India has a rich heritage of art and music since ancient times. Different states have held the tradition even till date, and Rajasthan is one among them. When musicians lost their patronage during the times of Aurangzeb, they started looking for alternative environments to carry out their art and music. It was at this time that a special type of folk art developed, and named it as Khayal Tamasha. This folk art originally took place as poetic dialogues between two groups of poets. These poets received special attention in the royal court of Sawai Jai Singh. Since then the folk art of Jaipur has become very popular, and it continues to attract tourists even till date.
Development Into Distinctive Art Practice:
Bhatt family was one of the lucky poetic family that received acknowledgment for the art. Under this clan, the poetic expressions developed into several new and distinct forms of art. It goes without saying that even today poetry is one of the main forms of Tamasha. However, it now greatly accompanies by singing, acting, and dancing. The combination of these arts made an amazing performance altogether, and this is one of the major reasons why it is popular even today.
Taking A Musical Turn:
While the Tamasha began only with poetic dialogues, it eventually took a musical form with the progression of time. It even involved traditional folklore, and they were enacted with spoken words and songs. The entire performance takes place under the open air, and the audience sits in a circle with the stage in the middle.
Performances On Specific Date:
The best part of this musical tamasha is that it has managed to survive and entertain audiences even in the modern world. However, the performances usually take place on specific dates like the day before the Holi, on the day of Ram Navami, and several others. The mode of performance of the folk art of Jaipur has hardly undergone any change, and the Tamasha starts with lahariya, which is a special dance performance in contemporary rhythm. In addition to that, it ends with a note of happy ending commonly known as Bharat Vakya Tamasha. It speaks of the art as a way of bringing love, solidarity, and co-existence of different religions.
Influences Of The Contemporary World:
Even though the art form has existed for more than 250 years with the core elements remaining the same, it has received some influence from the contemporary world, as well. This mainly reflects in the storyline and there are even references of actual events of the present times. It might include anything from recent scandals in politics to developments in sports or technology. Therefore, it can be easily understood why this form of art is still popular, and they are used in movies and theatres, as well.
Therefore, if you are ever in Jaipur, you should try to enjoy this old but new form of Tamasha that takes place at different times of the year. It does not look like going to extinction soon.