Kawar Yatra cancelled: Local DJs bear the brunt in Shravan month
DJs who used to make a living out of renting music systems to kawars, during Shravan, are out of business in various states of north India.Updated: Jul 03, 2020 19:45 IST
The month of Shravan is all about worshipping lord Shiva. But what’s also a constant in this holy period is the sight of Kawars or Kawadiyas. This year, however, there wouldn’t be any sort of blaring music and raring boys dancing on the roads as the pandemic has led to Kawar Yatra being called off, like most other events. And with the lakhs of devotees, who would otherwise have been preparing to walk barefoot at this time of the year, what will also take a hit are the local DJs who usually set up their consoles inside the trucks or at roadside tents to make way for deafening music!
“Hum Mahakawar group ke liye bhejte the har saal... sound system, one vehicle to carry it, and one boy to operate. All this for eight days for ₹50,000. But this year, pehle shaadiyon ki booking nahi hui because wedding guest list got reduced to just 50 people or lesser, and then came the cancellation of Kawar Yatra. I’m worried that this uneventful time will continue till the end of the year,” says Karan Kumar from Gurugram-based Karan Sound System.
At a time that would have otherwise been the peak business season for Krishna DJ from Gurugram, he is sitting idle at home. “We used to provide DJs to around six to seven Kawar groups, and each one of them has paid us a good amount in the past. Last year, the maximum we earned from one group was ₹90,000,” says Krishna.
Like others, he too, has been forced to shut shop due to the pandemic, and knew that the Kawar Yatra will get cancelled this year. But, Krishna is unable to fathom the loss that he has thus suffered, and adds, “The best part of proving our system to a Kawar group was that we didn’t fear that they would haggle the price.”
One of the songs created during previous years’ Shravan month
“I always selected a very popular playlist for Kawariyas, but this time everything seems off. Not only the yatra got banned but no one seems interested... No new chartbuster dedicated to Shiva has come out till now .” – Mahesh Paswan, from Delhi
And when it comes to the songs that played on these music systems, it won’t be wrong to say that from Bollywood to Bhojpuri, there was a presence of most music industries in a specially curated list dedicated to Shiva. The local DJs share that they planned their playlist months before Shravan, to stand out among the rest. “I always selected a very popular playlist for Kawariyas, but this time everything seems off. Not only the yatra got banned but no one seems interested in even listening to music or new songs created to appease Mahadev. No new chartbuster has come out till now varna to gaano ki line lag jati thi,” says Delhi-based Mahesh Paswan, who has provided DJ on rent to Kawariyas, for several years now.
Author tweets @ruchikagarg271