Satviender’s love story with the dilruba

| Singapore | 13 Feb 2016 | Asia Samachar | 
A NEW FOUND LOVE: Satviender Kaur on the dilruba.
A NEW FOUND LOVE: Satviender Kaur on the dilruba.

The enchanting sound of the dilruba, a stringed instrument designed by Guru Hargobind Sahib, was almost love at first hearing for Satviender Kaur.

The 21 year old Singaporean connected instantaneously with the instrument when she first heard it played. There and then, three years ago, she had decided to pick it up.

At the 1st Malaysia-Singapore Raag Darbar held over two days in early February, she came forward to perform before the sanggat.

SEE ALSO: String instruments at 1st Malaysia-Singapore Raag Darbar

 “The melodious sound of the dilruba, its historical richness as well as seeing young gurmat sangeet students playing the dilruba effortlessly inspired me to go beyond my reservations and learn the dilruba,” she tells Asia Samachar in an interview.



Why did you chose dilruba? 

I had grown up watching my sister play the rebab and always had a desire to pick up a gurmat sangeet instrument as well. Following her to her performances, I was exposed to the various instruments. When I first heard the dilruba, I was enchanted by its beautiful sound. I instantaneously connected with it. I found it interesting that the dilruba was a result of the modification of the taus (the creative work of Guru Hargobind Ji) under the guidance of Guru Gobind Singh ji so that the Sikh army could carry the instrument on horseback during their journeys and continue to sing kirtan wherever they went. The melodious sound of the dilruba, its historical richness as well as seeing young gurmat sangeet students playing the dilruba effortlessly inspired me to go beyond my reservations and learn the dilruba.

What is your ultimate aim in learning this instrument?

Before I began learning the dilruba, I did not appreciate the raags in which the shabads were written in. I was not aware of the science behind it. Now that I have been exposed to some of them, I am motivated to not only learn how to play to the raags but to understand the significance of each one of them.

I also hope to gain knowledge and understanding of our Guru’s banis as I am gradually exposed to the various shabads. Though I have not learnt to sing, I make it a point to read up on the words of the shabads we play and to understand the meaning behind them. Concentrating on the meaning of the shabad while playing the dilruba gives me a deep sense of spiritual connection to the bani as well as to Guruji. My ultimate aim is to serve the Guru through kirtan, be it through playing the dilruba or any other instrument.

So, what is next?

As it is said, learning never stops. Once I have reached a stage where I am happy with my progress with the dilruba, I would like to simultaneously pick up other instruments such as the jodi and the rebab and hopefully learn to even sing some day so that I contribute more to kirtan. I also enjoy listening to the different styles of doing kirtan and would love to have a collaboration of the various styles.


[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website:]


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