Did You Know?
Kajri: According to a folk tale of Mirzapur, there was woman called Kajli whose husband was in a distant land. Monsoon arrived and separation became unbearable. She began to cry at the feet of the Kajmal Goddess and these cries took the form of the popular Kajri songs.
Come monsoon... and it brings relief from the sizzling hot summer.
Come the black clouds... and separation from the beloved become unbearable.
Each bolt of lightning hits straight at the heart and makes it beat faster.
Kajri, the songs of longing are the outbursts of a woman overwhelmed by desire.
Derived from the word Kajal meaning Kohl, Kajris are sung by classical and semi classical musicians. There are two forms of Kajri singing in UP, one that is sung on a performance platform and the other sung by women dancing in a semi-circle, the 'Dhunmuniya Kajri'.
Girija Devi (b. May 8, 1929, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India) is an Indian singer and represents the Banaras Gharana of singers. She is adept at different genres of Hindustani vocal music including Khyal, Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti and Kajari, but she excels in the Poorab ang Thumri. She has been described as the last living queen of thumri. Her father Ramdeo Rai was a local Zaminadar and interested in classical Indian music. He initiated his daughter's musical training when she was five years old. Her gurus were Pandit Sarju Prasad Mishra and Shrichand Mishra. Her first public recital (1949) from All India Radio, Allahabad, followed by recitals from stage at Arrah, Bihar, were highly appreciated. During her active singing career, she has rendered her recitations in several parts of India, as also in other parts of the world, including the U.S., the former USSR, and several countries of Europe. Girija Devi was rendered Padma Shree in 1972, and the Padma Bhushan in 1989, which are among the highest civilian awards of the Republic of India. A documentary - Girija, has also been made in her honour by the government of India.
Ravi Kichlu: Ravi Kichlu (December 24, 1932 1993) was a prominent classical Hindustani vocalist of Agra gharana, who formed a well-known duo with his brother Vijay Kichlu. He studied Dhrupad with the Dagar Brothers. He also played cricket for Uttar Pradesh.