Tera jaadu chal gaya….
For some weird reason I automatically attach this song to the phenomenon I witnessed 2 days back.
Kashmiri weddings are full of things that would astonish and amaze anyone not used to them. Not only are they lavishly extravagant in the food that is offered, but the whole process is truly a complex mechanism which is meant to make each wedding very special.
Much has been written about other things, but there is another ‘something’ that strikes as interesting and thought provoking. While I sat amidst women all dressed up for the party, I see a man (umm… well he.. she… yeah.. he…) dressed up like a woman, with earings and long hair, eyebrows made up, bangles, ghungru (an anklet with many trinklets that makes loads of noise), with a tumbaknaer (traditional kashmiri drum) in his hands, singing in the center of a group of women.
I was told this is “Reshma” – I looked back in disbelief. It is known that this is one of the latest ‘famous’ singers in Kashmir that people bring home to sing and dance. I couldn’t get a picture or an interview with Reshma for you (even though I thought it would make a really interesting article… ) coz… well. .. It would have been really weird…
Anyways… what strikes me are a few things that really disturbed me.
– A man amidst women singing with women surrounding him on all sides. This is rather weird in a society where we have separate gatherings for women.
– The man dressed up like a woman — and pretty much accepted the way he was. I find it strange because it is this very same society that welcomes such men to parties, even slightest variations in dressing up is noticed and questioned — under various pretexts ranging from culture to religion.
– The man himself disturbed me. I was told he apparently has a son. A married man as such. What forced him to take up a profession (profession if we can call it) like this…
And with all these questions put forward, the fact remains that Reshma danced and sang the whole night and the next day, on and on … singing songs of Mehjoor and Rasool Mir…