Kajri - Bheegi Jaoon Mein Piya
Kajri is a folk form of east UP and Bihar region. The word Kajri is a derivative of Kajal - meaning Kohl or Black and is associated with dark clouds rolling and rumbling proudly. It immediately conjures gripping images of gurgling streams flowing over rock packed mountains cascading from great lights like molten silver. Nature gets covered in an enticing green cloak becoming almost like a magical fairy casting a spell on all.
Humans are no different than nature. Just like nature, they swing between ecstasy and unhappiness over small sorrows and joys. As the branches laden with flowers and fruits sway with the breeze, mustard fields wave a brilliant yellow and the Koels sing their melodious songs, the songs of Chaiti, Phag and Hori come readily on the human lips and echo blissfully in the air. After being beaten senseless by the scorching heat waves, the earth welcomes the first drizzle of monsoon with a sing of relief and gives out a sweet earthy smell as if celebrating its arrival, urging the humans to sing out loud. This is the moment for Kajri to be sung.
Even though Kajri is sung in a large region - Mirzapur is considered the real home of Kajri, According to a folk tale of Mirzapur, a women called Kajli, pained by separation from her husband who was in a distant land, wailed and cried at the feet of the Kajmal Goddess when the separation became unbearable. These cries took the form of the popular Kajri.
Two variations of Kajri renditions exist in UP - one, which involves singing on a performance platform, and the other known as the ‘Dhunmuniya Kajri’ sung by women on monsoon evenings that involves singing as they dance in a semi-circle.
Though most Kajris are romantic in nature and are associated with the rainy season, these are also often coloured with the shades of longing, expectation and wait. Sometime, the women tie swings in the trees and sing songs in the rain, while on the swings. These songs are called Jhulas. Through Kajri, Jhula and Viraha estranged women whose husbands are away in distant places, sisters whose brothers are away and mothers whose sons are away - express their longing for their beloved.
This popular form of folk singing is adapted generally in Raag Desh, Megh, Pahadi, Mian Malhar, Khamaj or Jayjaywanti by singers who take minute care to keep the innocence and the simplicity of the origin of Kajri intact. Kajris are often sung by classical and semi classical musicians. In classical concerts Kajri is sung set to Keherva (8 beats) and in some light Raag like Pilu, Desh and Megh.
“Bheegi Jaoon Main Piya” presents this very folk tradition of the North in the melodious voice of Soma Ghosh. Age-old bandishes on the brink of being forgotten have been rendered along with the sounds of nature’s embellishments, bringing alive the colourful and enthralling legends of Kajris and Jhulas. A euphonic treat that is bound to drench you in euphorial.
Associated in her style with such giants like Pt. Omkarnath Thakur of Gwalior Gharana through his principle disciple Dr. Chitranjan Jyotishi, Dr. Soma started her training under the tutelage of her mother Smt. Archana Chakravarty at the age of thirteen. She completed her ‘Sangeet Prabhakar’ from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad and has thus been groomed in the traditional Banaras Gharana under Pt. Narayan Chakravarty. Her style is a blend of playful expressions from Gwalior Gharana and the throwing technique of Senia Gharana.
‘A’ graded artiste of All India Radio, she has won critical acclaim not only for her fine melodious voice that touches the taarsaptak without a falsetto note but also for working out different tints and shades of underlying emotions through a sensuous stress on the words of Thumri.
In this album, she gives the age-old folk songs an identity again by rendering them in the form of geet and by orchestrating them with the means of modern recording techniques, contemporary instrumentation and creation of atmosphere.
|Bheegi Jaoon Mein Piya||1|
|Jhoomke Aaya Badra||2|
|Are Rama Rimjhim Se||3|
|Barsan Lagi Badriya||4|
|Piya Mehendi Liyada||6|
|Jhula Dhhere Se Jhulayo||7|
|Gheri Gheri Aayee||8|
|Singer - Dr. Soma Ghosh|
|Concept - Subhankar Ghosh|
|Musically arranged by Ustad Jabbar Hussain,|
|Ustad Feroz Shah & Ajay Joglekar|
|Sound Recordist - Pawar|
|Recorded at Sunny Super Sound, Mumbai|
|Special thanks to S.D. Charan|