Folk Literature of Duggar

Ashok Sharma
Folk Literature is the literature whose writer is unknown and which is passed on from generation to generation through oral traditions. Its style is free from artificiality and ostentation. It does not contain any element of communalism or religious discrimination. Its purpose is just to entertain the common masses who, in general, are simple, uneducated and live an unostentatious life. In short, folk literature is produced by the folks, for the folks and in the language of the folks. The folk literature of Duggar is ever changing. It is quite rich containing songs, folk tales, idioms, ballads etc. Thus, it presents itself in immense variety. It is related closely to life and for every occasion, from birth to death of an individual, there are folk songs and other varieties of folk literature. It is fully representative of the life of Dogras. The folk literature of Duggar, in brief, is as under:
KAARAKs: Kaaraks are folk songs or ballads sung in honour of great souls who sacrificed their life in the general interest of the society. Generally these songs are sung by folk singers called Gardies at the time of religious gathering such as Gagail, Jaatar etc .The most popular and famous kaaraks across Duggar are those of Baba Jitto, Data Ranu and Raj Bahu Rull.
Sukki kanak nain Khaynan O, Mehtya
Dinnaan maas ralai
‘O Mehta, Don’t relish the dry wheat.So I mix it with my flesh’.
Shocked by Baba Jitto’s death,his daughter, Bua Kauri also burned herself with the dead body of her father.The Karak of Baba Jitto ends on a tragic note; but the people of Duggar regard Baba Jitto as their household Deity and every year a big fair is held in his honour at his shrine at village Jhiri.
The Kaarak of Daata Ranpat or Data Renu is also a thrilling story of the deadly conflict between good and evil.
Aisabaan laga
Daate gi mundi
dhare par nai
Mundi reyi bich Draley,
dhar Birpurey gi aayee.
‘Daata was hit by such an arrow that his head was severed.His severed head remained at Dral and the remaining body reached Birpur’.
BAARs: Baars are folksongs sung to highlight the glory and valour of great kings, generals and warriors. Some of the famous Baars have been sung in honour of Mian Diddo, Rattan Dev, Chandan Dev, Mian Nath, Amar Singh, Hira Singh, Basti Ram, Gugga, Hoshiara Singh, Ram Singh etc
BAAR OF MIAN DIDDO : Mian Diddo who was a great warrior,was born in 1780 in village Jagti of Jammu. He distinguished himself for the chivalry and valour in his very childhood. He rebelled against the imposition of Sikh rule in Jammu.The Sikhs wanted to arrest him.
In the following verse Diddo throws a challenge to the enemy and asks them to vacate his land :-
Samne khadoi Mian Dido lalkara je Ditta
Beria chodi de
Sadi kandi chodi de
Apne Majhe da mulk smahal
Apne Lauhre da mulk smahal
Fagdi talwar Mian Diddo halla je kiita
Badi Badi mundian tange garne naal
Hath aunda nain Dido Jamwal
‘Mian Diddo challenged the enemy and asked them to vacate his land and take care of their own Lahore and Majha.Mian Diddo fell upon the enemy with his sword and stuck their heads to the ‘Garna’ bushes. Didoo Jamwal was not easy to capture.’
BHAAKH: Bhaakh is a musical form usually sung by a group of folk singers without any musical instrument.The main purpose of Bhaakh is to give pleasure connected with human sensibilities.While singing Bhaakh,the singers sit on their legs,put one of the hands in their ear and singing jointly with the main singer adjusting his rhymes with those of others.
For instance,this Bhaakh throws light on the plight of a woman who is requesting the king to send her husband back home but her request has been disapproved because war is imminent and the King has no choice.
Jammu deya Rajeya,
Tu naukra gi ghar bej
Naukare ki kiyan beja,
Bawe lagi dia laam
‘ O King of Jammu, send my husband back home”How can I send your husband home, there is a war going on at Bawe.’
The rainy season is the time for romance in Indian culture.Most songs and compositions celebrate the joy in the company of their beloved. It is time to rejoice in each other’s love.But women of Shivaliks and Kandi areas are deprived of this bond, of merrymaking with their husbands/lovers because they are serving far away from them. The following Bhaakh shows plight of women:
Jhikiyan- jhikiyan chadiyaan lagiyan,
Kaint gya pardes ho
Ple ple uthniyan, Uthi uthi takniyan
Dhikhi dhikhi kainta gi, Akhi bhi pakki gayian…
‘It is raining slowly, my husband has gone far away/abroad; I wake up now and then, I wake up and look around’
After marriage a woman’s life revolves around her husband. In the past, women in a traditional Dogra society were not allowed to visit their maternal home. All of a sudden she was supposed to forget every thing.This Bhaakh from helps us peep into her inner world and alienation that she feels after her marriage.
Raondi- raondi gori talle tondi,
Koi pyokde da aaya cheta
Sasu gi gal snadi,
Rutti pkandi gori athru bgandi
Koi pyokde da aaya cheta
‘Fair woman has been washing clothes and crying.She is reminded of her maternal home.She shares with her mother-in-law, she cooks food and she cries.She is reminded of her mother-in-law.’
FOLKSONGS ON NATAL EVES : Similarly there are folk songs for every ritual observed on eve of pre natal, natal and post natal occasions
For instance, on the eve of the 8th or in some cases 9th month of pregnancy, girls her parents send her dry fruit and delicacies including ‘Sund’ which is distributed among the relatives and neighbours. The pregnent lady is asked to embellish herself with ornaments and sit on a Peerha and the following song is sung:
Ambriyaan migi Sund bheji, dhiye bandi Shrikaan khaayein
Ambriyaan migi sees ditti, dhiye kaud belli sain faleiyaan
‘Mother gifted me sund and asked me to share it with relatives
Mother blessed me and advised me to share it with the relatives.She wished that I beget children like a vine’
BIHAIS: These are the songs which are sung on the eve of the birth of a baby and its growth.
Gauri de angan phull je khidya-khideya asal gulab
Ji Godaan hariyaan hoiyaan
‘A flower like real rose has blossomed in the courtyard of fair lady. Her lap fructified’.
Similarly there are folk songs for rituals on the eve of Sutra,Mundan, Tikka ceremony of marriage etc.
For instance,
Tikka Yudhya (Ayudhya ) da aaya, laggi saanu der
Tus laao mere veera, laggi saanu der
Raje Janak de Jaana, laggi saanu der
Jaayi ke dhanush uthana, laggi saanu der.
‘This tikka has come from Ayoudhya. We arrived late. We have to go to Raja Janak. We arrived late. We have to lift the bow. We arrived late’.
In the marriage ceremony is observed the ritual of Saant (Shanti) generally one day before the marriage in case of groom and on the same day as marriage in case of bride. The pandit worships nine grahas and performs havan and the women sing:
Jey tun baitha saanti marhaja
Maye te mangal galandi marhaja
‘You are sitting in a Saant & your mother is singing happy song.Before Saant, the bridegroom or the bride is bathed and butna is applied while the women sing:
Maliyo maliyo butna ae
Mere Laadle da byah
Sadyo babal aeji
Maliyo maliyo butna ae
Mere laadle da byah
‘Apply butna to the bridegroom .My darling is getting married. Call his father to apply butna to him as my darling is getting married.
There are also folksongs for gaana, mehndi ,tamol and sehra ceremony .
When the baarat leaves the groom’s family, women accompany it for a long distance and sing:
Bardho bardho jaani bardhi chali
Balgo balgo bawal aun diyo
‘Say good bye to the marriage procession but wait for father of the groom to come.’
SUHAAGS : Suhaags are folk songs sung at the time of the marriage of daughters. Generally they express the tender feelings of the parents for their daughter.
When the Barat (marriage procession) reaches the bride’s home, the Purohit of the bride’s family opens the Gandh (dry fruits, money and other gifts packed in a cloth) while the women sing
Beera kuthein guzaari saari raat, shor saudagrian
Bhainein geya ha hatt bazaar gandhian khridnei gi
SITHNIANs: As Barat reaches, thewomen folk of the bride’s family tease the relatives of the bridegroom by singing songs known as Sithanian
Sahre basmati de chaol (rice) band ik bhi neyiyo
Jaani buddeiyan di aaye dand ik bhi neyiyo
‘We served the basmati rice having no grain of paddy. The barat consists of old toothless people’. The friends and cousins of the bride take the bridegroom to a room and ask him to tell them Shandh. The bridegroom generally praises his parents in law by saying
Shand prag shandei agein kesar
Sas meri Parvati, Saura mera Parmeshar
At the time of Kanyadaan, some other songs known as Suhags are sung which make the atmosphere.As the bride sits alongwith the groom in ‘Bedi’, women sing:
Is belle kun kun jaage
Wo Raaje Dharmein da vella
Iss belle Babul Jaage
Wo jedi kanya kunwari
‘Who is awake at this time of Dharamraja. The father of an unmarried girl is awake. ‘The scene of the farewell of the bride is very emotional. The bride is made to sit in palanquin while the parents shed tears. She addresses every relative one by one and this musical words called ‘ghuamayee’ makes every one shed tears
Baapu migi neiyein bassariao tugi kamayee
‘Father don’t ever forget me, I entreat’
Ladies sing
Bol tun meriye baage di koyele
Baag shodi ban kait chali aen
Babal mere dharam je keeta
Dharmein di baddhi chaliaan.
‘Tell me the koel of my garden, where are you going after leaving the garden? ‘. ‘Bound by my father’s religion and duty, I am going. The bride is received by the women at the groom’s family by dinging this Sithni.
In addition to these folksongs, songs describing onset of various seasons and new year, songs called ‘Ritarian’ are sung. On the eve of festivals such as Lohri, Karva Chauth, Raade, Bush Dua etc there are songs for each occasion. Even while doing hard work such as digging earth to cover the roof of Kucha houses (Laadi Karna), removing weeds from maize crop(Godi Karna) , cutting grass etc folk songs which infuse energy & enthusiasm are sung. While playing traditional games such as Shupa Shupai songs are sung:
Akkar bakkar, Pambe pau
Assi nabbe poore sau
Sau galota titar mota
Chal madari, paisa khota
Koh klashi Jumeraat aayee ae
Jheda aggein peeshein dikhe, aohdi shamat aayee ae
RELIGIOUS FOLK SONGs : There are folk songs (Bhajans) for Gods such as Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and Bhaints for Goddesses such as Mata Vaishno Devi, Mata Sukrala Devi, MahaMaya Devi etc
Jammu di dhakiya Vaishno Vasdi
Kangre basdi Jawala
O Bhagta Mata diya (Bhaint of Mata Vaishno)
‘Mata Vaishno resides in Jammu’s Dhakki and Mata Jawala resides in Kangra, O, Mata’s Devotee’!
MASAADE :These folk songs are sung at a religious ritual called Gasseintan which is performed to pray for the good health of family members, domestic animals and rich harvest. An extract of Massade is as under:
Bhukheingi mata rutti Deendi, korh kasht chukandi
Autrein gi Sautar kardi, dindi lal kharai
‘Mata gives food to the hungry and cures the lepers. Tothe childless couples, she gifts babies’.
GUJRIAN is also a form of Dogri-folk-lyrics in which repartees and witticisms are exchanged between Krishna and his cow-maids.These songs clearly bring out the cow maids’ attraction and affection for Lord Krishna:
Garh Mathrey da talli gajreti
Kaahnein murli bajai ji
Kholi talle naunaan lagi o
Kaahnein shaap churai ji
‘As the gopi descended from Mathura and removed clothes to take a bath, Lord Krishna played on the flute and stole her ring’.
Then there are folk songs pertaining to Seasons, fairs and festivals.
The rainy season is characterised by dark skies, torrential rains and end of hot summer. Animals and birds fill up the atmoshere with their musical voices
Ghiri ghata ghankor, thandiyaan boonda peiyaan
Aaye nain chitchor thandiyaan boonda peiyaan
Baag bagichey bulbul boley
Dharein sunder mor
Gaasey geet papiha gaanda
Jaarein mast chakor.
‘Dark clouds gathered in the sky, cold rain fell.But my sweetheart didnot come.Nightingale is singing in the orchards.In the sky papiha is singing.And in the forest is dancing the happy chakor’.
1) CHANN: Such folksongs begin with the word ‘Chann’. Its subject matter is generally love. For instance,
Chann mhara charya upper Rajouria
Bani jaaiyaan pakhru te mili jaayein choria
Badi ae doaasi meri Jaan O
Milna zarur meri Jaan O
‘The moon has risen over Rajouri. Be a bird and meet me secretly.I am feeling very sad.Please do meet me, my love’
2) Nein kar Goriye Mailan Akhian
Kal pardesian turi jaana
‘Don’t be angry, fair lady. I am a pardesi and I will leave tomorrow
BALONI: There are also folklores in the glory of Goddesses such as Kalka Mata, SeetlaMata, Sukrala Mata, Baba Bhaid, Baba Surgal, Baba Sidhgoria, Baba Bhairon Nath etc.
FALONI (Riddles) : There are a large number of Falonis or riddles in Dogri folk literature. For instance
Hari Dandi Sabz Daana
Waqt pawe, mangi khaana
‘It has a green stalk and white seed. In times of need, we have no choice but to beg it for eating’. (Ajwain)
LORIS (Lullabies) :Dinian Lori, Munnua, Sei Jayan, O!
‘O,baby I give you a lullaby, Have a sound sleep’
PROVERBS:There are also a number of proverbs in Dogri folk literature. For example:
1) Bahar aayi Janj, siyo kuri de kann
To do some work in the nick of time
2)Jinne Talle, Unna Paala
Jinna Tabbar, Unna Jaala
‘The more clothes you wear, thecolder you feel.The larger the family, the greater the woes’
FAMILY LYRICS: These pertain to the household members such as mother, father, daughter, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law and their dealings with each another.
Behre bauh Jogiya
Binna Le Jogiya
Migi, Pyokede gallan suna Jogiya
‘Come and sit on a mat in my courtyard and tell me all about my parents’ house’.
Thus,folk literature of Duggar includes the ideals, traditions, beliefs, myths, legends etc which have great historical, social,religious, geographical, political and cultural significance in their day to day life.It has sufficient number of words for each occasion.On the whole, it is simple & universal ; yet rich and meaningful.
(The writer is serving as Sr. Lecture (English) in Govt HSS, Thial (Udhampur)