Altaf Mir left valley to join militancy turns Coke star

NEW DELHI: “Ha Gulo Tohi Ma Sa Wuchwan Yaar Meon”, has gone viral in less than 24 hours after its release is actually sung by a Kashmiri who left the valley to join militancy.

Main vocal, Muhammad Altaf Mir, was only 22 years old when he crossed the border into Pakistan in 1990 to become a militant. He didn’t join militancy but settle permanently in Muzaffarabad and started to work for an NGO. He is an expert chain stitch artisan and currently is a master craftsmen of Kashmiri crafts.

For several years, Mir has been associated with Radio Pakistan as a broadcaster and also leads a band called Qasamir.

Altaf Mir, now 50 years old, is yet to return home but his emotion-packed vocals is already winning hearts in Kashmir and outside.

“Ha Gulo”, is a rendition of legendary Kashmiri poet Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor’s famed classic.

Almost 70 years after it was written, Coke Studio’s twist to a traditional folk song of love and separation has earned thousands of young admirers in the valley.

The folk melody, “Ha gulo tuhi ma sa vuchwun yaar muen (Oh flower, have you seen my friend), Bulbuloo tuhi tchandtoun dildaar muen (Oh bulbul, you search for my beloved)”, got over two lakh ‘views’ in the first two days of its release.

Mir sang Ha Gulo to the accompaniment of the traditional Sarangi and the Kashmiri Tumbaknari — two prominent musical instruments.

The song has also caught the imagination of the commoners in Jammu and Kashmir in a big way.