A Tribute to a Humble Farmer

No, this is not about our former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, but my father. It would, however, be injustice to describe a multifaceted personality that he was, just as a farmer. He was an accomplished singer of Kirtan, Baul and Kavigan (Tarja), and proficient in playing several musical instruments. He organised and directed a Jatra/Alkap troupe where most of the members were agricultural labourers and illiterate. Those familiar with Kavigan would know that it is quite difficult to perform in this form of music. It is essentially a musical duel where two singers will challenge each other, and hence, one needs to compose and sing instantly! This also requires huge knowledge of mythology and folklore on which these songs are based. His involvement in all these was purely amateurish and he never tried to draw commercial advantage out of these. One of his protégés went on to form a professional Alkap team, quite successfully. He was an excellent cook for some specialized items in which he could easily beat an average five star chef. Even my mother was an excellent cook and proficient in some specialised items. However, none of my parents were quite keen to cook general items that are prepared at an average home on a regular basis and surely, none of them liked cooking every day, and hence, that was a bit of problem at my home.

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