Premanand: Kunverbainu Mameru

Shree Dharmiklal Pandya (Maan Bhatt / Clay Pot & Narration) Gujarati devotional poetry, accompanied with unique traditional instrument. Recorded in India 2002.

ID: NRCD 3021

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Poetry by Premanand; Rendered by

This Gujarati album features the work of the Indian poet laureate Premanand, a Brahmin who was born around 1640/50 and died between 1700/15. He was the biggest name after Narsinh Mehta and Meerabai he brought to the Gujarati language and people the tradition of Maan Bhatt. As there were no instruments in those days and so the Maan Bhatt become the common instrumentation. The Maan being the clay pot and Bhatt referring to the fact that the player was generally of Brahmin origin (i.e., caste). So this album is Premanand's recital of his poem "Kunverbainu Mamer", on the Maan Bhatt (clay pott) performed by Shree Dharmiklal Pandya, the last known player of the Maan.

"Kunverbainu Mameru" - Kunverbai is the name of the daughter of Narsinh Mehta. The poem begins with the wedding of Narsinh Mehta's son. Narsinh does not have the financial means to marry his son and so prays to Lord Krishna who miraculously provides the material wealth to save Narsinh the loss of face and indignity in the community. Unfortunately, his son and his wife die soon after. At that time his daughter Kunverbai is expecting her first child. It is tradition in the Nagar community that the mother-to-be's father and brother carry gifts for the expectant mother and her in-laws to celebrate the impending birth. The maternal uncle (who in this instance has passed away) is referred to the mama and the mama carrying gifts is called the Mameru. So to humiliate Narsinh, Kunverbai's in-laws invite him to join the celebrations knowing he has nothing to offer, however Narsinh's devotion to Krishna results in Lord Krishna appearing as the maternal uncle bearing gifts - the mameru. Thereby dumbfounding the in-laws! A touching story!

Concept and compilation by Jawahar Baxi. Some vocals by Hema Desai.

Duration: 59:08