Friday, 24 May, 2024

Holi songs no longer ring through Mithila


By Mala Karn
Kalyanpur, Mar. 16: Paradeshiya La Dhotiya Rangawe Goriya … Ho Rangawe Goriya
Jamuna Tat Shyam Khelaiya Hori … Jamuna Tat
Kinkar Haat Kanak Pichkari … Kinkar Haat Abeer Jhori
These songs which reflected the traditions and love associated with the festival of colours Holi have started going out of tune in Mithila.

Melodious songs which once echoed through the communities and neighbourhoods of Terai throughout spring – from Shree Panchami to Phagu Purnima – can no longer be heard in absence of youth.
Shravan Thakur Pukhryauli, 50, of Kalyanpur, Saptari recalled going door-to-door with his Mridanga, a double-headed barrel-shaped drum, to sing the traditional Jogira song and said, “In the past, people used to learn of the arrival of the month of Falgun through our Jogira. But now, the youths are all abroad for foreign employment and the elderlies are too weak to go around singing and playing musical instruments.” Pukhryauli worried that the songs would disappear completely in a few years.

Muhammad Asin Miya of Rajbiraj also blamed foreign employment for the loss of culture. “There are no young people left in the villages and the senior citizens can only gather a few times to sing Jogira.”

Miya, who is also the chairman of the Maithili Jagaran Manch, lamented that the meaning of Holi had changed – from harmony to hostility and celebration to intoxication. “The charm of Holi is disappearing,” he said.

Kalyanpur resident Ram Charitra Yadav, 67, explained that the folk songs contained religious and spiritual elements, filled the heart with joy and body with energy and evoked love and harmony. “But these have all become things of the past now,” he exclaimed with sadness. “Jogira Sararara … Kaun Taalpar Dholak Baje, Kaun Taal Mridanga … Kaun Taalpar Goriya Naache, Kaun Taalpar Hum. Where has this song gone and where have the musical instruments this talks about?”

Devendra Mishra, former chair of the Maithil Sahitya Parishad of Rajbiraj, is also concerned about the vanishing tunes of Holi. “Holi does not hold the beauty it once did. These days, the melodious folk songs have been replaced by boisterous modern songs, unsocial activities, brawls and excessive consumption of intoxicants,” he said, adding, “The Phagu of yore is nowhere to be found now.”