Folk music of the Gangetic basin has song-forms that are closely associated with the seasons. The significance of the monsoon is abundantly clear from the song-forms that are inspired by it. This episode highlights the kajri, also known as kajli, one of the most important among these.
The connection of the kajri style with the rains is evident from the very name, which is symbolic of the kaajar-like or kohl-like dark rain-clouds. The etymology of the name is also explained by its linkage with Kajali Devi, also known as Vindhyavasini Devi. A temple dedicated to her is situated at Vindhyachal near Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.
The kajri songs describe the splendour of the rains and the manner in which every aspect of nature in fact heightens the female protagonist’s pangs of separation and hopes to unite with her lover. The first track featured here is a kajri rendition by Shyam Bihari Gaud.
Based on the same melodic template, Urmila Srivastava presents another kajri in the folk idiom.
As has been the case with many folk forms, the kajri has also been incorporated into the Hindustani concert repertoire by many thumri-dadra exponents. The original composition is based on the folk template, but the vocalists elaborate on the melodic framework intertwining their knowledge of raags and their ability to play on the song-text.
The duet on the next track features Banaras gharana doyenne Girija Devi and Ravi Kichlu. Like the preceding songs, this one is also set to Khemta, a cycle of six matras or time-units.
I was fortunate to have played tabla on a series titled Songs of Seasons that was published more than two decades ago. This series included a few kajris. Here is one sung by Lakshmi Shankar, a well-known exponent of thumri-dadra and seasonal song-forms. The sarangi accompaniment was provided by Ramesh Mishra. This kajri is set to the 14-matra Deepchandi and concludes with a laggi section that highlights swift rhythmic patterns on the tabla.
We end with another kajri from the same series. Sung by the charismatic Shobha Gurtu, the harmonium accompaniment is provided by Purushottam Walawalkar. This composition is set to the eight-matra Kaherva, but the lilt deviates from the even-paced 4-4 pattern and almost suggests a Khemta-like swing. The laggi section brings the rendition to a close. Listeners will notice the manner in which Gurtu deviates from the original melodic structure to bring in traces of other raags.
What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?
The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.
In 2010, Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.
For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.
Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:
Cover your basics
Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.
The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.
Machine intelligence that helps save time
In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.
The green quotient
Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.
Customisable washing modes
Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.
Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.
To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.