After the Nawab Ka Swung there is time, as also the psychological moment of demand from the audience, for a session of song, dance and Nati. This Swung is also known as Kanchani Ka Naach. Kanchani is a danseuse. There can be two dancers both dressed as females or as one female and a male. The "females" in Karyala are all young boys and not women, although some infiltration of women has presently started. The boys are naturally selected for their good looks and sweet feminine voices, apart from their dancing talent. Kanchani Ka Swang is again not so much a play, on the part of the Karyalchies, to collect money, but an occasion for those assembled in the audience to give an exhibition of their money-power and the desire to be mentioned publicly. The dance and song items are no doubt very entertaining but to the patrons nothing is more exhilarating than the mention of their name and their contribution. It is a most cosmopolitan and secular party.
Although the big Dhol played with sticks is the main dramatis persona of Karyala, as if, carrying the whole show on its broad and round flanks, the purity of its presence is being diluted these days by the entry of the Harmonium and Tabla in the Dhol's exclusive domain. The ankle bells (Ghungroo) adorning the boys' feet can also be cited as a dilution of traditional practice.
In this item there is a provision for those of the audience who would like to show off their accomplishment in dancing to participate in the collective Nati dance. There is also scope for request items from the audience for which the repertoire of the dancing boys has to be varied and sometimes proves beyond their capacity, especially these days, when all sorts of film hits and Ghazals are asked for.
The next item is that of Jogi Jogan. This is also made of versified songs in the form of questions and answers or a duet between the Jogi and the Jogan. The Jogi is generally handsome. An ascetic, and in love with God comes to the village. The so called Jogan, a married woman, in love with her husband, is also handsome but falls in love with the handsome Jogi.
Since in the manual of Karyala the exhibition of vulgarity, violence, death and other horrors of life are prohibited, this gruesome happening is given in the manner of true Karyala tradition, a humorous twist. The Jogi wanted to test the loyalty of the Jogan and the Jogan on her part wanted to test the Jogis loyalty both were exposed since the Jogi fled on seeing the severed head of the husband along with the trunk brought, on a cot, stained with blood, which was a mere camouflage.
The next Swung in the sequence is that of Daag and Daoon, witch and sorcerer. There is lot of witchcraft and black magic prevalent in Himachal Pradesh, specially in the interior and far flung tribal regions. Even in our parts which are considered as advanced regions in Shimla for instance, my mother still observes a day in the rainy season known as Dagaily. This day is particularly favourable for the practitioners of witchcraft and black magic and in order to ward off the evil, my mother pastes an impression of cow dung and on every conceivable entrance to the house, in order to block the entry of the daag and her missiles. Besides a 'raksha string' (protective thread) with mustard seed knotted in it in a small capsule, is tied round my wrist, as a second line of defence against the onslaught of the witch, if any.
The Swang of Daag and Daoon starts with a chorus from Naipathya green room, with these lines - Hail! There cometh, the witch of the Kangra fort and then the Daag enters theatre, dancing in a weird way and brandishing her magic broom and then disappears. After that the two Elders of the village enter and find inauspicious and dangerous articles like owl's claw, pieces of human skull and hair etc. strewn on the floor which gives a clue to the visit of the witch and such other queer creatures in the vicinity. It is discovered a little later that the daughter of one of the Elders is down with epileptic convulsions, which is a sure sign of the witch's influence. The Elders having suspected mischief send emissaries in search of the Daoons, the exorcists, in order to ward off the witchcraft. All sorts of funny looking buffoons masquerading as exorcists appear on the scene and convert the tragic situation into a hilarious farce, each one of them incapacitated and floored by the flourish of the magic wand over their heads, by the witch. And now as the condition of the victim worsens, someone suggests that the village deity be approached and his protection sought. So finally the deity through its representative the Denvan (Godman) is brought to the spot and he, after going into a trance which is excited by a particular rhythm on the Nagara (a duo percussion instrument) spots the culprit in his super-conscious state, and summons her back to the arena. The Daag having confessed her mischief begs the deity for pardon. She is however forgiven only after an assurance on her part that she would give up her abominable profession.
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