In her own reckoning, Bedana fakirani is a teller of songs and not a singer. When we reached her house in Phajilnagar (Nadia district, West Bengal) in the fleeting hours of monsoon daylight she and her late husband Manarul Fakir’s disciples were busy in their ritual of gulping down a morsel of uncooked rice with small sips of water and offering Sajda to each other. Sajda is the practice of worshipping the body of other fellow practitioners which stems from the belief that God resides in every human being. Later when we asked about the ritual, Bedana smiled and informed through her song that Allah himself has spoken of Sajda in eighty two places in the Quran.
Bedana’s husband Manarul fakir was much respected for his allegiance to the Fakiripath. She fondly reminisced how Manarul guided her step by step to learn the intricacies of their ideology and opened doors to its vastly rich musical tradition. She later broke down in front of our camera while recollecting their best times together. Wiping her tears away, she sang with such zesty fervor that the rains stopped pounding outside and the evening was etched forever in our collective memories.
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