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Komal Panwar

Blogger & Singer

Shanti Of Manpura Village Shares Her Story Through A Song She Sang After Her Father’s Death

  • IWB Post
  •  March 12, 2018

Every song you hear has a story mingled with its tune. Also, each story comes across differently to different people. I heard one such story last week, during IWB’s visit to Manpura Macheri.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Team IWB along with RJ Puru and RJ Sarah from Radio Mirchi left for Manpura Macheri, a village located less than 50km from Jaipur.

Most women in Manpura are weavers employed by a company that handicrafts carpets; Jaipur Rugs has its looms spread across India, where men and women alike make a living by weaving. The intricate designs are created knot by knot, and sometimes, each carpet takes about three months to complete.img_1 (1)

Our intention was to capture the essence of the everyday stories of these women, the songs they sing about it, and turn them into Folk-Rock songs. Essentially, we were going to #FolkToWork.

The visit told me a lot of stories of the history of the village, and its women. We were sitting down and singing songs at Shanti ji’s place in Manpura Macheri. The sun was setting and we were beginning to get a little tired and hungry.

The sounds of weaving could be heard faintly in the background, as I strummed the guitar lightly. That’s when Shanti ji said that the light strumming reminds her of something.

“What is it?” I asked her.img_2 (1)

“The song I am going to sing reminds me of my father.” She said getting teary-eyed.

“It was the day my father passed away. There was a numbing silence in the village. Everyone was crying and I couldn’t speak either, but I stood there with a straight face singing a love song.”

“Why a love song?” I asked.

“There is one line in the song that talks about a young girl who is asked by a suitor as to why she was unmarried if she were so beautiful. The girl responds by saying that she had no mother or father to wed her off. She added that I would forever be an orphan.”

Shanti ji added that the song was very commonly sung in their village, but before that day, she had never sung it.

As she started singing, the sounds of weaving, bird-chirping, and her bangles clinking added to the rhythm.img_3 (1)

Meanwhile, Taraji could sense that we were a little tired and got us some tea. As we ‘surrred’ on the chai, Shanti ji continued singing.

You are such a handsome boy, and you are a tall boy.

Then how are you still not married? Are you very shy?

I spent all of my life studying and could not pay attention,

Now not a single woman wishes to hear my mention.

Oh, beautiful woman, your hair is long and shiny,

How are you still not married? Are you very shy?

There’s no one to take care of me, my parents aren’t alive,

When I was 12-13, my parents had died.

Oh, then maybe we,

Should get together & flee.

When she finished singing, she nervously asked, “Was that fine? Was I in tune?” We sipped the tea and went “surrrrr.” That was the nod of approval.

Stay tuned for the song release and for more real-life stories of women from rural India. For now, check out the song’s trailer.

Photo Courtesy: Pallav Bhargava

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