23 Jun 2007

A Song in the Cloud--Kajri


In his comment to my previous post, Abhay said, "Rains bring some of the most original emotions." I think that holds especially true in a tropical setting like India, where the prolonged and scorching summer makes the monsoon season one of the most awaited and treasured. Consequently, the metaphor of rain makes its appearance in all things creative--painting, literature, music, cinema. Rains here evoke a host of emotions, from joyous outbursts that sing with the dancing greens to pangs of separation from one's lover that cry with every burst of lightning and thunder. The latter translates into a particular form of folk/semi-classical music called Kajri.

Sung in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Kajri has a popular legend associated with it. According to folklore of Mirzapur, a place in UP, a woman named Kajli had to live in separation from her husband, who lived in a faraway land. She would miss him all the time, but when thick clouds splashed monsoon showers across the land, the estrangement became unbearable for her. She is believed to have taken her petition to a certain goddess Kajmal with her wailing. The other origin story comes from the Hindi word kajal, meaning kohl. The colour black is related to the dark clouds of monsoon, which in this case, bring relief.

If folk beats and earthy melody interest you, listen to a selection of Kajri here.

Image:

Bovitz

8 comments:

suzanabrams said...

Bhas,
I'm so sorry that I've been so short of time and have valued all your visits.
I'll come again shortly and catch up with all the missed posts slowly.
much love.

Bhaswati said...

Thank you so much, Susan. Don't worry; I've been in the same boat regarding blog visits (and even posting to my own).

Glad, as always, to see you drop by. :)

abhay k said...

Hi Bhaswati,
Great idea to listen Kajri with the arrival of the Monsoon and I enjoyed it here in Moscow as well though there is no trace of Monsoon in this part of the world.Thank you for this post.
I along with a friend was thinking to write a book-a collection of memoirs of rains by different persons. I thought that book would be a great read because it will very original. What do you think?! Did you yet receive a copy of my book. My publisher says- they have sent it last week only?!
Cheers!

Bhaswati said...

Abhay, the monsoon memoir book sounds like a fantastic idea! Rains in India are so evocative, they tend to stir the heartstrings in a zillion ways. Like possibly every inhabitant of this country, I have some beautiful rain memories, too.

Your book isn't here yet. But I am sure it will get to me soon. :-)

Lotus Reads said...

Hello, Bhaswati!

So happy to see you posting more often. I love the monsoons, they awaken so many emotions in me, it's a time when I feel fully alive and renewed, except, the rains are no longer any fun in Mumbai which is where I used to live (because of the flooding.)

I took a listen to "Rimjhim Barse Badra" by Urmila Srivastava, it was a fun, upbeat tune, thanks for linking to it!

Bhaswati said...

Hey Lotus! Good to see you here. Couldn't agree with you more on the monsoons-it's a special season all right, especially in dry country, Delhi.

Mumbai is a scary scene during rains, though. :(

Glad you enjoyed the kajri. :)

suzanabrams said...

Bhas,
I knew Abhay would love this. :-)

Mumbai Paused said...

lovely!

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