Just three music albums in her kitty, Mehmeet Syed, 27, a singer from Srinagar has sought national award, much to the surprise of music patrons in Kashmir. Her chances of sweeping the same are apparently strong, as she is ascertained that her music has shrouded peace fabric over ‘volatile valley’ for last two year, post 2010 street-strife.

At first place, it seemed tongue-in-cheek comment, but later on, all tongues were set wagging, when it came to fore that several bureaucrats and politicians are backing and endorsing her file. Many believed, her nomination brushed aside famous singers like Kailash Mehra, Deepali Watal, Jameela Khan and Jahan Ara Janbaz.

“At the start of twenties, I came out with three albums, which brought a musical revolution in the Valley,” Mehmeet wrote to J&K Governor N N Vohra claiming the “magic” of her music has kept youth away from the streets.  “It changed the mindset of youth, who started preferring music to violence. I faced militant threats and was compelled to migrate to Jammu.”

Her father Syed Ahmad, who is affiliated to state unit of Indian National Congress, has got a recommendation from its state president and Rajya Sabha member Saif-ud-din Soz. “I am forwarding an application of Miss Mahmeet Syed for grant of award. There is no doubt Miss Mahmeet Syed is a talented singer and deserves encouragement,” Soz wrote to B B Vyas, Principal Secretary to the chief minister.

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and National Conference legislator Mubarak Gul too has recommended Mehmeet for Padma.

Former Deputy Commissioner  Srinagar, Baseer Ahmad while recommending Mehmeet for the Padma awards also wrote a letter to Secretary, J&K General Administration Department, “Despite difficulties, she has proved her talent. She has been brave and followed her passion with a clear mission of spreading the message of peace and love through folk music.”

Hailing from Arabal Nishat, Mehmeet is post-graduate in Mass Communication, who made her musical debut with a Kashmiri album in 2004. Her first public appearance was in a musical show called Saaz aur Awaaz that earned her recognition. She quit music in 2011 after the death of her mother, however, was recently offered two songs in a Hindi movie.

Mehmeet, whose Rosh mye Rosh, Dimyo Dilas walyo be Khas songs became household hits in past, is a founder member and the lead singer of a popular Kashmiri musical pop and rock band ‘Immersion’. She plays the keyboard and the flute for the band as well.

-Bilal Handoo



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