Jaipur: Believe it or not! It is still raining when farmers in Rajasthan take umbrellas to their fields and sing Raga Megh Malhar in the open when it rains little.
This is a rare event that dates back approximately 1,000 years. It is followed by farmers singing songs to the glory of Veer Tejaji, a local hero who sacrificed his life to protect the cows.
Rajasthani’s “Teja songs” sung to the glory of Veer Tejaji, a Jan Nayak also known as the people’s hero, will soon be studied by doctoral students in the UK, historians here say.
Seeing the popularity of Teja singing, a 300 page book was written on this singing format 11 years ago by Madan Meena, from the eastern belt of Rajasthan with support from the University of Cambridge. The book was made available to researchers there. From now on, students will pursue a doctorate there and research Teja’s songs. All documents related to the Teja songbook ‘Teja Gatha’ and full information as well as audio and video recording files are also available on the University of Cambridge website, says Ashok Chaudhary, a senior historian.
“In 2008, we tried to revive this centuries-old tradition and connected with artists. We were taken to forts, palaces and villages and now the art is known to everyone in Rajasthan, ”he said.
Residents of the desert state saw a strong connection between this music and rain. When this music is sung by the farmers of the desert state during rare rains, Lord Indra blesses the land in the form of rain, says Dr Rajni Gawadiya, state president of the Karmabai Jaat Women Institute.
These heroic songs, sung since the 10th century in different ways in different parts of the state, are said to be similar to what foreigners call opera in their country.
As the style of opera music in foreign countries occupies a special place in its own way, Teja songs of Rajasthan also occupies a special place for their different types of singing, Rajni says adding that Teja songs are mainly sung in the district. from Nagaur to Rajasthan to please the popular deity Tejaji for the rain.
Farmers usually leave the house with an umbrella even when there is no sign of rain and sing Tejaji songs. They believe that when they sing nonstop, it rains without fail.
The IANS tried to find out how the University of Cambridge and this folk history relate and found that the Cambridge University repository also mentions this folklore and says, “Archived here is the book accompanying the Tejaji Gatha collection by Thikarda. In addition to this, an English translation of the Ballad Tejaji from the village of Dugari, near Bound is included so that non-Hadoti readers can learn more about the contents of the Ballad.
In its summaries column, the website states, “The collection consists of audio recordings as well as related photographs and videos. The project was mainly based on the 20 hour recording of the Tejaji ballad sung by the Malian community (gardeners) of the village of Thikarda. But with Thikarda, nightly recordings were also made in some 23 other villages in Hadoti and the surrounding area for a comparative study.
Chaudhary says the Cambridge students will soon begin their research on the form of singing.