The wandering musician

 The wandering musician

Sukriti Tankha

Rahgir, born Sunil Kumar Gurjar, left a well-paying IT job to pursue his passion for music and writing. In an interview with, the talented musician shares the challenges he faces as a travelling artiste and his future plans.

When did Sunil Kumar Gurjar turn into Rahgir? How long did it take you to decide it or was it a spur of a moment decision?
It didn’t take much time to think about it. I had written some poems which I believed were worth and it was kind of a sudden plan that I made and left my job. I always thought that even if didn’t work out, I can still do something else and live with pride. I didn’t have many materialistic ambitions and basic survival is what I was looking for. I knew that as a capable young man, I can always learn something else and make a living out of that.

How has been the journey since the day you quit a well-paying IT job to pursue your passion for writing and music?
It has been a bittersweet journey but I guess they were all part of my growth in one way or another. I have been empty pockets most of the time, sometimes room rent is due for months but then I have had an amazing group of friends who come for my help and support me. I also got some odd work and paid them back. It continued like that and still continues. God bless my friends for being always rich enough to help me.I had amazing moments as an artiste during my travels and performances and always got a very good response from people across the country. That’s what has kept me going. Lately, since kanya manya kurr got viral and then aadmi ch***a hai got trending, I have been growing fast and my pockets are starting to have enough to fill my basic needs and I can’t ask for more than that.

What was the reaction back home when you disclosed your decision to leave your job?
It was a difficult moment for everyone. My parents were afraid of the insecure future that was alien to them as they never had anyone choosing the artiste profession near them. This world was alien and scary to them. Also, I had no formal education in music or even basic classes of any instrument. So, they were right in their place to think of me as a hot headed fool. But I was calm and kept doing what I wanted and loved and things got better slowly as they realised that I was really into it and I already started making a stir around India.

How challenging is it to be a travelling musician?
It’s a little difficult as you always are on the move but once you give it some time, you have families all over the country. So, the next time you go towards a place, you feel like you are returning home to your loves ones. That is the best thing about being a wandering musician. It’s difficult health-wise as you mostly eat outside food, drink different kinds of water and have an irregular sleep cycle. Also your back is always messed up due to a lot of travelling and it takes a toll on your health and appearance but as soon as you reach your destination and have a good sleep or hug the people waiting for you, it all seems like a very trivial. I just hope my old age isn’t full of back and joint pains.



How do you reach out to people, especially the older generation who appreciates your music more than the younger lot, as not many would be tech-savvy or on social media?
I get along with old and young people easily and even kids. I guess, with time, you understand how to break the ice with people irrespective of their age, religion or caste. Also, I believe I am hanging between two generations as every 90s kid and we belong to both the generations. I have lived life in a village and know a lot of old folk songs and old Bollywood songs they love. I also write about fields, crops, trees and life which most of them have lived with. I guess, when I am among them, I feel I am also from another era, another generation.

Your inspiration when it comes to writing and when it is about music…
In writing, I admire Bob Dylan, Johny Cash, Satinder Sartaj and Bashir Badra and a lot of other poets. I like listening to these musicians and poets along with a lot of indie bands like Fiddlecraft, The Local Train and Coke Studio.

You undertook a 4,000 km trip across seven states back in 2017. Any plans to undertake another such journey?
I have been on such journeys since then. Though I don’t publicise much but I will keep doing it as it gives me new ideas and hope. I’m leaving on September 15 for an all Rajasthan musical tour with two of my friends, Sorav Gahlot who is a musician and Karmveer Singh, a cinematographer. I would keep doing such trips as long as I live or am capable of.

In one of your interviews, you have mentioned that there are some amazing stories in your bank. Have you ever thought of putting these stories on paper?
Yes. I have published a novel called AAHIL and I am also writing other books. I am hoping to find a good publisher for my stories and I would go on a writing spree then. Till then, I am busy writing songs and singing them to the world.


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