Folklore

Jayanti Devi Temple

Temple of Jayanti Devi is situated on a hillock at the village Jainti Majri about 8 kilometers from PGI Chandigarh. It is nestled between the Shiwalik hills. As you travel to temple from Chandigarh, the verdant plains change into hills. There are cliffs all around. Although the area falls under Punjab but it is more like a village sitting at the lap of hills. The area is lush green with the fields of various crops common to Punjab. Condition of the approach road is not good although a new road has been built but in parts near the village it… Read More »Jayanti Devi Temple

Karva Chauth

There is a legend behind this festival as there is a one after every story. In short, the story goes like this: Once upon a time was a queen called Veeravati who was very delicate disposition thanks to the pampering by seven brothers. Being the only sister, they loved her very much. She was given to a king (naturally) in the marriage. After being married, queen went back to her parents, to celebrate, the festival in which women has to be on fast whole day breaking it when the moon shows on the sky. Due to the hot weather and… Read More »Karva Chauth

Quissa Puran Bhagat

History of the undivided Punjab and adjoining areas on its western front is replete with stories of valour and love. This area acted like a conduit for those from the west who wanted to enter India. From the times immemorial, streams of people crossed into India in search of its rich resources. Some solely entered through this corridor for the purpose of looting and taking with the exploits back. Others like Aryans and Mughals came here and settled here permanently. Aryans are said to be the cattle raring people who were constantly on the move in search of green pastures… Read More »Quissa Puran Bhagat

Raja Asraj

There are stories which are popular in a culture as they appeal the masses. In Punjab, there are so many Quissas, stories told by Bards which have become permanently etched in the psyche. Take for example the love tales. There are stories of Heer Ranjha, Sassi Punnu, Mirza Sahiban. All have tragic endings, these are stories of sacrifice in the love. The duos could not face the opposition of their families and society and ended their lives. These ballads are sung in one form or the other. There is another genre in Punjab that extols the acts of bravery or… Read More »Raja Asraj

The Legend of Mirza Sahiban

Among the doomed love stories of North India is the story of Mirza and Sahiban. You must have heard the other love stories like Heer Ranjha, Sassi Punnu and Sohni Mahiwal. Most of these love tales have tragic end. But notice one thing: while the names of other love stories begin with the name of girl for example Heer, Sassi and Sohni, the order is reverse in Mirza Sahiban tale. While in other stories, the sacrifice made by female was supreme, in this case Sahiban became double minded and could not forego the love of sibling. The story is simple… Read More »The Legend of Mirza Sahiban

Parijat

One of the many things which I miss about Assam is the flowers of Parijat. In its blossoming season, it is treat to watch these trees and ground beneath them. It is completely covered with its fragrant flowers. The flowers are very small with white sepals and one orange colored speck in the center. Children collect the flowers in little bamboo baskets. I asked them what they will do with so many flowers, to which they answered that these will be dried and added in cooked vegetables. The shrubs there are very healthy like all other vegetation which seems to… Read More »Parijat

Songs of Kuldeep Manak: Fragrance of Punjabi Soil

In North India particularly Punjab and Rajasthan, traditionally folk singers belonged to mostly Muslim communities. Foremost example is that of Mardana, the disciple of Guru Nanak, who played the Rabab when Guru sang the hymns of the God. He along with Bala were constant companions of the Guru and accompanied him on his sojourns far and wide. The tradition continued and many of the famous singers in Punjab claim to be the descendants of Mardana thorugh many generations. Also they have become so attached to Sikhism that from their outlook supporting the turban and beard, no one distinguishes them from… Read More »Songs of Kuldeep Manak: Fragrance of Punjabi Soil

Sasural Genda Phool

Sasural Genda Phool is a very popular song from the movie Delhi-6. Actually the song is adapted on the Dadaria folk of Chhatisgarh state of India.  While rest of  the songs of the film has been written by Prasoon Joshi, Rehman and actor Raghuvir Yadav searched for the folk song for the movie in addition to the other songs. Rajat Dholakia is credited along with A.R. Rehman for introducing the song in Hindi movie. Raghuvir Yadav belongs to that area and must have been familiar with the folk songs of the area. The origin of the song has been traced… Read More »Sasural Genda Phool

Fabled Jand Tree

There are many references to “Jand” tree in Punjabi literature. Foremost it is connected to a place called Danabad the village of Mirza in the legend of “Mirza-Sahiban”. After getting Sahiba from her home on the day of her marriage to someone else, and sneaking on his mare-called Bakki in local language, he decides to take rest under the cool shade of Jand tree. He was overconfident that even after taking rest for the summer noon, he will make it easily to his native place before the end of the day. Rest is well known. He was killed by Sahiban’s… Read More »Fabled Jand Tree

Ass and Bull : Arabian Nights

Among the 1001 stories Scheherazade tells her husband the king Shahryar and her younger sister Duniyazad is the story of Ass and Bull. Why 1001 stories? King because of the unfaithfulness of his previous wife, thinks that every woman is faithless. He marries a different girl each day and after first night kills her. This way the kingdom is short of girls. Scheherazade is the daughter of his vizier who swears to broke this mindset of the king. So she marries him. Purpose is to tell a different story every night but in a such a way that when the… Read More »Ass and Bull : Arabian Nights