Rajabasa, a five-minute music video, encapsulates a large slice of the Dimasa culture within that short span of time.
For Dipak Bora, a Physics teacher in Diphu Government College and his wife singer Rajlaxmi, this is their second labour of love.
An offering to the community among whom they have lived for so long and to the people at large, a peep into and better understanding of the Dimasa, who are still an unknown quantity in mainstream Assam.
Bora said the Rajabasa means the coming of the son of a King. The Dimasa folk song narrates the excitement among the young women in a village and the preparations to welcome him.
We show how they weave the garments, the ornaments and makeup they wear, the traditional sowing of paddy, song and dance, the food they prepare and more within this short span.
“The video gives an insight into the life of the Dimasas, very little of which is known to people living outside Karbi Anglong and Haflong. Ask people where Dima Hasao is and the reply is often ‘Nagaland’,” Bora said.
The song has been sung by Rajlaxmi, Bora’s wife and a Visharad from Bhatkande School of music.
The video is a Dimasa Assamese folk fusion music video by Rajlaxmi and Jambili, one of the most renowned bands of Karbi Anglong led by guitarist Daniel Engty Kathar.
One stanza has been translated and sung in Assamese so that people understand the meaning.
It took them about a year to finalize the video. Rajlaxmi painstakingly studied the language, wrote down each word and pronunciation, delved into the meaning and ensured expression of feelings through tone and tune.
The first song the two had done was in the Karbi language and was only a music CD.
“It was released last year during the Karbi Youth festival and is a big hit among the people even today. This was our first offering which is based on a folk lore in which Long Teron , a Karbi youth is in love with a damsel but she is forcibly married by the neighboring Khasi King and the lovelorn youth unable to bear the separation commits suicide,” Bora said.
However, this CD has remained confined to Karbi Anglong district only and the couple plans to launch the video at Guwahati Press Club on January 23 for wider coverage and larger viewership.
“Just as the Tiwas, Bodos, Misings and others have come out, the Karbis and Dimasas each should have a place in the state’s rich and varied cultural firmament,” he further said.