I laugh when I hear
The fish is thirsty in water!
This is an iconic verse in the pantheon of Kabir poetry, oft-remembered and quoted. The paradox of longing for what one is surrounded by (joy? fulfilment?) is well-expressed in the striking image of the fish thirsty in water. The song, exuberantly interpreted here by Munda Das, late at night on a cot in Lunyakhedi village, speaks of reconnecting with what has always been ours.
We know very little about Munda Das ji, except that he is from Chhattisgarh. Our chance encounter with him happened at the home of Prahlad Tipanya ji, a popular and widely respected folk singer of Kabir in Malwa, Madhya Pradesh.
(Click on Settings for subtitles in English & Hindi.)
This is one of a series of uploads for Ajab Shahar, an upcoming webspace featuring songs, images and conversations around bhakti, sufi and baul poetry from India and thereabouts, currently under construction by the Kabir Project team.
Translation: Vipul Rikhi
Camera: Shabnam Virmani
Editing: Sharanya Gautam
Sub-Titling: Mamta Kandari & Vipul Rikhi
Collection: The Kabir Project
Place: Lunyakhedi, Madhya Pradesh
Date of Recording: 2004