Courtsey: Shri Amit Bhatore, Nai Duniya
Folk Arts of Khargone (Nimad)
Just before Navadurga festival, there used to be Gammat in the villages. Now this mode is less visible. Gammat is the theatrical art of Nimadi dialect. In this, artists communicate and act effectively in Nimadi. In response to this, the other person also presents his side. It also has a sense of humor to keep the audience engaged. Along with Gammat, farce (Swaang) is also performed. In this genre, the artist performs by pretending to be a particular character. Gammat artist Shobharam Vasare Mandleshwar has been associated with this genre for the last 50 years. According to him, this genre is a confluence of dance, singing and drama. The play is staged along with singing on Harmonium, Tabla, Dholak. There are 10 to 12 artists. They play two or three main characters. Traditionally, they are pursuing this folk art of Nimad. Gammat has been performed on several forums at special events.
Kunwar Udai Singh Anuj, President of Akhil Nimad Lok Parishad, says that in Nimad, mainly Balai Samaj artists perform Kathi Dance. In this dance form, ‘Kathi’ is decorated with bamboo. Its clothes are adorned with peacock feathers. The group members then wear bright colored costumes. It is called Baga. The big Bhagat and the supporting dancers in the group are called Chhota Bhagat. Apart from these, a person picks up a decorated saddle and walks with the dancer team. It is called ‘Razalya’ (servant). The main musical instrument for music is ‘Dhak’ which is in the shape of a small slum. The brass plate is accompanied by a rhythmic sound. The story of Kathi songs is ancient & historical. Four folk tales are prominent among them. The characterization of Raja Harishchandra, Suriyajo Mahajan, Gondennaar and Bhillon Bal-Katha Nimadi Boli is the soul of saddle songs. These teams go from village to house and sing the song in ‘Nimadi Boli’ to praise the worship of Maa Shakti Parvati. In return, the villagers donate food and clothing, which is the basis of their livelihood. Starting from Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi to Mahashivratri for four months, this sacred dance ritual ends at the Mahadev Temple in Pachmarhi. According to the convenience, the parties have been concluding in the temples of Bijagarh Mahadev , Sirwell Mahadev etc. Kathi Loknatya’s dancers are spread across several villages in Nimad. Apart from these four months, dancers perform their livelihood through hard work and labor.
The cultural color of Nimad, the traditional art form of Kalgi-Turra is still intact. The art of Nimad and this traditional art form settled in the rural environment is still an expert domain. There are two choirs in this art – one is called Kalgi and the other is called Turra Dal. Both parties consist of singers, songwriters, and fellow performers along with musical instruments. After Shree Ganesh and Maa Saraswati Vandana, both parties worship their Ishta Dev. After that there is a competition between the two parties whereby they continuously present their best song to outdo the other. During the competition, the singers and songwriters of the party perform their song writing at the time of the second party’s performance. The superiority of the songs is decided by the audience. The tradition started in the pride of the royal families, has a history that the heads of both the parties are given new identity as Kalgi and Turra respectively. Apart from rural areas, Kalgi Turra is organized in special events in Nimar. Turra singer Shivram Kushwaha Magariya, Kalgi singer Yashwant Yadav Rampura are the main folk song writer/singer.