Srinagar (Pauri Garhwal): The delay in granting a working visa to Uttarakhand folk musicians and brothers Sohan Lal and Sukaru Das by the US embassy has put a brake on their dream to showcase the talent of playing Dhol and Damaun (percussion instrument) on the international level.

Both had been requested by the prestigious Cincinnati University of America to come to the institute as visiting Professor and teach the traditional form of music to the students.

Hailing from a remote village Pujaargaav in Tehri, they have carved a niche for themselves on the national level through their exceptional skill to play the local musical instruments. The Cincinnati University has invited the brothers to teach institute students about the various forms of folk music and instruments for a period of five weeks.

Despite the golden opportunity, the two brothers have failed to get a working visa from the US due to the strict norms. Though they have been granted the tourist visa but it does not entitle them to teach as Sohan and Sukaru will be paid for their lessons.

Now the two are re-launching their efforts to acquire a working visa. Professor Stefan Fiol of Cincinnati University made several visits to India and convinced the brothers to teach folk music to US students. According to Sohan, Fiol will soon move an application in the US embassy for their working visa.

The musicians have extensive knowledge of expressive culture in Garhwal, including jagar (possession ceremonies), panwara (heroic ballads), festival dance-songs, and music for life-cycle and seasonal rituals.  Sohan Lal and Sukaru Das are engaging performers who have led students through percussion workshops in India and have also taught a variety of round dance-songs, much easier to learn for the students.
 
(JPN/Bureau)