The travelling musician is a figure well celebrated in many folk traditions around the world. Not only do they entertain communities, but they have also played an important part in disseminating knowledge to the remotest communities. Our guest today is one such torchbearer of deep wisdom; Rahgir set off on the road following his dream by using his talent as a poet, songwriter and singer who travelled across 16 states in India.
But what does Rahgir have to say about, “Mitti”? Well, tune in to our latest edition of The Mitti Podcast!.
The first song that Rahgir performed on this episode is called, “Aadmi Chutiya hai”, For the convenience of our non-Hindi listeners, we have translated the lyrics of the song, with the hope that you experience the same insightful simplicity of Rahgir’s compositions as we did.
Checkout the lyrics and translation below.
“Phoolon ki laashon men taazgee chahta hai,
Aadmi Chutiya hai, Kuch bhi chahta hai.
Zinda hai to aasmaan mein udne ki zid hai,
Mar jaaye to sadne ko zameen chahta hai.
Aadmi Chutiya hai, Kuch bhi chahta hai.
Kaat ke saare jhaad waad, makaan bana liya khet men,
Cement bichha kar zameen sajaa di, maar ke keede ret men.
Lagaa ke parde charon aur, qaid hai chaar deewari men.
Mitti ko chhoone nahin deta, mast hai kisi khumaari men.
Aur wo hi aadmi..
Apne ghar ke aage nadi chahta hai.
Aadmi chutiya hai, Kuch bhi chahta hai.”
“Seeking freshness in dead flowers,
such stupidity, oh! Human, always wanting absurdity.
So stubborn to take flight into the skies all his life,
But in the end yearns to rot in the ground.
Such stupidity, oh! Human, always wanting absurdity.
Cut down all the trees around him to build a house,
Decorated the land with a neat spread of concrete killing all life in the soil.
Trapped himself within four walls, living in an illusion of comfort.
Never letting soil touch him, content in his detachment.
This same Human..
Wants a river view from his window.
Oh! Human, such stupidity, always wanting absurdity.”
As we went on with our amazing conversation, Rahgir emotionally mentions the “banyan tree” which is known for its capacity to improve diversity and biomass of the ecosystem around it. The ecological benefits of the banyan tree have been venerated through the traditions of India for generations. Under the shadow of the banyan tree, the elders of a village commune to discuss various matters and also organise celebrations. The health of the banyan tree in some ways can be seen as a representative of the larger health of the village community and Rahgir had a beautiful verse to say something about it.
“Mujhe uss gaanv mein logon ke oonche kad nahi dikhte,
jahan par sair par jao toh jawaan bargad nahi dikhte.
Jo pehle se hain saaye woh mar rahe hain,
jo khud se ug aaye woh mar rahe hain.
Aur jinhe bachane ka jahaan zikr maksad nahi dikhta,
mujhe uss gaanv mein logon ka ooncha kad nahi dikhta.”
“I do not see respect in people of such villages,
where I never come across a young banyan tree.
The ones that were old are dying and the ones that spontaneously grew are dying too.
In a village there is never a mention about saving them.”
Rahgir’s compositions seemed to have an ecological theme to them and we observed that he strung words together in a delightful way, surprisingly he also played his latest piece named, “Jaanwar Uljhe Hain” that he is yet to publish and we had the opportunity to listen to a raw version of it. Reading through the lyrics and its translation, we found ourselves humming to this song for a while.
“Kahin taaro mein jaanwar uljhe hain, kahin naaro mein jaanwar uljhe hain.
Janagalon mein kisi mod par, khadi caron mein janwar uljhe hain.
Sab jaana chahte hain sab jagah, dil lagana chahte hain sab jagah.
Pahado mein, shehr-o-gaanv mein, kinaro pe , registanon mein,
ghar baanana chahte hain sab jagah.
Par, murkh hain ? ya, majboor hain ?, kyun deewaron mein jaanwar uljhe hain.
Kahin taaron mein jaanwar uljhe hain, kahin naaro mein janwar uljhe hain.”
“I see animals stuck everywhere,
sometimes helplessly in a forest fire and sometimes intentionally in their cars.
Everybody aspires to escape, everybody wants to experience love.
Wanting to build a house on mountains, in cities, in villages, on the coasts, and in deserts.
Do they understand that they want to get stuck behind walls again?
I see animals stuck everywhere.”
I hope the music and translation struck a chord with you. Do tell us what you thought about this episode in the comments below and as always stay tuned for more exciting episodes!!
See you next time…..