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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Vasudev

The name Vasudev reminds us of Vasudeva - the father of Krishna. But Krishna himself was known as Vaasudeva - the son of Vasudeva. And that is what this man is known as too...



The Vasudev are people of a nomadic tribe, seen mostly in Maharashtra. They go from temple to temple, and even along streets, enacting the stories of Krishna through song and dance. They wear on their head, a cap, made with peacock feathers, and usually wear the traditional dhotis with an uttariya. We sometimes see them on the roads of Mumbai too, and some come singing on the roads of our colony, but we saw this one at the Aundha Nagnath Temple near Nanded.

Comments

  1. Never knew about this. There are so many folk or tribal arts dying today. Don't know if these artists will exist after 20 years!!! Thanks for sharing Anu!

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    1. I wonder about that too... and really hope they manage to survive the test of time!

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    2. I have very little knowledge but can narrate my experiences. Firstly, I remember seeing vaasudev in Matunga in late 50s and early 60/70s. They used to sing devotional songs in a particular style while dancing, not necessarily in an elaborate way. Later, i notoced them on the border of Boriavli West and Dahisar West , their style after so many years was still the same

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  2. Ah yes, I remember having seen them in and around our area sometimes singing devotional songs. Didn't know they were known as Vaasudev or the place from where they came from. Thanks for sharing, Anu!

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    1. I had seen them too, Arti, but didnt know much about them till I read someones blog :D glad to share !

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  3. Never knew about a tribe like that. Interesting. Thanks for sharing this info Anu.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2012/11/fort-chapora.html

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  4. Video, Video...wish I could see their performance:(((

    Thanks so much...a traditional storyteller. i would have loved to see him perform

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    1. Unfortunately, he wasnt singing... maybe because we were the only ones there then... the temple was surprisingly empty.. next time i see one, will be sure to record a video, Sowmya!

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  5. I have never seen this before!! Thanks for sharing.. they r not seen in south Karnataka and Kerala .. and I have never been to Maharashtra:-(
    Thanks anu for informing us about unknown things:-) ... Dr.A

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    1. I guess Karnataka and Kerala have their own versions of these guys... the concept of the wandering minstrel is a common thread across the country... but i dont know if they have some typical headgear or dress or something... Its a pleasure to share something new with you!

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  6. This is my first introduction to them, via your blog.

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    1. Thanks Mridula! glad I have introduced you to something new :D the next time you are in Maharashtra, you will surely notice them!

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  7. Very nice blog you are heading with...all the best!

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  8. The Vasudevs are Pardhis, a denotified tribe from Maharashtra, and were listed as a criminal tribe by the British. Though the GoI cancelled the notification, the stigma still remains.

    Great capture, Anu.

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