Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 13, 2018-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

2,500 ‘shahirs’ tune in to revive traditional storytelling art form

Powada has been around for a long time, but it became popular during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s time. The earlier ones were bhakti rasa pradhan shayari which sung the praises of God.

pune Updated: Jun 18, 2018 17:08 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,pradhan shayari
Shahir Dada Pasalkar.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

As many as 2,500 shahirs (a person who writes a ballad) will make their way to Gyan Jyoti Savitribai Phule Smarak on June 18, 2018. to celebrate golden jubilee of the council, Maharashtra Shahir Parishad. Shahirs from across the state are coming together in an attempt to keep powada, an oral story telling art form written to narrate historical events, alive.

“Powad, powde, pawadu, one comes across the mention of the ballad even in the writings of Saint Dynaneshwar. Powada are long songs sometimes having more than 40 stanzas, narrating actual events and praising the event or an achievement,” said Mukund Kishenrao Pasalkar known as Dada Pasalkar, president of the Parishad. He belongs to the family of soldiers (Veer Baji Pasalkar) during Shivaji’s era. Powada has been around for a long time, but it became popular during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s time. The earlier ones were bhakti rasa pradhan shayari which sung the praises of God.

“These soldiers were also shahirs who would write what they witnessed and perform to let others know of the battle and their victory. The victory songs were to make people aware and to help them relate to what is happening on the battle ground. If one were to break down the word shahir, ‘Sha’ would be King and ‘Hir’ was his voice, so the songs that the shahir sung and wrote would always denote the voice of the King. It would always be based on facts, no fiction,” he added.

The Powadas are sung by the shahir accompanied by Daf (large middle eastern drum), tuntune ( a single string instrument) and dholki(drum). In earlier times, a single powada used to be sung for a whole night and people used to listen to it.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 17:06 IST