Hyderabad: Sitting and chatting with Parvathy Baul will instantly make you feel positive. The world-renowned Baul folk singer from Bengal is in the city of pearls for workshops and a special performance in Saptaparni, Banjara Hills. For someone who has been performing for over 25 years and at iconic places like the Noh Theater in […]
Hyderabad: Sitting and chatting with Parvathy Baul will instantly make you feel positive. The world-renowned Baul folk singer from Bengal is in the city of pearls for workshops and a special performance in Saptaparni, Banjara Hills. For someone who has been performing for over 25 years and at iconic places like the Noh Theater in Kyoto and the World Music Center in New York City, she still seems eager to get onto the stage like it’s her first time.
“I’ve come to Hyderabad many times, but do not exactly remember when the first time I came here was… maybe it was in 2006. The workshop, ‘Baul Music, Dance and Philosophy’, has been fantastic because I had a diverse group of students that included musicians, dancers, filmmakers, social workers, and writers. I taught them the ancient Baul tradition, the Yogic and Bhakti parampara. Singing and dancing is all about telling a story… I have been working on one song with them and showing them how to prepare for the song using breath, poetry, and movement,” shared the Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee.
Since the pandemic, Parvathy has been organising Baul melas online. “Although the Baul community is doing well now, I see it going down in the next few years. Many old generation styles will disappear but something new might come. At our ashram, we have been inspiring the younger generation, especially from the traditional families, to keep the age-old tradition alive. Baul is not just about singing and dancing but it is a whole lifestyle,” she says.
Parvathy Maa says she is very satisfied with her “adventurous” journey so far. “I have faced many ups and downs but I finally found my peace. In the Baul community, we do not have retirement until we die, so in the next few years, I want to keep teaching and writing more books. I can perform for some more years but not forever,” she says, as she reflects on her journey.
As a word of advice to the younger generation, Parvathy says it is important for everyone to learn an art form that they find difficult. “Comfort has become the trend these days and that is why people are failing to overcome challenges in life. In Baul, if you learn something then it is no more the truth. You have to go beyond that and take up another challenge,” says Parvathy, who will next perform in Denmark and the United Kingdom.