Lessons learnt in childhood are unforgettable: Teejan Bai
Home is the great school of life and lessons learnt in childhood are unforgettable, says renowned exponent of Pandwani, Teejan Bai.Updated: Mar 17, 2020 18:33 IST
Home is the great school of life and lessons learnt in childhood are unforgettable, says renowned exponent of Pandwani, Teejan Bai, who was in Lucknow to receive the Loknirmala Award from Sonchiraya organisation. The award was given to her by chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday.
“Jo bhi sikha hai jeevan se sikha. Gaana mujhe bachpan se pasand hai aur aaj bhi wahi kar rahi hoon. (Whatever learnt, I have learnt from life. I love singing since childhood and till date I am doing so),” she says.
“Itna samaan milega kabhi sochi nahi thi (I never thought I will get so much respect),” says the Pandawani storyteller.
The 63-year-old Teejan, who has been enacting tales from the Mahabharata with musical instrument, said she might not have gone to any school, but whatever lessons she learnt as a kid, has earned her name and fame.
“It has not only earned me international fame, but also Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in India. Besides, I was conferred four D Litt by different universities. I also trained 260 students in Pandawani who perform in India and abroad,” Teejan says.
“Likh pad nahi paye hum. Sirf hastakshar kar pati hun, apne baayen haat pe gudna ko dekh kar. (I don’t know how to read and write. I can only sign looking at my tattoo on my left hand),” she says.
The singer says that singing and storytelling she developed, but the story telling of Pandavas through songs she inherited from her nana (maternal grandfather).
Since childhood she was fond of singing and playing kabaddi (a game that boys played), but her mother used to beat her for this. “Bahut maar khai hoon…meri maai bahut marti thi. Mujhe lagta tha gaana kyon nahi seekne deti hain, jo meri takat thi. (My mother used to beat me a lot for singing. I used to wonder why did she not let me learn and that was my strength,” Teejan says.
Teejan sings Pandawani (a traditional performing art of Chhattisgarh that includes stories and songs about Pandavas from Mahabharat), which was compiled by Sabal Singh Chauhan. Her personal favourite from the story is “Bheemsen”.
“Jo jaise katha ki maang karte hain wahi sunati hoon (I perform the portion of the story as per people’s demand),” she says.
She has a big family and they all live together in Ganiyari village, near Bhilai. None of her children took forward her folk art, but now her grandson is learning the folk art and has started giving performances.
Teejan, who retired from Bhilai Steel Plant after 30 years of service said, “Mujhe to gaon hi pasand hai, pariwar ke saath. Ek hi chulah jalta hai jismain 40-45 logo ka khana banta hai (I like living in village with my family. I have one kitchen we cook for 45-50 people,”she said.
Earlier, she used to perform over 20 shows a month, but now she has slowed down.
Ask her about film music, she tells about her liking for Amitabh Bachchan and says with a smile, “Mere Angne Main mujhe pasand hai…gaati bhi hoon ghar main. TV par picture bhi dekhti hoon! (I like ‘mera angne main’ and sing it at home. I also watch movies on TV.”