Once the mango blossom starts, Cuckoo starts singing, one starts feeling the warmth of the burning sun after the warmth of Jaggery and sesame of the Indian winter month of Magh and Paush.
It’s mid of the month Falgun or Fagun where earth, sky and the universe starts showing brighter colors. As the month of Fagun starts, the subtle humming becomes the expressive songs.
This blog is about the songs of the Spring and Summer or Vasanta. Many types of songs are played during this season of Holi or Fagun. The humming starts in the month of March (falgun) to April (Chaitra) and then May (Vaishakh) until July (Sawan/ Shravan).
The mood of songs and emotions changes as the mood of nature and season keeps changing.
Some express union, while some shows pine of the separation. Some proclaims waiting and delays in welcoming the lover while other talks about fun filled heart, which is eager to meet the lover. No matter what the spring and summer ignites, the deep emotions and they overflow in form of Songs.
Many are the forms of emotions and they take forms of Hori, Chaiti, Dadra or Kajri. All derived or taken from semi classical singing form called Thumari.
Thumari derived from the word Thumak means swaying. Since the rhythm, emotion and essence of the song makes you sway. Thumari, Hori, Chaiti, Dadra and Kajri are semi classical forms, since these types do not go with technical standards of classical Ragdari or framework in totality, but emotion, feeling, poetry, words and inner sensation are more important. They have prominent base in folk singing styles. They are true form of people’s expression.
*Hori:* means songs sung during the festival of Holi, popular in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar area of India. Adorned with classical based Raga, such as Bhairavi, Kafi, Khamaj, Sahana, Pilu, Sarang etc. These songs are usually pranks of Krishns and Radha. Hori underlines the mischiefs of lovers and the way lovers would color each other during the festival of colors- Holi.
*Chaiti:* Usually Chaiti has “Ho Rama!”, “Hai Rama” or “Aye Rama!” in its lyrics, which means “Oh my lord Rama!”. The lyric is intertwined with various emotions expressing Shringar (Romance), Karun (Sorrow), or any other mood of Roamnce and love. Usually written in Purbi language (dialect from UP or Bihar part of India).
*Kajri:* Kajri literally means Kajra or Kohl for eyes. These are the emotions of longing from the lover. As the black cloud gathers and its rains, Kajri brings emotion of tears in the eyes of listener. This type of song is sung in the end of summer to beginning of Monsoon.
*Dadra:* Mostly popular in Agra or Bundelkhand area of India. These songs are accompanied by Dadra Taal (Name of rythemic cycle Dha Dhi Na, Dha Tu Na six or three beat taal), however later it is also taken in other rhythmic cycles like Kerwa / Keherwa (8 beat pattern), it is written in Braj Bhasha or Urdu.
Summer is a season of soothing the mind with emotional songs in increasing scorching heat.
Thumari, Hori, Chaiti, Dadra or Kajri are the sprinkles to the burning heart or mind.
Let all of us enjoy the tunes of these folk and semi- classical treasure during this summer. Have a great season of colors and sprinkles.
*Attached:* Link of Hori sung by a great leagend of Thumri Late Smt Shobha Gurtu Ji.
*Song Lyrics-* आज बृज में होली रे रसिया। होरी रे रसिया, बरजोरी रे रसिया॥ अबीर गुलाल के बादल छाए,
धूम मचाई रे सब मिल सखिया।
*Song meaning* – Today in the land of Brij holi is played of oh beautiful one, of the lovely tussle between lovers is going on. The clouds of colors are gathered, and all would meet playfully to their lovers and friends.
*Compiled by :* Dr Sandeep Sadanand Chaugule