Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The folklore of flood

The people of villages in Bihar they live in harmony, most villages are situated closer by when compared to other parts of the world. There are people from almost all religion, caste, income-status, and so on. Evening Bhajans and folk songs are a routine at these fertile and feudal lands, which hasn’t seen much progress so far. Perhaps the rich fertile alluvial land, the perpetual supply of soil from Himalayan erosion and floods, gives strength to all the men to stick to their viewpoint. 

Bhola Rajak is a routine performer with his Harmonium and heartful cracksome vocals. Others would assist him with percussion instruments such as Tabla, making arrangements for dari, mike, fetching chairs for elderly, and so on. A loud-speaker masted as high as possible, which would be ten odd feet, or even higher, is a continuous invitation. Recently, most songs of Bhola and partner have been devotional songs, songs devoted to Gods, otherwise also known as Bhajans. They also play Folk songs which may sound similar to Bhajans to the uninformed ears, but hey, we know what Folk songs mean. They are truthful and unsophisticated but intelligent structures which portray the struggles of the times they are played in. Folklores attempt to transfer wisdom, mostly through a story. Unlike Bhajans, Folk songs usually do not take God that seriously. Bhola, to his own as well his audience’s demand has been keen on Bhajans, and on my inquiry if he has his own orginial Folk songs as well, more specific my question that if floods are so common to you you must have some flood songs under your belt. He could not refuse my friendly request and played one on floods for next ten minutes.

It is also quite likely that he made up the song just there right on spot. The song had kanyas- three of them, a bamboo raft on which they floated, a snake on top of the raft which they find later, and finally encountering robbers at the end down-stream where the flooded river slowed. Now, where should these three helpless women go? In front is a deep well, and now behind a valley. And, all of a sudden, the dangerous looking snake transmogrifies into Lord Krishna who then took good care of the robbers and the three helpless women too.

Oh my God…

Bhajan: (N.) Song devoted to God.
Dari: (N.) Floor rug
Harmonium: (N.) Portable Wind based instrument which has keys. Modern synthesizers/casios come from this.
Kanya: (N.) Female of the human species
Mike: (N.) An Indian alternative for sound amplification. Altertive to Mic./ Microphone.
Tabla: A Melodic percussion instrument which comes in pair.