Making Melodies

Born visually impaired, Yasir picked the art of music and is now an established singer, reports Mariah Shah

In the last few years, Yasir Noorani has gained a lot of attention and appreciation. A specially-abled from a Pulwama village, he was born blind. His disability has not led him to lament over his fate and destiny. Instead, he managed to pick up art that helps him survive better and get noted for his contributions. His melodious voice diminishes the perpetual impairment he was born with. He is an accomplished singer.

Yasir, unusually, was never exasperated with his defect that could have otherwise proven to be disheartening to him as most of the times disabilities prove to be for others.

With the perpetual support of his family, especially his maternal uncle, a lecturer by profession, Yasir drew courage and confidence in himself and took refuge in the art he possessed from the day he started realising the world around him.

“I would unfailingly love to take the name of my uncle whenever it comes to notify a person who has an eternal part in my success,” says Yasir, complimenting the role of his parents and friends in his journey toward glory. Besides his parents, it is his uncle who provides Yasir with undying support that constructs the nucleus of courage in him.

Mimicry,  Music

 From mimicry to music, Yasir does it all, zealously. He believes he was bestowed with this art by God to recognize the purpose of his life. He is a well-known singer who has been in love with the magical voice of Bollywood singers like Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan.

Besides, he discovered the art of mimicry in him. He would go to entertain his parents by imitating every single advertisement, verbally, he listens to on the radio. Mimicry, also, turned out to be his favourite.

 “I loved to listen to Hindi songs sung by Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu. Their voice always mesmerized me,” Yasir said. “It had become a hobby – to listen to their songs and rehearse the same. Listening to Kashmiri songs in comparison didn’t inspire me much.”

Inherent talent in him apart, Yasir credits part of his success to the radio. It has been his source of information, most of the knowledge and an introduction to the arts he is passionate about. He would spend hours listening to the radio programmes.

Yasir was growing up when his uncle gifted him a harmonium. At one point in time, this became the only thing he used to spend his time with. “In fact, I was fed up struggling with learning how to use the freshly gifted instrument,” Yasir said. “Though I was also given a teacher to guide me through playing this instrument, I found it challenging to learn it in the beginning. At times, I felt like giving up.”

Currently, Yasir is being guided and trained by Muneer Ahmad Mir, a respected Kashmiri singer. He believes that nothing in the world is impossible to learn. Everything can be learnt with hard work and dedication. “What seems to be arduous in the beginning can offer us to master it at some point in our lives. We should not let the genius in us die,” Yasir insisted unveiling a sharp sense of artistry.

Yasir Noorani is well-read and is using all the modern gadgetry despite the fact that he is visually impaired by birth. KL Image: Hilal Shah

A Trip Down To Triumph

 Yasir was first provided with a chance to perform live in the dignified auditorium of Radio Kashmir (now, All India Radio, Srinagar) in 2011, on the anniversary of Bollywood singer, Mohammad Rafi. At the age of 25, Yasir began recording his songs, professionally and invite rewards from everywhere he was invited to sing.

Yasir is honest in sharing the fact that in his life he had the occasions when certain people pushed him to see the glass as half-empty and obliquely tried to tell him that his incapacity is a crisis. He heard them all and understood everything but always saw the glass half-full, the positive aspect of life.

Bagging awards fill his heart with gratification. The recognition of his talent indeed makes him feel alive. Music is the only thing Yasir can communicate better through.

Acknowledged

Yasir remembers the story behind each award he has won until now and is able to categorize them in conformity with the circumstances he secured them. Naming the awards one by one, Yasir finds uttermost pleasure in groping, recognizing, and introducing them.

In 2009, he bagged an award in Odisha for singing in a competition specifically organized for young differently-abled men and women for appraisal of their talent. Yasir was awarded by the Chief Minister of Odisha at the event.

On August 15, 2016, the Department of Youth Services and Sports awarded him with a trophy acknowledging his talent as a young singer.

On the eve of Independence Day, the District Administration in Pulwama bestowed Yasir with a trophy for being a courageous young singer from the district.

Born blind, Yasir Noorani is an established singer. KL Image: Hilal Shah

No Excuse

 Yasir’s impaired vision never served as an excuse not to attain formal education. He received his primary schooling in Kashmir up to his middle. Continuing his studies, he accomplished his higher secondary school in Delhi. At the same time, he does not find it sufficient. He wants to continue his studies and pursue Bachelor’s degree in a subject he is yet to discern.

Yasir hopes that he would study further. The knowledge, he said, helps him to fill a void that is part of his being. Music is his passion and the single major capacity that helps him to stay relevant to the ecosystem he lives in. Both play a pivotal role in Yasir’s life.

The Style

 Yasir is an organised professional despite being visually impaired. He has evolved with a strategy of maintaining his talent and singing a new number. He takes a draft note of the verses of a specific song recorded either by his uncle or his teacher, listens to it repeatedly, and learns it by heart. It is only after making it perfect that he records the song in his own voice.

“Nevertheless, people who cannot see, fear of deceit,” Yasir said. “We can be given the wrong script to read and learn. There should be someone who can actually be believed to record the written verses of the song so that we can proceed to sing it. It eases our strain in some way.”  These are his fears as there has not been a single instance when he was given the wrong script.

Early in the morning, after having breakfast, he sets the scene for rehearsals for the whole of the day, takes breaks, and continues practising unless contented with his preparation before calling it a day.

Yasir has a student also. “I do not take students because I do not have time but I teach him because he is my neighbour. I don’t regard myself as a teacher otherwise,” Yasir said.

Consciousness

 Yasir is quite social in nature. He is active everywhere on the social networking sites accessible to him. He loves to interact with people and calls it a fundamental human need.

With a phone in his hand, operational and active, that talks back when double-tapped on any notification displayed on the screen, he fiddles with his phone boldly. In this manner, he has enabled himself to access the phone without any difficulty.

Yasir, like many other visually impaired people in Kashmir, doesn’t have a platform to utilize as a podium to showcase their talent. It is Radio Kashmir (AIR, Srinagar) that occasionally offers him the opportunity to sing songs. In the meantime, he has established a channel on Youtube, Yasir Noorani Official where he uploads the collection of his songs.

 “One can find my work on Telegram also. Search for Yasir Noorani Collection to listen to the Bollywood and Kashmiri songs collection in my voice. Or one can simply search ‘Sing India’ cover songs and listen to my voice,” he added in a prideful manner.

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