Remembering Chamkila (ਚਮਕੀਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਯਾਦ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ)

Amar Singh Chamkila—whose real name was Dhanni Ram—and his wife Amarjot Kaur were the brightest stars in the Punjabi music firmament. While his contemporaries were singing nostalgic songs about ancient heroes and the romantic epics of Heer-Ranjha and Sahiba-Mirza, Chamkila’s music reflected the uncomfortable realities of everyday life in rural Punjab. Raw, gritty and full of double entendres, his songs—which covered topics such as extra-marital relationships, alcoholism, drug abuse and the more toxic aspects of Punjabi masculinity—were so popular with the youth that he was often referred to as the “Elvis of Punjab”. Harjinder Thind remembers him on his 32nd death anniversary.