Saturday, 27 March 2010

Women of Malwa

Text: Arati, Photos: Hari


The women sat there, colorful figures on blue tarps, faces lit, smiling, clapping, and singing along - these women - in many hundreds, knew all the songs - and they sang along - completely at ease, to accompany the artists on stage!


Two figures danced in repetitive half-turns, clock-wise, anticlockwise, hands in graceful movements, feet moving in perfect rhythms, faces half-covered in 'ghoonghat' - in a style that we came to recognise across Malwa, a bouncing in half-steps.

Singers (on Bus):

It was in pauses between songs and jamming sessions, that these songs would appear..flutey, nasal, high pitched, choral melodies bouncing within our bus, evoking infinite spaces, the hills recalled perfectly by sounds - tilted spaces in perfect balance between the rising and the falling - poised between earth and skies.

Shy, but unselfconscious, they sang as women have culturally sung, at all events, ceremonies, festivals and gatherings all over India - and they sang all this during our journey.

No comments: