A mystic, a poet, an artist and a singer, Parvathy seems to follow her heart like there isn’t another way!
In an interview with the Sufi journal, she talks about how she was drawn to the Baul tradition (hailing from the West Bengal in India. Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baul). A chance meeting with a Baul singer in a train, opened her heart to it. She then found her guru in Shri Sanatan Das Baul and one afternoon, before she’d even begun any training, just started singing with him!
I had the privilege of watching her perform at ‘Ruhaniyat’, an all India Sufi and Mystic Music Festival. The organisers aptly describe the festival as the ‘call of the soul, enlivening centuries of spiritual wisdom’. It brings together musicians from Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan etc. besides India. (Read more about the festival here: http://ruhaniyat.com/)
On a mystical night in Bombay, set in the Hornimon circle garden, among the Sema dervishes and the Qawwals, in walked Parvathy Baul and her magic!
Her charm lies in her childlike enthusiasm and simplicity, perfectly complemented by a stunning and powerful voice. She sings, dances, twirls her long tresses, plays the ektara (a single stringed instrument) and a dugger (a kind of drum), all at once! And with that, she communicates every bit of what she wants to, even though you don’t follow the language! Her ‘nir duniya re doon‘ rings in my ear every day since I first heard it (not to mention that it plays on loop on my ipod several times!).
She summed up the beauty of her soul when she said these words after a stellar performance that night in Bombay, ‘thank you for liking the song, this one was an ode to my Guruji, and I don’t think I sang it very well, but I know that because I’ve heard him sing this and probably you don’t, because you haven’t‘.
That one hour she was on stage, summed up the entire festival to me. Ruhaniyat, or soulfulness is now embedded in my mind as Parvathy Baul. Must watch her perform once again, and before her shin length tresses grow any longer and touch the floor, ‘coz that’s when she’s threatening to stop performing! (hopefully she said that only in jest!).
Here is a link to her official website but a quick note: no link to a performance or no recording of hers lives up to the magic that she creates on stage! 🙂