It was probably 1989, when my father brought home the philips tape recorder. I was 5 years old. Since then, I’ve been listening, appreciating and trying to replicate music. We all love music. It is like the sauce. It makes the food tastier. Whatever we do, eat, drink, bathe, study or cook, music adds a little flavour. That’s what I feel and I’m sure, many of us feel. I’ve grown up thinking that. Most of us reading this article will also agree. Of course, at times, we listen to it exclusively for leisure. In 2009, due to some reason, I had to travel in truck for some good distance in Burdwan. I got to interact with the truck driver. The tape recorder was playing some music. The driver was singing along with it. During the course of conversation, he said something about the music. “Lambi sadakon pe chalte hain din raat. Yehi (the music) changa rakhta hai. haste gaate huye nahi niklenge to jee nahi payenge.” That was the first time, I realized how important music can be in someone’s life. While my taste in music was constantly changing (read developing) from modern Bengali songs and Old Bollywood songs to Rock, Sufiana and folk, I came across Baul. It’s not that I hadn’t listened to Baul songs but I never appreciated it, the way I do now. As per Wikipedia, the word Baul has its etymological origin in the Sanskrit word Vatula (“mad”, from vayu – “air” or “wind”) and is used for someone who is possessed or crazy. It was only in 2005 that the Baul tradition was included in the list of “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.
The eagerness to realize ones union with his/her eternal love results in the creation of the music. They leave their home and roam around in search of the ultimate love. The music of course, takes different forms. Some related to love, some to pain and some to the course of our lives. They do not use complicated words. It is the pitch that can send shivers in your bones, give you goosebumps and even make you cry. With Ektara and duggi in hand, they can be seen roaming around in rural parts of Eastern India and Bangladesh. The simple truths of life is portrayed in a new way. You suddenly see something which was existing in front of your eyes, but you never saw. The madness or restlessness that arouses the music can make you restless as well. The singer and the listener both can experience the intoxicating effect through the music. Your Insanity (Read Beauty), I’ve discovered, I want to retain and go deep.
Tomay Hridmajhare Rakhibo,Chhere debo na,
Ogo Chhere Diley, Shonar Gour,Aar to paabo na
I'm embedding two videos. One documentary and one baul song.