Kajri is a form of Indian folk music, often sung by classical and semi classical musicians practicing Hindusthani gharanas.
The word Kajri is possibly a derivative of Kajal – meaning Kohl or Black. In a country of sizzling hot summers – the black monsoon clouds bring with them relief and great joy – with a need to sing out loud. This is the moment for the Kajri to be sung. According to a folk tale of Mirzapur – there was woman called Kajli whose husband was in a distant land. Monsoon arrived and the separation became unbearable….she started crying at the feet of the Kajmal Goddess. These cries took the form of the popular Kajri songs.
Even now, sometimes the dissatisfied soul of that unfortunate woman haunts the practitioners.
I had the opportunity to experience one such disastrous performance of Kajri…