Udja Ri Kurjan
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Folk songs acquire their beauty from addressing things, events and relationships typical to the context they emerge from and in weaving them into the thematic. From region to region there is never a moment lacking in surprise as one discovers such a varying set of things that are sung of that it is impossible to predict what the next context might bring to the fore. A migratory bird phenomenon is one of such themes and is seen expressed in a plethora of folk songs across Rajasthan. Kurjan is demoiselle cranes who annually visit specific locations in the state and their extensive journey, arrival and departure have long inspired songs of love, longing, and separation. Women address the bird and tell her to take their messages to their husbands in far away lands. At times she complains that even though the bird flies away every year it keeps the promise of coming back the following year but such is not the case with her lover who hasn’t made a visit in a long time. Romance, hope and impending joy are palpable in all renditions.