As you plunge deep into the Indian countryside, you cannot escape the lilting hauntingly beautiful melodies wafting from the hamlets of India.Man and bird team up together to form the greatest orchestra and weave some of the best symphonies our ears can hope to enjoy.
Summers are just beginning, spring is on its way out , the cuckoo is still enthusiastic about the departing guest (spring) and in the air, there is still a throbbing sense of romance and love .Welcome to the month of Chait.
Chait holds promise for a lot of reasons- up in the North, the Indian farmer is getting ready to harvest his crop and earn a decent profit, flowers bloom up everywhere and the air is laden with their wild and untamed scents, the dark bodied cuckoo sure gives its own stamp to the proceedings with its enticing cry and the parents of a lot of recently turned adults decide to marry off their wards.In short, Chait =Love.
We celebrate this season of March and April with our own Indian folk songs called Chaiti.
You see, we have a reason and an excuse to celebrate each and every month of the calendar with a distinct style of folk songs.So, there would be a specific set of folk songs for the rainy season, a different one for autumn and a totally different one for the winters.You can say that the life of an average Indian is closely integrated with his /her environment.
For the billions of Indians who inhabit this earth, Chait is also the season of the birth of Lord Rama.
Combine all these reasons and you have the context ready for a typical Chaiti folk song.While love and longingness are the dominant themes, the twin words, Hey Rama or Arey Rama are frequently used as a punctuation, exclamation or simply an utterance. Many songs also have reference to Holi, the festival of colour.
Typically in a song, the young bride would ask for a new dress.Another song could tell us how shy and embarrassed the young bride is upon meeting her beau!
While, Chaiti is essentially folk music in its presentation, it certainly is semi classical in its roots.
Chaiti is sung largely in the North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Listen to some of the songs here.I am sure you will find them exceedingly sweet.
The young woman here is talking about the recently bloomed flowers which are unable to make their way to her braids .The flowers are too fragile to withstand their journey from the garden to her hair and just dry and shrivel up!
The singer here is one of the greatest exponents of Indian classical music, Girija Devi.The words here run like this,”My dear, Chait has arrived and I want my dress dyed.Please , get it done for me.”
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