The name is a fusion of two cultures, two art forms. The proper name Parvathy belongs to south India and the suffix is the title of the wandering mystic minstrels from Bengal. Actually the real name of the girl is Moushami and she belongs to Bengali Brahmin family. Bauls philosophy is that like the end result, journey is equally important. They don’t need any instruments or the usual rules controlling the songs. They sing what comes from the heart without any care of anything else.
When she was a student, she happened to listen to a Baul singing in the compartment of the train she was traveling in. That was the beginning of transformation towards Baul music. The result is that she began living with the Bauls and adopted them as her family.
Kerala resembles Bengal in few things like communism, literacy and greenery. The resemblance does not too far though. While Kerala has been stable politically, the Bengal has dipped down economically and industrially thanks to the policies of communism which took the state as their own personal property and destroyed the industry ruthlessly.
Moushami’s mind was not at rest. It was longing for expanding the art repertoire. She traveled from Bengal to Kerala in this quest. She met the puppeteer and photographer Ravi Gopalan Nair, who became her soulmate and partner in creating the fusion of art of Kerala and Baul music. She was rechristened as Parvathy Baul.
She is now considered as the leading Baul singer of the country. She dresses like the Bauls. She makes trips to her home state to attend the Baul functions. Recently she participated in the “Aman Ki Asha” a joint peace effort by leading newspaper publishers namely Times of India and Jang of Pakistan. The functions in which artists from both countries performed at different venues across India and Pakistan.
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