dancing style, would now be seen joining a television dance reality show as a contestant. Another busker artiste, Anshul Riaji has taken the internet by the storm. He can often be seen performing on the streets of Connaught Place (CP), Delhi and his voice instantly attracts those passing by. As a video of him, singing the soulful track Maula from the film Delhi 6 (2009) recently become viral on social media. Netizens are in awe of his musical talent and have flooded the post with comments appreciati­ng his singing abilities and his voice.

Riaji, who works as a daily wage labourer in a factory during the day, and comes to CP in the night to entertain the people, is driven by his passion for music to perform and not merely the appreciati­on and rewards that he receives. He also carries a diary of self-composed songs along with him. For Riaji, singing is equivalent to meditation and helps him find a connect with both Nature and the higher power. Impressed by his talent online, many Delhiites are now specially visiting Connaught Place to see him perform live.

One person from his large group of audience was quoted saying, “His voice is so serene that it gives you goosebumps. It is a different feeling to see him live; it is even better.” Many have also gone ahead to tag stalwarts from the music industry urging them to recognise his talent and offer him a better platform.

Singer Javed Ali, who lent his voice to the original version of the song, also came forward to appreciate the sheer talent of the artiste. Ali shared the video of Riaji on his social media handles, and shared with fans and followers how happy he was to find such pure music lovers in the country.

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