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Playing: Krishna’s Mothers, Sister, and Lovers

Playing: Krishna’s Mothers, Sister, and Lovers

(p.105) Chapter 4 Playing: Krishna’s Mothers, Sister, and Lovers
Everyday Creativity
Kirin Narayan
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on one of the author's mentors, Jagadamba Mataji. From the very first time they met, Jagadamba Mataji met the author's wish to learn with an exuberant willingness to teach. Many of the songs that the author recorded, and that Jagadamba Mataji oversaw, were about Krishna. While the stories carried in the Kangra songs echo the Sanskrit retellings in the Bhagavata Purana, as vernacular, regionally based appropriations by women, these were distinctive reimaginings of Krishna. The author claims that whenever she encountered the poetry in Kangra songs, she often felt like she was being transported through the colored borders of miniature paintings. Krishna became present: blue skinned, curly black haired, wearing his distinctive saffron-yellow garments, and very often surrounded by delicate- featured adoring women.

Keywords:   Jagadamba Mataji, India, women's songs, Kangra songs, Bhagavata Purana

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