Champawat: 31 August, 2015
The main market area of Champawat - known as Motor Station - is a relatively calm and peaceful place and not much activities are witnessed here after sunset. However, the scene was quite different on Sunday night. As the clock struck midnight and the results of a singing reality show were announced, the locals who had gathered there to watch the final on a specially installed projector, burst into cheers. Local lad Pawandeep Rajan had been adjudged the winner and the whole town celebrated as if each one of them had won.
Sounds of drums reverberated in the peaceful ambience and firecrackers lit the night as many residents came out on the streets to join the revelry. Rajan's mother Saroj was the centre of attraction as people rushed to congratulate her. "The credit for this win and honour goes to the people of Uttarakhand who have supported Pawan through all stages in the competition," said an emotional Saroj as she watched her son on screen.
The reality show, which had singers Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Himesh Reshamaiyya and Mika as mentors and judges, saw stiff competition from 102 singers from across the country in a contest which went on for around three months and got the winner a prize money of Rs 50 lakh, a car and a recording deal.
Locals at Pithorgarh and Champawat said that Rajan was a child prodigy who could play table from the age of 3. He started his journey in the field of music by playing tabla and thereafter learnt various other instruments before finding that singing was where his heart lay.
Rajan hails from a family of singers - he is related to Kabotri Devi, a renowned folk singer of Uttarakhand - and his father Suresh too is a folk singer, who currently teaches music in a school at Champawat. About eight years back, Suresh and his family comprising his wife, two daughters and Pawan, shifted from Pithoragarh to Champawat.
Prakash Tiwari, chairman of Champawat Nagar Palika told TOI, "A large scale campaign was organized to ensure maximum possible people from the district voted for Rajan. On his return home, the Nagar Palika is planning a grand event to felicitate him."