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Babulal Bhat And Group

By December 4, 2023April 15th, 2024Documentations, Rajasthan

The evolution of Rajasthani Maand

Babulal Bhatt, affectionately known as Guru ji, is a remarkable singer specializing in the traditional Maand geet of Rajasthan. He not only warms hearts with his music but also plays a paternal role for those who know him.

Babulal and his group were from the village Renwal manji in Jaipur. While many people perform reinterpretation folk songs, there are folk singers who drop in the shoes of write and bring new dimensions to the art form as well. Where folk music is to be treated as a living tradition it is also important to constantly evolve and bring newness and creativity into songs, and Babulal ji shares the same idea.

 As a writer and Maand singer, he generously shared his original compositions, including “Mhara sahina padharya dodya mahi,” offering a unique interpretation that piqued our curiosity. He humorously questioned if the beloved “Kesariya balam” had truly arrived, which he later conveyed through his heartfelt performance.

Another composition, “Aulyu,” portrayed the intense yearning of a woman to reunite with her beloved. The entire group, guided by Babulal’s warm leadership, made us feel part of their musical journey. Maand, a folk singing style akin to thumris or ghazals, carries a classical essence and demands vocal prowess and extensive practice.

Historically, Maand graced royal courts and celebrated various themes like romance, valor, separation, longing, and everyday life. This sophisticated genre within Rajasthan’s folk music exudes elegance and grace, conveying stories and events. It harmoniously blends with traditional instruments like harmonium, tabla, dholak, sarangi, and embellishments like bhapang, morchang, taal, khartaal, and more.

In some of Babulal ji’s performances he also employs the violin which is a new finding and innovation in the world of Maand sangeet. 

True Maand singers, like Babulal Bhatt, effortlessly transport listeners into a world of melodic enchantment, where every note carries a tale waiting to be heard.

Hrisha Rashmi (Volunteer)

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