Circus of Life, On The Road
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The Wedding Song

In her wedding dress that one day she stopped counting years

 

I met J uncle on a very cold january morning this year. It was raining and we stood outside an empty swimming pool. His room – 705, is just beneath my room – 805, where i am writing this.

J uncle had his own quiet world till he met my sister. My sister, Ruspsi is a kathak dancer(banaras gharana). J uncle would not know about it for a month till one day they meet in the elevator, she moved and her ghungroo rolled from her bag.

J uncle and his lovely wife had come from Banaras. In a quest to live with their son, they sold their house. They used to sing all morning there, he told me.

He disliked it here. Everything. But he never spoke about it. He was just visibly sad. In his walk, thats how mostly i saw of him. A singer coming from a gharana who doesn’t sing anymore. In the meantime J uncle grew fond of my sister and attended one of her performances in Delhi. That day I imagine he was the most happiest person present in the auditorium.

In many evenings that i spent in Delhi, we met, went on walks together, always in a circle crossing the empty swimming pool. We somehow never spoke when we crossed that swimming pool. Now Rati, my sister would be getting married in a month.

One morning he called me downstairs at his place. He sat amongst 100s of old cassettes laid out on his bed. Looking at me, he said. 34 years ago i composed a song for my niece’s wedding. Would you please play it for Rupsi when Jaimal happens ! And it was played when Jaimaal happened. I am posting it for readers to hear what he composed, back in the time when he lived in Varanasi.

This also came at a time when I had only recently started working on my ambitious project of documenting Rural Weddings in India. The above image is of my friend Amita’s wedding in Chhattisgarh. The Project is still a work in development. 

This entry was posted in: Circus of Life, On The Road

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Hello, My name is Narayan. I am a teacher and an Ethnographer. After college i opted for teaching in far away villages of the Himalayas and later in Central rural India. And gradually as I wandered along the local streams and rivers, unending fields i learnt not only about myself but India and what is it to be Indian, living with various families throughout India. And to tell you, there is nothing more than a smile and an effort to make their children lives better that makes them happy. I have been independently working as a writer, photographer and filmmaker. For past many years I have been travelling the Indian subcontinent teaching and extensively documenting rural and her communities. Learning and understanding culture, communication and various ways of human mind and body. I am a student of History and did my masters in it. And later studied Sanskrit. When you realise the alignment of your spirit with the world around you, winds take you to places in the Himalayas, where you learn the ancient Yogic way of nerve healing, I can't really know myself but since then all the above mentioned things altogether has helped me generously to enter homes for shelter and food in the night. I come back to Delhi. Here mother and I run a small school for children.

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