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The Legends of The Panjab (Set of 2 Vols) - Book By K S Duggal, RC Temple
Introduction to the Book 'The Legends of The Panjab Vol. - I' By K S Duggal and RC Temple
Folklore, more particularly the folksongs are said to be the autobiography of a people. That folksongs in the form of ballads, odes, etcetera are more reliable than folktales as a reflex of popular notions of a people has been recognized by Sir Richard Temple, more than once. And from all accounts he is the pioneer in the Panjab Folklore as a discipline followed by Bawa Budh Singh, Devindar Satyarthi and Dr. Wanjara Bedi much later. Says Sir Richard :
"...where the folktale and the bard's poem exist side by side, as in the Panjab, the latter is the older and the more valuable form of the same growth, though, of course, the influence of the folktale will react on the poem."
It is eminently true in the case of Panjab folk songs.
If you must go to serve in the battle-front,
Oh rider of the blue horse!
Carry me in your haversack.
And wherever the night falls,
Oh rider of the blue horse!
Pull me out and take me in your arms.
This song in Punjabi echoes the heart-cry of the Panjabi people. They have had trouble always in store for them. They had to fight many a battle of their own as well as those of their neighbours. And this has made the Panjabi woman fearless. She is bold. She asks her lover to carry her along even to the battle-field.
The life of a Panjabi damsel is usually a long tale of longings. Every Panjabi girl must dream of a soldier-lover. This spells separation, and endless waiting. Every day dawns with a new hope; every night passes with a loving dream. Seasons come and seasons go. But spring has its own charm, its own magic.
The vine is in blossom! The vine is in blossom!
Parrots are nibbling away at the blossoms.
The vine is in blossoms!
The vine is in fruit! The vine is in fruit!
But he who should eat it is far, far away.
The vine is in fruit!
I go and ask the priest, I go and ask the priest
With a trayful of pearls,
I go and ask the priest.
Open the patri, Oh priest, pray, open the patri.
When will my jewel return?
Pray, open the patri.
The priest opens the patri, the priest opens the patri,
In the month of Sawan will your jewel return.
The priest opens the patri,
False is your patri, Oh priest! False is your patri,
It's the month of Sawan and my jewel hasn't come.
False is your patri, Oh priest!
The vine is in blossom! The vine is in blossoms!
For people who have to run the risk of their lives every day and whose entires life becomes an endless struggle with perils, it is not unnatural for them to grow superstitious or fatalistic. But the Panjab is seldom succumb to such practices. The Panjabi sweetheart is not needlessly sacred. If her lover has not returned in the month of Sawan as promised by the priest, she tells him that his patri is fake and his reading faulty. She is not worried about her faith or convictions.
This is, perhaps, the reason why unlike Bengal and Assam, whose folklore is noted for magic and witchcraft, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for superstitious beliefs and practices, the South and Maharashtra for fairs and festivals, the Panjab is known for folksongs and folk romances. The long drawn-out songs tell the tale of the young Panjabi maiden trying to find an expression for her love, her longings and her aspirations. The songs of the peasant sweating in the field are different. He is strong, hefty and stout-hearted. Like bubbles, his emotions rise from the depths of his heart and burst no sooner than they reach the surface in the form of short tappas. Mahya songs and bolian are particularly the favourites of the menfolk. They are usually a couplet or a single verse complete in itself though capable of forming a link in a chain.
Poetry comes like an inborn gift to the Panjabi child. Maybe it is the soil, maybe it is the salubrious waters of the land, maybe it is the nearness of the lofty mountains, the Panjabi's youth's experience of exhilaration finds apt expression in the rhythms and refrains of the folksongs. In the streets of the Panjab, the children sing as they play, in the courtyards the womenfolk sing as they work, out in the fields the men sing as they plough and sow and reap and harvest the crop.
In the folksongs of the Panjab, there is hardly any references to the sea; there are few stories about boats and boatmen. They tell the tales of battles and brave warriors and sing praises of the sword and the spear. There are stories of spotted scarfs, silken skirts and swelling turbans. Fond lovers and fairylike sweethearts. Panjab folksongs describe festivals and fairs, fearless competitors in wrestling bouts and horse races. And ther
|Author||RC Temple /K.S.Duggal|