Sylheti Folklore

Like all communities, syhlletis inherit a rich corpus of folklore which combines the local traditional ones, some from Perisan roots, some direct transformation from Sanskrit, some Arabic and some has come from contemporary languages  which have been  always evolving  along with time.  Folklore is not only something of the past but is an organic entity capable of reflection, aberration, suggestion and at rare times - interpretation.  The  reproduced texts are fragments of works of unknown poets and life-watchers who have remained unsung themselves but their creation has earned the honour of being ubiquitous, perhaps one of the greatest achievements of a creative


The poets and creators of these simple, mundane yet refreshingly fresh poems were sometimes fisherman, ferryman, householder by profession and while crossing Surma or Padma or Meghna or while  musing on a summer afternoon they have conceived them.   They are so rooted to the soil and to the ethos that after centuries pass, we smell that human warmth and human intimacy that time has been finding difficult to dilute.  We bow to those wordsmiths who have been inspired by spirituality and romanticism, of metaphors, of philosophical dilemmas, of resignation, of contemporary unrest and have connected - just as Carbala has been connected to the 1952's language movement.  Or in another perspective - that old and forever new - Shyam-Rai - the leela at Vrindavan, that eternal melancholy for a soul for another soul.

They are like innocent but penetrating gaze of those poets of whom Shelley says as those  gigantic mirrors on whom Eternity casts Gigantic Shadows and shadows of memory they are for they illuminate suddenly and we are reminded of that simple but increasingly forgotten wisdom of life - we are all connected, in spite of time and space for in the heart of hearts man is same everywhere.  So we dont wonder when these folk creators recurringly refer to boat and sea, life and bird and in their innocence and their wisdom they have sung which have become our songs too.

  Or there were signs of those human complaints which we all are trying to spell sometimes, to voice that we are feeling our suffering and that as Baudleire says - the best way to endure suffering is to study it.   And study of anything is itself a transcendence of it, a detached view, becoming a witness. So we find in the cry of Motibibi who has passed a   documentary of her life to posterity (a life to which on sociologist's book belongs to middle of eigthteen century in Greater Bengal of Colonial India)  in two lines of heartfelt comment.


And like  all winters precede spring and inspite of everything, life or the continuity called life passes on, that syhlleti will be rare who has not heard that rythm of a very beautiful dance-poem that belongs to *dhamial* form and unless we restore it, it will pass on as a art historian's delight as well as a refrain as an extinct form of art and humanity as a whole will be poorer.