A friend from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa sent me this via the internet...I thought I could share it here. In any case the program that I sang in I had already posted the following picture from that evening. If you notice carefully, the sari I am wearing in the newspaper photo and the one in the following blog entry is the same:). That means they were taken on the same day, but by two different people.
My journey in Kabir started over ten years ago- when I was a 27 year old...oh well! that makes its at least 11 actually. So finally, the road now brings me to that point where I am singing only Kabir in this program, as a little contribution towards peace, democracy.
At the start of the program someone commented, "why should artists be a part of a democratic struggle and lend their support to anything social?" I was surprised with the ignorance of the question. People do not realise perhaps that the mind of a person is a reflection of the predominant consciousness of the times. Those people who are at the helm of the artistic expression are not always the ones who are expressing anything different from the dominant themes.
In every time in society there are people who oppose the norms that prevail in those times. Kabir opposed a lot of things in the times he lived in- including Hindu-Muslim divide over religion, forms of worship, ignorance, patriarchy, greed, casteism and so much more. In his spirit I find my own spirit reflected. That is why I say that I live Kabir, not just sing. In so many of his verses my own soul finds an expression.
This photo was taken in a program in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa- the first where I sang only Kabir, no other poets. The new things I sang here included this doha-
मन मैला तन उजला बगुला कपटी अंग
तासों तो कौवा भला तन मन एक ही ढंग
this was sung as a prelude to my very favourite bhajan
मन न रंगाये रंगाये जोगी कपडा
आसन मारी मंदिर में बैठे, ब्रह्म छाडी पूजन लागे पथरा*
मथवा मुंडाए जोगी कपडा रंगों ले, दाढ़ी बढाए जोगी होई गैले बकरा
मन ना रंगाये...
( the irony of this is that while Kabir himself laughs at those who grows their beards and he says they become like male-goats...he himself has been innumerably shown with a beard. I was careful of this thought when I designed my own album cover of Kahe Kabir, my kabir album and my Kabir did not have a beard, the way I thought he would have been himself:))
( I do not remember if this is already an entry in my blog)
जंगल जाए जोगी धुनिया रमों ले, काम जराए जोगी होई गैले हिज्र
मन ना रंगाये ...
(Kabir says by escaping into the forest and controlling Kama- lust, the god-fearing hermit thinks he can please god; if only he soaked his soul, not just his mere garment)
This bhajan has an interesting story behind it. This was recommended to me by a colleague of my father from Zakir Hussain College, who said to papa that maybe I should be singing this particular bhajan. Some of them even sent me a rudimentary tune. So I took the suggestion, without communicating with anyone of them myself, I composed the bhajan, from the lyrics they sent to me. Anyways, by the end of it, it became a very good, strong voice of protest from Kabir and me- to poke fun at all the sham that goes on in the name of GOD all over the world.
* that brings to mind another Kabir doha
पत्थर पूजें हरी मिले, तो मैं पूजूं पहाड़
तासों तो चक्की भली, पीस खाए संसार
my simple translation: In this doha Kabir is laughing at those who worship god in the form of idols and says that "if by worshipping a piece of stone I can get GOD then I would be willing to worship a mountain. Then illustrating the significance of the stone, he says it is better that the stone have a better utility, like a grindstone- at least it serves better by letting people grind their flour and fill their hunger." I have never yet sung this doha but I do have a tune in mind to sing it when there is a scope.
This program, from which I have put the foto here, was on 9th October 2010.
From my four CD Kabir album, called Kahe Kabir, this is one bhajan that I am now in a position to share. It was recorded when I was i...
यह पद समाज को ललकारता है- मन न रंगाये रंगाये जोगी कपरा आसन मारि मंदिर में बैठे, ब्रम्ह्म छाड़ि पूजन लागे पथरा मन न रंगाये। कनवा फड़ाए...
मन लागो मेरो यार फकीरी में जो सुख पावो नाम भजन में, सो सुख नाही अमीरी में भला बुरा सब को सुन लीजो, कर गुजरान गरीबी में; प्रेम नगर में रह...
क्रोध अग्नि घर घर बैठी, जरे सकल संसार दीं लीं निज भक्त जो, तिन के निकट उबार krodha agni ghar ghar baithi, jarae sakal sansaar deen lee...