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Girija Devi - Thumri Queen - Classical Indian Music

Girija Devi is a revered icon in Indian music. She belongs to the Benaras gharana and is known as the Thumri Queen. Her repertoire includes, Khayal, Thumri, Chaiti, Kajari, Jhoola, and Hori among others.

Malini Awasthi, a disciple of Girijia Devi in conversation with AnandWay…

How long have you been associated with Girija Devi?

I was accepted by her as a disciple in the guru-shishya parampara in the year 1998. Since then I have been with her on stage with the tanpura, learning by example. I sing the alaap or taan when Appaji so instructs.

Tell us about your background in Classical Indian music.

I have been a student of Bhatkhande College of Music, Lucknow. I perform on stage, at Lucknow Mahotsav, Doordarshan programmes, etc.

What are Chaiti, Kajari, Jhoola and Hori songs all about?

Chaiti, Kajari, Jhoola and Hori songs have all been taken from the realm of Indian folk music to Classical. Each of them connote the different seasons of North India. Chaiti is sung in the Hindu months of Chaitra and early Vaishakh, early summer. Kajari and Jhoola are sung in the monsoons. Hori is sung in spring, around the Holi festival.

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