Karachi: Pakistani autorickshaw driver Muhammad Aslam, whose video of singing Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's thumri 'Yaad piya ki aaey' went viral online, says being noticed by singing legend Lata Mangeshkar was a dream come true.
The short clip, which was uploaded by Aslam's friend, has attracted many likes and shares on social media and it has gone viral in Pakistan after Mangeshkar shared it on her Facebook page, writing that a talent like Aslam should be singing rather than driving rickshaw. "Delighted that Lata ji, who is a legend, should even notice my clip which one of my friends put on Facebook," Aslam told PTI.
"People think since I am a rickshaw driver what do I know about singing. But since my childhood I have sung and to get noticed by Lataji is a dream come true for me and confirms I have real talent," Aslam said. The singing enthusiast said he cried when he got to know that Mangeshkar had shared his video.
"The truth is when my friend told me about Lataji sharing the clip, I cried because she is a 'devi' of music and I am nothing but an amateur. I am not even a speck of dust before her but she took time to recognize and appreciate my talent. It is the best reward for me," he said. Aslam, however, is disappointed that until now no music company, channel or singer has approached him with any offer.
"What can I say if no one appreciates my vocal talents even now? Singing is my life. I appeared in the finale of a nationwide singing competition on television in 1993," he said.
Aslam originally hails from Hyderabad but shifted to Karachi to take part in a music competition.
"My father was a policewala and didn't support me in my singing. Somehow I managed to go to Ustad Umeed Ali Khan and Fateh Ali Khan (in Hyderabad) and learn from them for a very brief period."
He said he had learnt the art of riyaz (practice) from them and he improved himself by listening to quality singers like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Mehdi Hassan and Ghulam Ali. "I have no formal training but once I hear a composition, I can sing it the way it originally is, very quickly. It's all God-gifted," he added.
Aslam said he felt no shame in driving a autorickshaw to make ends meet. "Why should I be ashamed, I have to earn my livelihood. But I just pray that someday in our country real singers will also be appreciated and duly rewarded."