Bhatiyali: In my View
By Ustad Vilayat Khan
Komal Gandhar is an autobiographic narration of Ustad Vilayat Khan recorded by Shankarlal Bhattacharya. A work of immense appeal, it was translated by in Hindi by Meena Banerjee. The following excerpt emphasizes that Ustad's composition in Bhatiyali is actually Baul.
Where from did I get the compositions that I play, "Bhede mor gharere chabhi"? Actually this is not Bhatiyali, this is Baul. I changed its name -- To bring in a famous name so that a person keeps thinking that is this Bhatiyali? And I did this because... How many things of Bihar, or Rajasthan, of Lavani have I taken for use in my music and if I take something from Bengal what else can it be called but Bhatiyali? So, put this connection to use. In this vein I did a lot of research and this piece that resulted is Baul. "Bhede mor" is Baul but I called it Bhatiyali with an aim, to make it popular outside Bengal. Heh, heh, heh!
And just think Shankar, how many varieties are there in Mand. There is Sarama ki Mand, Garama ki Mand, Virayat ki Mand and yet Brindavani Mand -- how many Mand-s are there. There are a hundred Pahadi-s. Similarly there are over hundred Lavani-s. In the same way there are pieces in Bhatiyali, Baul... All these things get proximate by the influence of mood and philosophy. So I tell you that I gave the name of Bhatiyali just out of need, but it is nothing but Baul.
Komal Gandhar. Shankarlal Bhattacharya. Hindi Transalation: Meena Banerjee. New Delhi: Kanishka Publishers. 2005. pp 62-63
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