Hyderabad: “Kaiku yaaro yeh do joruva? (Why, my friend, have two wives?)”, hums Hafeeza Begum, an artiste from the Jhirra of Asifnagar. Ms Begum and her four-member troupe are one of the last remaining groups that continue to perform folk music.
“The younger generations are unfamiliar with folk songs in local dialects. They are simply amused when we sing these songs in pure Hyderabadi lingo. Generally, we are invited to perform at marriage ceremonies, birthdays, naming ceremonies and cradle ceremonies,” Ms Begum says. Their renditions of “Bhai hamare hogaye bhabhi ke deewana (Our brother is fond of his wife)” and “Sabse pyari hamari samdhan (My co-in-law is very sweet)” serve to lighten the mood at such occasions.
“Only a handful of artiste remain; some have left the field and others have left the world. Our songs have been inherited by us from our teachers and family members,” Ms Begum says. When asked why the term ‘Dholak’, she explains that it is the musical instrument used to give rhythm to their songs. “It is an integral part of our music. One of the members of the group beats the dholak while the others sing,” she says.