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Devi Jagran At Sri Lakshmi Temple

Ranjani Saigal

The uncrowned king of Bhajan and Jagran, Sri Narinder Chanchal was at the Sri Lakshmi Temple on Friday July 20, inspiring devotees to share the blessing of Maa Vaishno Devi with his devotional singing. The event sponsored entirely by Sushil Tuli, President and CEO of Leader Bank was really grand and had the temple hall overflowing with devotees seeking the blessing of Devi.
The decorations for the event provided by Shobha Shastry had Devi MA seated in an unique silver Mandap. The flower garlands and other Pooja items brought a special aura to the event.  The Mahamandapam was echoing with shouts of Jai Mata Di as devotees were offering their prayers to Sherowali Ma(The Mother On a Tiger). Chanchal sang many popular numbers including Chalo Bulava Aya Hai Mata Ne Bulaya Hai…Tumne Bulaya Sherawaliye, Mein Aya Mein Aya Sherawaleye and others for nearly three and a half hours.

Chanchal is the most sought after Bhajan singer. How did he get such an unusual name? Story has it that Narinder was naughty childin. His Hindi teacher, Shastriji called him "Chanchal" (fickle) due to his temperament. Later, he started using Chanchal as his surname.He sang Kafias of Bulle Shah before he took to stage. Then he came in contact with the Indian Film maestro Raj Kapoor, who was impressed with his voice. Raj Kapoor called him to Bombay to sing in his film "Bobby". While Bobby brought wide recognition to the singer and offers from the film world, Chanchalji decided against a career in the films. He knew that if he was involved in films, his basic objectives would be defeated. He wanted to be in the service of Goddess, but he knew that if he was engaged in films, he would not be able to devote his time towards singing Bhents.
He was constantly amongst the devotees asking them to participate in the singing and the dancing. Professionally trained Kathak dancers added a very unique touch to the event by performing Krishna stories. The audience was constantly used as actors to tell stories of Krishna.  

For many South Indians devotees who frequent the temple this was a novel experience. Priest Bhairava Sundaram was thrilled to have an event where popular music was used to invoke the blessings of Devi. “Last month I spoke to some light music performers about a light music devotional concert. Goddess fulfilled my wish by bringing Chanchalji and the Jagrata to the Temple”

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