All posts tagged: Jaisalmer

One night at the border

The day was done by the noontime. After a whole day of chasing a manganiyar singer I finished my interview and recorded an old manganiyar song that was sung by his  great grandfather, the most famous amongst his community. I left his beautiful white walled red lined painted home in a hurry. I was leaving for Tanot, barely even a town, 120 kilometres away from Jaisalmer towards Longewala- and visit Tanot temple situated right at the border of India and Pakistan. I rented a Suzuki bike for three days. and left for the wilderness passing through dunes of the oldest Asian Desert. After Ramgarh, the road to Tanot temple was like riding a snake. A  snake slithering across forgetting the horizon between Sand and Sky. The wind had carried sand on to the road and at many places gobbled it. I had a feeling that it may become dangerous after sun sleeping. I did not want to rush at all. Just as the sun was preparing to set I parked my bike on the side, walked up …

Songs of the playground

It is hot in Barmer. My right cheek has swelled. Ulcers recognize heat. I am staying with amma here, a Bhopa. Last night we decided to attend Pabu ki phad. Happens rarely now. A local god. Reincarnation of Laksman. Bhopas sing and dance for Pabu. For two nights Bhopas from all across the region had come to sing and dance reciting Pabu’s story. Anada Ram was the most prolific Ravanhatta musician. He died 33 years ago. His wife, Amma never sang after that. I am here to document her son. He never learnt Ravanhatta. He wanted to be an actor. He dances for tourists coming to Jaisalmer in winter season. I have known him for eight months now. There were many other dancers from the community yesterday. Veer was going to show me one of his acts dancing on the mirror glass with fire in his mouth. He does not dance in the community. He is ashamed. I was awed last night. So were six hundred people. He got cut but still kept dancing. His …