April 2, 2014

Jugni: A firefly's story

Jugni – firefly

Heard this word for the first time, as a child, in a song by Gurdas Mann, Jugni.
Allah bishmilla teriya jugni
haye taareya teriya jugni
saibora waleya teriya jugni
hakk taareya teri jugni hoooo

But I never thought about its meaning until recently. The word Jugni, refers to a poem, a song, a lyric, a ghazal,  a story, an anecdote, an adventure, a laughter, a feeling, a light, a sparkle, a lightening, an enlightenment, a flash, a glitter, a shimmer. No one really uses this word in normal conversations. But it is kind of self-explanatory being more of an idiom, phrase or a sentence rather than a word. It has a definition, a definition so obvious that you do not need the meaning. For me it means...  Full of light, Full of life..

This word can be anything and everything. But what does it actually mean. As per Wikipedia, the word literally means 'Female Firefly. In folk music it stands in for the poet-writer who uses Jugni as an innocent observer to make incisive, often humorous, sometimes sad but always touching observations. In spiritual poetry Jugni means the spirit of life, or essence of life. Alam Lohar (Punjab, Pakistan) and Singer & Humorist Asa Singh Mastana (Punjab, India) are credited with popularizing this poetry from early Sufi spiritual writings and then subsequently later on being transformed by other singers as a female girl.

Famous poets, singers, thinkers, God's men, folk artists have known and understood the meaning of Jugni. Some called it the light of God.. some follow the Sun, some called it free spirit and some enlightenment. The word has evolved under the influence of both Sufi and folk music and singers. It's free from religion, labels, gender, copyrights, dictionary, meaning, borders even languages now traversing across. Punjabis in India or Pakistan both dance and sing to the tunes of Jugni.

Jugni from time immemorial has been referred to life, light, enlightenment and of course women. Now it's appearing in a big way in Bollywood lyrics and songs - Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Tanu Weds Manu, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Highway and Queen. There are non-filmi renditions by Rabbi, Alif Allah, Jugni in Coke Studio, Nouman Khalid featuring Bilal Saeed and Asa Singh Mastana's album with Surinder Kaur. There is a Punjabi film too Jugni (release 2011 ).

Could this be a sign of emerging women power in Bollywood, acknowledging beauty, spunkiness, free spirit, talent, art and style of women. From being at home, to away, women are evolving. Free and spirited there is no better word to represent women – Jugni. Even the word has so much spunk and charm to it. To understand the real meaning of Jugni you have to be one or meet one. And if you ever meet, you can't help but fall in love with her.  That's who Jugni is, someone to live and love.

Why am I getting into the etymology and meta physical meaning of the word… well…

A Firefly
A Flying cracker
A Fiery shimmer
Glistening in morning
Glittering at night
Burning phoenix
Burning Icarus…
Free of life
Free of death
A firefly
I am Jugni!
#jugni, #firefly, #female, #women, #punjabi, #poetry, #lyrics, #bollywood, #poem, #womanpower, #free, #phoenix, #Icarus, #songs, #music, #word, #poem, #tattoo #punjabi #mothertongue


Ankur Anand said...

that was something even i wasn't aware of until today thanks for sharing :)

Anoop Raghavan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neha said...

yes its an interesting fact not many people know. But glad I could be of some help..

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