11 generations on, Murra Lala keeps Gujarati folk alive

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 10:40 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) His elders devoted themselves to folk and sufi music in Gujarat, and musician Murra Lala Fafal is determined to keep the family tradition alive by passing it on to his children and taking the inherited talent across the country.

For years, his community was involved in singing in temples for village gatherings and jagrans - where they sing throughout a night. However, Murra took it to the next level by singing specifically folk.

With his 300-year-old musical instrument Santaar by his side, the 44-year-old,

who belongs to the Marwada Meghwals community in Kutch, will mesmerise the audiences with his songs at Pushkar's Blue Lotus Festival Feb 13-18.

His songs in Kutchi, the local language of Kutch, are inspired by Kafi music, a form of sufi music. The musician wants his future generations to keep the legacy going.

"Since eleven generations, it is a tradition in our family that one person from each generation will devote his life to music and I hope that this tradition will go on forever through our future generations," Fafal told IANS.

"I have six daughters, out of which three sing with me and I also teach the other children from my family," he added.

His songs "Chalade aye rulaiyi", "Aaj meetha maadu" and "Ulatya baan laga" talk about love, separation and devotion.

Fafal has performed in numerous festivals across the nation and people take a keen interest, he said, adding: "Today there are more people who are interested in our music and they try to understand our music, our culture and show respect towards the folk art forms.

"After every show, there is always a demand for 'once more', which shows how audiences are evolving."

Fafal also uses musical instruments like Ghada Ghamela (percussion) and Jodiya Pava (woodwind) and Manjiras in his music.

A part-time mason, Fafal says in days when he has no performance offers, he turns to farming to earn livelihood.

"When there are no shows, we work in the fields and I am also mason," said Fafal, who has also performed in musical property "Coke Studio".

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