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Been Jogi Group

By December 5, 2023April 15th, 2024Documentations, Haryana

“The Resilient Rhythms “

In the heart of Palwal district in Haryana, where traditions are passed down through generations like cherished heirlooms, resides Hawa Singh. He is not just a musician; he is a torchbearer of an ancient art form known as Been Jogi or Been Lehara. This art, as old as the land itself, finds its roots in the Nath and Jogi communities, where the rhythmic melodies of the been have been a source of solace, healing, and celebration for centuries.

The genesis of this melodic journey can be traced back to Hawa Singh. For seven decades, Hawa Singh has breathed life into the been, earning fame not just in the village but in the hearts of all who have had the privilege of hearing his soul-stirring tunes. His guru recognized his unparalleled talent and aptly named him Hawa Singh, after the wind instrument he mastered with such finesse. Now at the age of 90, Hawa Singh is the eldest member of the team, a living legend who continues to inspire and mentor the youth in the art of playing the been. His legacy is a testament to the power of dedication and passion in preserving our cultural heritage.

The journey of this musical ensemble began 15 years ago, with Rambir Nath at its helm. Over the years, they have graced various state events and programs with their mesmerizing melodies. Their philosophy is simple yet profound: there is no small stage. Every performance is an opportunity to share their art, to touch the souls of those who listen. For them, music is not just a performance; it’s a celebration of life, a way to forget the troubles of the world and be enveloped in the beauty of sound.

The Been, an ancient wind instrument, is a treasure handed down through the generations. It’s an art that transcends time, surviving only within the Nath and Jogi communities. Its roots can be traced to Kanipa Nath, the guru of this musical tradition. Legend has it that wherever Kanipa Nath played the been, illness vanished. People would summon him in times of sickness, and the soothing melodies of his instrument would work miracles. This tradition of healing and music soon spread from village to village, as these musicians carried their been and medicines to cure the ailing.

In the winter, as Lord Krishna’s divine bansuri would attract cows from afar, the melodies of the been would draw snakes from their winter slumber. The connection between the natural world and the ethereal tunes of the been is a testament to the profound impact of music on all living creatures.

Watching the performance of Rambir Nath and his group is like stepping into a time capsule of ancient melodies. Their music transcends language, speaking directly to the heart and soul. In their folk costumes, they not only look the part but embody the spirit of their art. Their dedication to preserving this heritage is evident in every note they play.

Rambir Nath and his fellow musicians are not just keepers of a tradition; they are the living, breathing heartbeats of Haryana’s musical legacy. As they continue to share the mesmerizing melodies of the been, they carry forward a precious heritage that deserves to be celebrated and cherished by all who hear its enchanting tunes.

Hrisha Rashmi (Volunteer)

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