Kerala street singer to perform in UAE


gulfnews, 07-12-2018 13:07:54


Write Comment     |     E-Mail To a Friend     |     Facebook     |     Twitter     |     Print


Babu Bhai with wife Lata and two kids.

Street singer Babu Shankar popularly known as Babu Bhai with wife Lata and kids Kaushalya and Anil singing for Gulf News on a Dubai street

Kerala street singer to perform in UAE

Babubhai, who has won many hearts singing on street, is performing in Sharjah today

Dubai: The UAE, where international singers come to perform, will witness the performance of a unique vocalist on Friday — a street singer.

Babubhai, a Gujarati street singer who sang his way to stardom in the south Indian state of Kerala, is set to perform along with his family at a show in Sharjah this evening.

Playing a dholak (a two-headed hand drum) and singing old Hindi songs, Babubhai has won several hearts and also a television reality show, thus becoming the face of contemporary street singers in Kerala.

Though his parents hailed from Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat, he was born and raised in Kozhikode in Kerala.

Now 61, Babubhai said his official name is Babu Shankar, the latter being his father’s name.

“People started calling me bhai (brother in Hindi) after I became familiar to them as a street singer.”

Sharing his story at Gulf News office, Babubhai said he lived as a street urchin in his childhood. “My parents were street singers. We had no home. We lived in tents on the streets of Kozhikode.”

When he turned seven, little Babu also joined his parents in street singing. “I learnt to play dholak seeing my father doing it. We learnt film songs by listening to the radio.”

He lived with his parents till he was about 25. He found his perfect partner in one of his distant relatives, Lata, who also became his harmonium player and occasional co-singer.

“Our wedding function was a family get-together held under Puthiyapaalam (a bridge in Kozhikode).”

The couple moved to a rented house after they had three children, a son and two daughters. “But we never had any document to prove our identity as the house owner did not allow us to use that address in such documents,” said Babubhai.

Dream home

They finally moved into a new house, which they could call their own, in 2011 — two years after Babubhai started taking part in a television reality show featuring street singers in Kerala.

Aired by former Malayalam channel Indiavision, the popular show gifted each of the 17 participants a house, though Babubhai became the first prize winner.

“It was after moving into that house that we could make a ration card and later an Aadhaar identity card.”

By then, the couple had two more children who had started going to school.

The three older children have got married and started their own lives away from their parents.

However, the couple still sings in the streets of Kozhikode to earn a livelihood for them and their younger children — Anil, 16 and Kousalya, 13, who have accompanied them to the UAE for the show.

Kousalya occasionally joins her parents in singing Malayalam songs and Anil dances to their tunes if they are performing on a stage.

It was only after the TV show that the family started getting some formal venues for performance. Since that is still not their main source of income, they have to go back to the street to make both ends meet.

Eviction threat

Two months ago, they faced eviction from Kozhikode’s popular Mittai Theruvu (Sweetmeat Street). Hundreds of their fans, including the local legislator and former minister M.K. Muneer, stood by them, forcing the district collector to give special permission to Babubhai and family to perform on the street.

Advocate Shaji. B, convener of the Sharjah show of Babubhai, said a group of art lovers here also felt the need to support Babubhai and arranged the event.

“In many western countries, street singing is promoted as part of tourism. However, the very few like Babubhai in Kerala are still facing issues,” he said.

Though Babubhai and family volunteered to pose for photos and a video by singing on a street outside Gulf News office, their actual show will be held in Rayan Hotel in Sharjah. “We are trying to give the ambience of street singing by providing the apt backdrop,” said Shaji.

The entry is free to the show that starts at 5:30pm.

Write your Comments on this Article
Your Name
Native Place / Place of Residence
Your E-mail
Your Comment   You have characters left.
Security Validation
Enter the characters in the image above
    
Disclaimer: Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Kemmannu.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.
Please note that under 66A of the IT Act, sending offensive or menacing messages through electronic communication service and sending false messages to cheat, mislead or deceive people or to cause annoyance to them is punishable. It is obligatory on kemmannu.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request. Hence, sending offensive comments using kemmannu.com will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Kemmannu.com be held responsible.
Similarly, Kemmannu.com reserves the right to edit / block / delete the messages without notice any content received from readers.




Nirmala Thonse organizes Awareness Campaign agains
View More

Veez Konkani WeeklyVeez Konkani Weekly
Crib Making Competition 2018Crib Making Competition 2018
1st Death Anniversary of Rev. Fr. Wilson Clifford Andrade OFM Cap.1st Death Anniversary of Rev. Fr. Wilson Clifford Andrade OFM Cap.
Mount Rosary Church Annoucement for the weekMount Rosary Church Annoucement for the week
Newly constructed House for sale at Nejar near Santhekatte.Newly constructed House for sale at Nejar near Santhekatte.
Maria TravelsMaria Travels
Rozarich Gaanch September- 2018Rozarich Gaanch September- 2018
Karaval Milan Sports Event on 23rd December at Milagres Ground, Kallianpur.Karaval Milan Sports Event on 23rd December at Milagres Ground, Kallianpur.
Rozarich Gaanch September- 2018Rozarich Gaanch September- 2018
Milarchi-Lara-September-2018Milarchi-Lara-September-2018
Welcome to Thonse Naturecure HospitalWelcome to Thonse Naturecure Hospital
Santhosh Villa short film by youth of Udupi Parish and ICYM.Santhosh Villa short film by youth of Udupi Parish and ICYM.
Crossland College, Year book 2017-18Crossland College, Year book 2017-18
Delite Caterers and Delite Event ManagementDelite Caterers and Delite Event Management
An appeal to Kemmannu Parishioners, Friends and Well Wishers:

[Comments]

An appeal to Kemmannu Parishioners, Friends and Well Wishers:<P> <Center>[Comments]</P> </Center>
Read online Uzvaad:<font color=red> Read online Uzvaad</font color=red>:
For all your travel needs contact Sequeira TouristFor all your travel needs contact Sequeira Tourist
Power Care Services, MoodubellePower Care Services, Moodubelle
Read Online RaknnoRead Online Raknno
Kemmannu Platinum Jubilee Souvenir – Amruth KaanikKemmannu Platinum Jubilee Souvenir – Amruth Kaanik
Udupi TodayUdupi Today
St. Alphonsa of India