Tuesday, February 05, 2013

News at Eleven: Toward the end of my stay, I encountered

a baul singer alongside the road, strumming an ektara, a guitarlike instrument with a single string. He waved and I steered my bike toward him.

With their unruly hair, matted beards and saffron kurtas, the singers (baul means "crazy") are difficult to miss. Neither Hindu nor Muslim, they are said to be insane with the love of God and wander the countryside, as they have for centuries, singing enigmatic songs about the blessings of madness and the life of a seeker. [Rabindranath] Tagore adored the bauls, and even declared himself one of them.

from The New York Times: Where a Poet's Vision Lives on in India


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