Rooh Ji Rehan

Music and Poetry

While all stories of origin spring from people’s faith in the Sagun (the form filled material god, a saint, the original man who leads the herd, or the mythical deities who protect them and their life world), the music and poetry of pastoralists in Kachchh liberate them from their own stories of origin. It frees them from all material references of who they are and where they came from even as their music carries them into a deep mystical connection with the formless divine (Nirgun), leading them to a state of utter surrender and love.

Most nomadic pastoralists occupy two spaces – one of complete solitude with the self, and one of non-self, in the shared commons. At all times, they hold space alone and together. Their utterance of the self and non-self, of solitude and the Commons, springs from a spiritual oneness with the divine. With Nature. While their stories of origin locate them in a territory, on a land, their music and poetry steer them through that land, lovingly showing them the way by which they recognize who they truly are. Keeping alive their eternal tryst with the Rooh (soul).

Saidu Ibrahim, a singer from Dhumado, becomes one with the grasslands of Banni as he brings alive the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a Sufi poet from Sindh. His earthy voice reverberates with tranquillity as he sings about his native lands and animal.
Sumar Kadu Jat, Mitha Khan & his fellow Waee singers come from Bhagadiya, Kachchh. They keep a complex form of singing that involves high pitched calls to god; a way to express the deepest desires to the almighty.
Welcome to this Rooh Ji Rehan- a gathering of souls- where poems, songs and stories are shared, questions asked, yearnings expressed. Cast the gaze of a poet around you and every element of the landscape- moon, mountain, camel, cloud, hurricane or river- begins to glow with hidden meanings.
We hear many voices here- Sindh, Kachchhi, Gujarati, Hindi- some of recent poets and some of poets who lived many centuries ago, who stay alive because they are sung, shared and quoted in the day to day lives of the herder communities of Kachchh. 
So take a pause. Allow stillness. Move with heart. And let the songs speak to your soul.

The curation of this section was facilitated by Soorvani, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, and Kabir Project, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art,Design, and Technology.

All artworks by Roy Varghese