Gala night with Awadhi songs

Vivid portrayal

The musical presentation ‘Doli Saja Ke’ opened with the mellifluous notes of the shehnai creating a wedding atmosphere. The acts and the entire stage  was set in the manner of a traditional Indian household preparing for a family wedding.

The different acts portrayed each stage of the marriage preparations including – shagun, haldi, nirosi, baraat, jag bawana, jaimal, vidai etc. The decorated walls and doors of the house were painted with traditional symbols and hand imprints, even as renowned folk singer Malini Awasthi captivated the audience with the rendition of many popular marriage folk songs, Tuesday evening, at Kamani Auditorium.

The sangeet was to create a bridge between traditional forms of marriage and modern marriage styles, wherein people really do not have time to sit through the rituals of a traditional marriage ceremony; where the tradition of folk songs is replaced by DJ’s and popular music and more than relatives, we find wedding planners in attendance! Awasthi brought alive the entire marriage ceremony with her performance. She sang folk songs back to back to keep the audience engaged in the wedding preparations. The characters on the stage were

intensely into their act highlighting familial bonds. The audience sprang from their seats to perform the Nagin-dance along with the baraati’s in the famous Nagin song. The baraati’s walked down the stage to depict the journey, singing and dancing.

The folk singer continued to regale the audience with the presentation of one folk song after another. Her popular song Hamey rani ne beja suhag-suhagan teri liye drew huge applause from the audience where the artiste on the stage enacted the events in the homes of the bride and bridegroom, of making rangoli and house decoration by the male members. Awasthi employed the Bhojpuri accents for the song Balam vahi lugi, which describes the bride’s feeling about the groom. The song was enriched by beautiful dance performance by the bridesmaids.  
When Awasthi presented the folk song Kahe ko byahe bides, the entire atmosphere became sombre and emotional, leaving many an eye in the audience moist. The song vividly captures the emotions of a newly married bride when she leaves her father’s home to join her husband’s family.

“This is a profound kind of work by Malini,” says Dr Sarita Boodhoo, chairperson, Ministry of Arts and Culture, Bhojpuri-speaking union, Mauritius. Seeing the youngsters surround Awasthi she remarked, “there is essence of connectivity among them.”

“I took this initiative because there was always a demand of folk songs and people really love these folk traditions. There is a generation of people who are attached to it. These songs have an inner meaning and content, so to showcase the deep emotions I made the effort to dramatise the entire program,” Awasthi tells Metrolife.
“Marriage is about relationships and special bonds amo­ng the family members, which I wanted to bring out through my 24 songs,” she adds.

Naveen, a student from Allahabad says, “I was brought up in a village where these folk songs still are an essential part of our life. Maliniji is keeping these folk songs alive and setting an example for younger generation.”

Awasthi was accompanied by 40 artistes, including the instrumentalist, vocalist and dancers from Lucknow and Delhi. Sensuous and stirring, marriage folk music intimately tied a knot between the audience and artistes. The folk singer was given a standing ovation by the audience.

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