BALLADS OF BHATINDA
Punjab, the western gateway of India has folk music which is all about the traditional music played on traditional musical instruments. As in the other religions of the Punjab, folk music is deeply connected with the Sikh religion. Also, there is a glossary of music and Ragas which are given at the end of the Guru Granth Sahib, the tradition started with Mardana, who accompanied Guru Nanak on his travels sang the bani of Nanak by playing the tunes on ‘ektaara’ and also the ‘rhubarb’. Classical ragas are used in the ‘shabad kirtan’, gayaki of that region. The repertoire of folk music here has songs from the time of birth through the different stages of life till death. The folk music invokes the rich traditions as well as the diligent nature, bravery and many more things that the people of Punjab. The Punjabi folk music’s rhythm is very simple unlike the rhythms of Bhangra music which are generally complex. The musical instrument used while playing the Punjabi music has instruments like Tumbi, Dhadd, Chimta, Algoze, Sarangi, Gagar, Algoze, Chimta, etc. These instruments are very rhythmic and hence enhances the folk music to a very different level. The Punjabi folk music includes a range of music for all the occasions like birth, bereavement, wedding, festivals, spiritual occasion and fairs. Just like the lively and energised nature of the Punjabis, their music also has the same qualities and thus has because dance also accompanied by them.
Searching for soulful Punjabi folk music we met Amar Jalal. He is a young 22 years old singer from the village of Bhatinda. He is with the group from past one year and has been very active with rehearsals. Amar started learning music since school. He was very eager to learn music because he was really passionate about it. Therefore his passion didn’t let him give up music at any point in time in his life and so he follows it even when he is in college.
Although no one in the family knows music but seeing him performing looks like it’s in his blood. Joyful Amar plays the harmonium too but mostly he sings. Amar is a disciplined disciple of his teacher, Sukhwinder Singh. They are very motivated towards making sure that people of his generation and the upcoming generation too learn folk music and save it from dying.
They participate in youth festivals and inter-college competitions. They are very dedicated towards their passion of music and thus put in all their efforts to do better in it every day. The group consists of young, passionate and enthusiastic musicians who look towards music as a way out to a better world. Not only they sing folk songs but also compose new ones. They want to keep up the tradition and authenticity of the folk song alive. Their vision is to make every child in their village understand folk music so that it does not come to the verge of extinction.