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Puran Shah Koti, the legendary guru of many Punjabi singers
by Sumit Khanna

     Jalandhar: Having dedicated his life to popularize Sufi music, Ustad Puran Shah Koti is today held in deep respect by some of the best known names of the Punjabi music world. Ustad Koti holds the distinction of having trained some of the popular Punjabi singers including Han Raj Hans, Jasbir Jassi and Master Salim. "Singing is god's gift to me. My father Ranjan Das taught me singing. I took further training from Waqir Hussain `Sahab' of Patiala. My wife gave me her support during bad times -when we had nothing to eat and no shelter," says Puran Shah Koti, the sufi singer. He narrates how he moved to Shahkot in Jalandhar and took shelter in a small hut. It was there that he taught music to Jasbir Jassi and Hans Raj Hans. He claims to have no knowledge of any 'technical method' of singing. He calls himself "a nomadic singer". "They listened to me and then followed my way of singing. I guess that's how they have learnt singing from me," says the legendry singer Koti. "I wish what we have learned from our forefathers could live forever because singing is eternal. I want to sing in the same way as I have sung my whole life. I have no interest in money and I don't want any awards. But my only aim is to make the upcoming generation aware of Sufism, classical music, heritage, culture, food and singing," says Puran Shan Koti.
-May 18, 2009

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