Some few days back (somewhere between 25th to 28th march 2010), My friend from MNIT college of jaipur ( that’s NIT in Rajasthan ) was conveying me about their Grand annual techno-cultural-managerial fest event. Being a fresher (of any college), you have a fascination of the event that occur in your college and this was the biggest event of their college.
“The Grand annual techno-cultural-managerial fest of MNIT , organised by Creative Arts Society MNIT Jaipur. For all the extra-curricular activities MNIT students have to opt Creative Arts Society which is further divided on the basis of the field, into various societies like Fine Arts, Literary , Music , Itika , Electronica , Dramatics, Photography , Spicmacay etc. These societies conducted their internal activities throughout the year, and then at the end all these, societies combine together to organise this fest. It is the biggest event of MNIT Jaipur in which all the students of MNIT are involved” – In their own words.
You can make out how huge it was with 30+ events, with student pouring from all over India to attend and participate, with performance by
- Aryans Band – “Popular Pop Group of the country for its Soulful Lyrics & Melodious Music”
- Suresh Albela – “The Great India Laughter Challenge-4 (TGILC-4) WINNER”
- Siddesh Pal – “In the top four finalists of DANCE INDIA DANCE 2009(DID)”
WOW !! Wont you wanna be there .Don’t think about the budget, as you all know its an CENTRAL Government Aided college.
But Alas (this is what my friend view is, please don’t misunderstand me);
Everything was in vain for my friend and for those who are actually waiting for this grand event. They were very disappointed from the events and organizer, as there was a big corruption hovering around college by boss ( Boss means Senior, this is the code word you have to say to your senior whenever you see him, in our collge its SIR, limited to hosteliltes only).Actually the winner( as well as the volunteers) are one who listen and do what their bosses wants to. In short CHALLAGIRRI. So after all this mess ( I would say in his language), one thing that etched in his heart was the last event. For the first three days, he used to call me up and say “ What the hell is going in our college, loser people sucking our life”.
The Last event was a performance by girl who sings, whose voice is so sweet as to compare with any idols of India, named ?????.
Before I tell her name let me take you to the time when the angel was born……..
March 30, 1992
Angel was born to Amita (her mother, homemaker) and Rajkumar (her father, Accountant in private firm) in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Angel started to sing when she was four year old and has learned lessons in Indian classical music from Pandit S. N. Mishra.
When she was just six years old, she came to know about the ongoing Kargil war and the plight of the Indian Soldiers out there who were facing the wrath of the war.
” During the conflict, my mother used to read me stories from newspapers about how a lot of people around the country were helping our soldiers”
“I thought maybe I too could help them.
“I went from shop to shop singing patriotic songs. I told the shopkeepers, ‘I will sing a song for you, and you can give me any amount you want to contribute for our soldiers.'”
She started to sing from door-to-door in Indore City and in shopping centre collecting about…..
“Over a week I collected around 25,000 rupees.”
They say Sanskar (ethics) starts from home, so it is , After this event her parents helped her organise a charity show for Orissa’s cyclone victims which mopped up Rs 19,000.
It was around this time that the teachers of Nidhi Vinay Mandir in Indore decided to approach Angel for organising a charity show to raise funds for one of their pupils, five-year-old Lokesh who was suffering from a congenital heart defect. His father Radheshyam Kuril worked as a helper at a footwear shop and earned Rs 60 per day and with four mouths to feed, couldn’t afford the surgery costing Rs 80,000. And you will amazed to know that what she did. She used a Street Vendor’s Cart as a stage for her and start to sing in the public.
You need to have a powerful mental stand with huge guts to do so, but she was just a child.
Luckily she collected enough money for the heart surgery in only one show(around Rs 51,000). Before she could help Lokesh, a Bangalore based Cardiologist Devi Prasad Shetty of Manipal Heart Foundtion (MHF) operated the surgery of Lokesh, free of cost after seeing news on TV.
With the money lying unused, Angel’s family advertised in a local newspaper if there was any poor child who needed medical help whose family could get in touch with them.
“The next day seven children arrived at our doorstep, all with cardiac problems,”.
“Since then, I have been performing these musical shows.”
And thus began her mission to collect funds for child heart patients by performing stage shows across India and abroad. Angel and her parents do not receive any benefits from her charity shows. She just gets one doll as a gift from the children who have got new life because of funds raised by her. So far she has received 234 dolls representing 234 lives she has save.
Each operation costs around Rs 80,000, despite the concession extended by the T. Choithram Hospital in Indore. But Angel is unfazed. “I am sure I can raise enough funds for all of them,” she says. She started with a series of shows in Indore where she performed patriotic and Hindi film songs and collected Rs 2.25 lakh, enabling five children to undergo surgery at Bangalore and Indore. MHF offered to halve its fee for children below 11. Dr Dhiraj Gandhi, an Indore surgeon, has chosen to waive his fee for cases brought in by Angel at the T. Choithram Hospital.
An Indore tailor, Anil Kale needs Rs 90,000 for his daughter’s surgery, Says Kale: “My daughter has been suffering since she was six months old. She is our only hope now.”
What motivates Angel? She shrugs, unnaturally grave for an eight-year-old: “I just want to help them. They too have a right to live.”
In the concert, Angel sang songs that have been immortalised by Alka Yagnik, Lata Mangeshkar and other well-known names in the world of music. Songs like Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham and Aye Mere Watan took the audience through a wide range of emotions from devotion to happiness to patriotism. Language is no barrier to music. This was proved when Angel, who does not know Tamil, sung the National-award winning Ovvoru pookalume from Autograph. The audience requested for an encore for many songs and Angel obliged them .Popular shers and bhajans kept everyone’s interest up through the event.
What more amusing is that, she is now joined by his 11 year brother Palash. Like his sister, Palash donates every rupee earned to treat children with kidney ailments.
The song like Yeh Jawani… yeh deewani, Daler Mehendi’s hit, Bolo Tararara sung by Palash in events make people dance in their feet, losing all the tension and grip-ness of this practical world, to live a night full of life.
This was the most beautiful thing about their song which my friend was describing me, He told, “In my life I have never danced in public, thou it be disco, but she made me do so, in front (and with) of all my teachers, friends and seniors”.
“I always tell the organisers to give me a cheque of Rs 51,000 in the name of the hospital where a child is to be treated. And then the audience donations come pouring in,” she says.
Ashok Mehta of Mehta Jewellers, Managing Trustee of Annakshetram (An NGO), said: “Palak is not just a name. It is a vision”.
Angel has learnt to sing in 12 languages — Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarathi, Marathi, Bengali, Sanskrit, Sindhi, English, Punjabi, Hindi and Malay. She learns a new song in every State or country she visits. On an average, she sings 40 songs in every concert, dubbed “Dil se dil tak”, from ghazals to film songs to bhajans. Palak packs a lot of work into a day to ensure that the children waiting to undergo heart surgery (429 and counting) through the Palak Muchhal Heart Foundation get another shot at life. She soon hopes to build a hospital to treat these children.
Amazing PALAK MUCHHAL HEART FOUNDATION.
After all this events, she would sit beside the patient with Bhagavad Gita, chanting it with her warm sweet voice. “In complicated cases, I sit close to the patient and recite the Nav Kaal mantra invoking the Gods,” says Angel, now a sprightly 14-year-old.
And will be relived and loves to hear when a heart surgeon tells her: “Congratulations Palak, tumhara bachcha bach gaya (your child has been saved).”
In the middle of all this, this Class X student of Queen’s College, Indore, has managed decent scores too. When she is in school, she is like any other kid, says Nirmala Rao, her Principal, and adds, “She is a considerate human being, a great singer and a diligent student”
The last eight years have seen Angel travel the length and breadth of the country and tour foreign countries to keep her movement alive. Has she missed a normal childhood? “At times … but then, it dawns on me that even if I lose my childhood, its okay. Playing with friends is not more important than saving a life.”
Angel spends quality time with her beneficiaries during her birthday and Deepavali and writes to all of them regularly. For now, she has moved base to Mumbai, where she is training under composers Jatin and Lalit in playback singing.
Angel has met President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam a couple of times. “He always asks me to sing `Aye mere watan ke logon’,” she recounts.
A clutch of honours,
- Angel has been awarded Silver Medal for the year 2000 by Vice-President of India Krishan Kant as National Child Award For Exceptional Achievement.
- Angel has been winner of Sony Entertainment Television (India) TV show Cadbury Bournvita Confidence Champions.
- Angel has made her entry in Limca Book of Records for her social commitment.
- Angel has won Pogo (TV channel) ‘Pogo Amazing Kids Award in Leader category’.
- Angel is recipient of highly prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Award for the year 2005. She shared this award with personalities like Industrialist Mukesh Ambani and Miss Universe Sushmita Sen.
- Angel has made her entry in Guinness Book of World Records for great achievements in social work.
- Angel has been honoured with Yuva Ojaswini Alankaran award.
What really delights Angel is when doctors tell her, “Badhai ho Palak! Tumhara bachcha bach gaya.” (Congrats Palak! Your child is alive).
Beside this Palak’s is one of the five ‘heroic’ stories Star Gold has telecast as part of its Rang De Basanti Salaam initiative. The five selected from across the country have done truly exceptional things.
With TV creating child stars through song and dance reality shows, does Angel not want to become famous? “Whenever I participate in Indian Idol or a Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and they hear about my achievements, I am asked to appear as a special guest.”
“I want to be a playback singer but I can’t stop my charity. I will keep doing it till God wants me to,” she says.
At the age of 14, she is matured and concerned for her cause that she decline to create any record which could hurt her “voice“.
“I want to continue my singing for the benefit of poor children with heart ailments. I do not want to lose or hurt my voice, as many children are depending on me”
Exactly, I don’t know but people say her decision to use her voice to help others was triggered when she saw poor children using clothes off their back to clean train compartments. That’s an amazing eye to see such a pain, which we take as our day to day life.
But one thing that remains in my heart will be her VOICE and her thoughts……IN words
“14-year-old Palak told the audience ( And World), “I have dedicated my musical talent for the uplift of the needy. But I cannot do this alone. I need the help and support of everyone around me.”
” I Tried to hide her name as to give you a bumping surprise but her cause and achievements couldn’t let me do so………. MY CELEBRITY “ PALAK MUCHHAL “
CADBURY BOURNVITA CONFIEDENCE CHAMPIONS
Name: Palak Muchhal
Date of Birth: March 30, 1992
Age: 14 years
School: Queens’ College, Indore
“PALAK AND PALASH – The Great duo – The amazing bond of Br0 & Sis !!!”
My hearty thanks to
- My Friend – Adarsh Gupta
- BBC News Corporation
- India Beats
and everyone who sometime and somewhere help me to write this.