“Jab se Shyam sidhare….
Tadap tadap, jiya, jaye…..”
When a girl sings a ‘Thumri’, she becomes ‘Radha’. With the poetic lyrics, she tries to express her love for ‘Krishna’. Sometime, with its ‘Shringar’ mood, she adorns herself for her beloved. She smiles with ‘Thumri’, her soul dances with ‘Thumri’.Whether sometime in ‘Viraha’ mood, she sheds tears and sends her invocation to him. Then she becomes ‘Meera’.
What I love in ‘Thumri’ is spreading the hues of love through the art of singing poetry. A small and intense composition that evokes joy,happiness, and sometime pain, too. With its subtle words & beautiful intricacies of a certain‘Raga’, ‘Thumri’ is a pure love song. Bhairavi, Khamaj, Piloo, Des..they are some important ‘Raga’s used to sing ‘Thumri’.
Derived from the word ’thumkana’ which means “to walk with dancing steps so as the ankle-bells tinkle”, this form of singing has a strong connection with dancing. The singer has to be skilled in expressing its dramatic interpretation of love. The lyrics are usually written in the form of Hindi dialects of Uttar Pradesh, called ‘Awadhi’ & ‘Brij Bhasha’. There are two kinds of ‘Thumri’- ‘Bol Baant’ and ‘Bol Banav’. ‘Varanasi’ has its own style of ‘Thumri’ singing, ‘Purab Ang’. Girija Devi, Siddheshwari Devi are the names with ‘Thumri’ fame.
The beauty lies in the ‘Rasa’ & ‘Bhava’ hidden in the composition. Here you can express your love for ‘Krishna’ in any mood and emotion. Sometime the singer behaves like an innocent young girl ‘Mugdha’, who is mesmerized by the charm of the flute and fell in love with ‘Krishna’. She sings the poetry of budding love, wondering all around for her beloved. She tells her ‘Sakhi’ that she is mad in love with ‘Krishna’, but she can’t be with him all the time. She waits for the whole day, and in the night, she finally steps towards to meet him. Then she sings ‘Thumri’, with the mood of ‘Abhisarika’. But the heartless ‘Krishna’, plays hide-and-seek with her, and suddenly disappears. So, she becomes ‘Khandita’, sings again ‘Thumri’ with the pain of separation and anguish of longing.
Sometime, she pretends like an experienced ‘Proudha’, who is angry with the mischievious acts of ‘Kanha’. She becomes tired of his naughty pranks. Then she sings,
“Dekhi dekhi Kanha, jhuti tori baat..”
The singer becomes ‘Meera’ sometimes, too. In this, ‘Thumri’ is expressed in ‘Shanti’, with absolute calmness of the heart..In ‘Bhakti’ and ‘Karuna’ moods, she behaves like a saint. Just like ‘Meera’, she devotes her life on the lotus feet of her beloved ‘Krishna’, and expects nothing in return.
‘Thumri’ is not only a poetry, it’s not a song even. It’s an art of love, an art of divine grace. An art to tell and sometime, not to tell..what is singing inside the heart, reciting the poetry of love..