Sunday, February 21, 2010

Iktara.

The Iktara is an ancient North Indian single stringed instrument, capable of deep bass and sharp treble, and hence produces all seven notes distinctively, symbolizing  life in its myriad hues.

Few months back I heard one of the most soulful songs I've heard in many, many years, and these late spring nights when I stay up preparing for exams, in the silence of an otherwise maddening place nothing seems more beautifully haunting.



Rooh ka banjaara re parinda,
(Rooh- spirit, Banjara- nomad, parinda- bird)
The spirit, like a  nomad bird,

Chad gaya dil ka re gharonda
( chad- left. gharonda- shackles)
has broken  the shackles of the heart.

Chad gaya dil ka re gharonda tod ke
Has left, breaking the shackles of the heart,


Re gharonda tod ke, gaya chod ke.
Breaking the shackles, has left.







Je naina karun band, band,
(naina- eyes; band- close)
And everytime that I close my eyes,
Beh jaaye boond boond.(2)
(Beh- wash boond- drops)
Pain is washed away in droplets.

Tadpaye re, kyun sunaye re, geet malhaar ki,
(malhaar- a classical north Indian raaga, sung with the coming of monsoons, the source of life)
Then why do you make me listen to the anguishing  monsoon raagas?



Chorus:
Be malang tera Iktara (8)
The iktara has lost its melody and now continues without any symphony.






Itra tu baasi baasi,
(Itra- dialectical for Itr - a perfume made of herbal scents, popular only in the  northern parts of india. : baasi- stale)
Perfume, you are stale now.

Padi hai sirhane,
(sirhane- the area along the head of the bed, often, in india, a place to keep things.)
and lie uselessly along the head of my bed.

Band darwaaja dekhe, lauti hai subah,
(darwaaja- dialectical for darwaaza, or door)
 My closed doors see a morning return.

Thandi hai angeethi seeli, seeli hain diwarein,
( angeethi- a crude mud oven, used in the extremely chilly winters of north India to warm homes.)
The angeethi lies cold, and so are the walls.

Goonje takrake inme, dil ki sada
(goonje-echo)
And the dirges of my heart echo from these walls.

goonje hai re( 2) dil ki sada (2)
Ah, the dirges echo.






Je naina karun band, band,
(naina- eyes; band- close)
And everytime that I close my eyes,

Beh jaaye boond boond.
(Beh- wash boond- drops)
Pain is washed away in droplets.

Tadpaye re, kyun sunaye re, geet malhaar ki,
(malhaar- a classical north Indian raaga, sung with the coming of monsoons, the source of life)
Then why do you make me listen to the anguishing  monsoon raagas?





Chorus:
Be malang tera Iktara (8)
The iktara has lost its melody and now continues without any symphony.


6 chronicles more.:

The iktara is an amazing instrument, had the privilege to attend a concert by Parvathy Baul on an Ektara and it was an unforgettable experience.
Like many others, it has become outdated today!

Also, good luck for exams!

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