To have even the slightest involvement in the Bollywood industry is something which marks you out as a genuine mover and shaker. It is not an area for the faint of heart nor those unwilling to put the work in. Indeed, Arsh Singh has made several films, both theatrical and home release, to great acclaim, now residing in Los Angeles. It would be easy to assume he’s made it – that some people are just in the right place at the right time and lead lives in which they coast from achievement to achievement without breaking sweat, leaving mere mortals to plod along making do. Not so.
Arsh Singh’s latest single is testament to his tenacity and graft, with the lyrics telling a story of not just a personal battle but one which affects millions around the world – bullying. Whether physical or mental (many would testify that both are equally harmful), bullying is as rife in the world as it ever has been, limited to neither age, nor gender nor background. In Arsh’s case it was cultural, the age-old dynamic of kids picking on anyone who’s in the slightest bit different. Sometimes they might wear glasses or maybe have a birthmark. For Arsh it was that he wore a turban. Arsh himself explains:
“The whole idea of the video is that regardless of the challenges and difficulties we experience growing up, we must find strength in ourselves. As a kid I would constantly get teased at school because I wore a turban. A lot of the kids in school had never seen anyone with a turban, so it was odd to them, so I would get bullied in school by other kids. So, yes, some of the depictions in the video do relate to my personal experiences. My father wasn’t too physically abusive but he was an authoritarian and had a short temper, especially when it came to me studying and doing schoolwork. For the video, I wanted to show the harsh realities of domestic violence which happens behind closed doors and the effect that it has on kids when they are older. We subconsciously attract and run the same patterns from childhood, with similar scenarios and situations tending repeat themselves, as shown with both characters in the video, from kids to teenagers. In the video there is a transitional moment where the characters are able to recognise self-love and through that self-love the adults then find each other”
“You cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself”.
Now a successful businessman, salsa and bhangra dancer, actor, composer, musician, singer and director, Arsh Singh is an example of the old truism, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”