The Neelesh Misra Show: The Soul-Stirring Tale of an Alha Singer

“Aalha” is a form of folk song from Bundelkhand, that were only sung by men, before Sheelu stepped into the picture.

Published04 Mar 2018, 02:10 PM IST
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2 min read

Our heroes do not live too far away from us. They are among us, fighting their own battles, finding new tracks for themselves, and paving ways for others. However, we often fail to recognise them. ‘The Neelesh Misra Show’ will help you do so. Every episode of the show will discuss people and issues which reflect the changing times and bring hope for a better tomorrow. An unsung hero could be anyone in the crowd.

The show aims to bring forth issues which impact lives dearly, yet have remained untold so far. India's largest rural media platform "Gaon Connection" and The Quint will bring to you these stories every week on ‘The Neelesh Misra Show’.

The first episode of 'The Neelesh Misra Show' stars three young women. One of them is Sheelu Singh Rajput. Hailing from Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, this young woman refused to abide by society's constraints and set new rules for herself.

Conquering A Male Bastion

Sheelu Singh, a resident of Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, dreamed of becoming an ‘Aalha’ singer. However, what she did not know was that she was paving the way for many other young girls like her.

In the village she comes from, girls have to think twice before even dancing to Bollywood songs at their own family functions. But Sheelu was certain she wanted to become an ‘Aalha’ singer.

‘Aalha’ is a form of folk song from Bundelkhand, that were only sung by men. That was, of course, before Sheelu stepped into the picture. Not only did she enter this thoroughly male-dominated sphere, she also garnered a lot of acclaim and fame. In the last few years, Sheelu Singh Rajput has risen to become a big name in the ‘Aalha’ music scene.

Sheelu Singh Rajput.
Sheelu Singh Rajput.
(Photo courtesy: The Neelesh Misra Show)

Every time Sheelu would crunch her teeth and draw her sword, the audience would erupt into applause.

However, she also had to endure a lot of jibes and ugly remarks for daring to cross the threshold of her home and climb on to the stage.

She had to oppose not only the village and her distant relatives, but also her immediate family, to emerge as a role model to thousands of young girls.

(Translated by Mekhala Saran)

(Hey lady, what makes you laugh? Do you laugh at sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, or other 'sanskari' stereotypes? This Women's Day, join The Quint's Ab Laugh Naari campaign. Pick up that beer, say cheers, and send us  photographs or videos of you laughing out loud at buriladki@thequint.com.)

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