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Rajasthan archive

Book the tickets to have the last glimpse of a dying art : puppet show at JaipurTanmay Jain

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Rajasthan ,one of the most vibrant, colourful and mesmerising states in Indian known to be heart of art and capital is Jaipur which is also known as pink city due to many pink cities. Not only it is famous for forts and monument but also for its rich culture , lip smacking food and puppetry. Puppetry is a art which is defined as an object which is manipulated by someone. The art of puppetry has long history ,it is being practiced since ancient times. No need to guess that the art of puppetry has its birth place in India ,1000 years B.C. before it was played in Indian epics such as maha bharta and bal Ramayana. Later it was adopted in Indonesia, where the puppet shows opened with speech from a religious holy person and treated with huge degree of seriousness. Centuries later, the bunraku puppets, large and extremely expressive Japanese puppets were replacing human actors on the stage. Legend has it that famous playwrights grew tired of actors and other part of dramas demanding that their parts shall be enlarged and that their plays could be better acted by wood puppets or paper puppets.

It was the time of 18th century that puppetry flourished in Europe mainly Italy, and many famous plays, like the Dr. Faust and other were largely performed in this method. By the 19th century, under the production and direction of Mr Pietro Radillo, the Venetian puppeteer, puppets upgraded from the two strings mode to eight string and rod which was attached to manipulate it.There was an essay that was written by one of the greats Heinrich von Kleist called "On the Marionette Theatre" where the puppets were praised and hailed as being less self-conscious than the humans, and therefore would always be a better choice.

it has been interesting to note that the puppetry is still a thriving medium in the world today. There is a resurgence of interest in puppetry world in the twentieth century, it is possible to see ths puppets in many different places. In America Muppets, as created by Jim Hensen company, are the one immediately recognizable fixture of a puppetry scene, and with even that one word, many people have the certain image called to mine.

In India, today the art of puppetry is being practiced by a community of agricultural laborers of the city of Rajasthan, known as the Bhats.These people are associated with Rajasthani crafts string puppetry to carry forward their traditional occupation.They belong originally to the Nagaur area in the Marwar region in Rajasthan , they travel all through the countryside and many places outside India to exhibit their skills and talent.they are a Also known by the popular name of the "kathputliwalas", they perform puppet shows during the late evenings or in the night to show additional lighting and colour to the folk.

These puppets of Rajasthan , are designed by a number of wooden dummy dolls which are dressed up in the bright and colorful attires and can be made in small range of areas they do not require a big factory to manufacture , it is a small scale work. These puppets are attached with strings and have a rod also that the puppeteer uses to move them around and make them do little action and voice them. A mini stage or a screen with curtains is set up with the help of cot that is laid by the length. The puppeteer takes his puppets over the rope and join to the upper legs of the cots. These cots are covered with sheets in order to dissemblel the puppeteer from the view of the audience .He moves the jointed limbs and hands too and fro of the puppets with the help of rod and the strings attached to each of them.

The make stories very unique on the social issues , drama , romantic and many genre so to attract every type of audience with their skills and talent , to they not only voice over the mud dolls ,but also play music and entertain the people , engage them by their tricks .

Image courtesy : Vedic walks

Some of of them not restrict it to India only but they travel various places in abroad to showcase their talent though foreign people not understand their tongue but they understand by the gesture of the puppets and the song tunes that they play to bring out soul in the dummy world.

In recent times not just it has been a side business for the artist many of the take this art and folk as their full time carrier and have earn huge sum of money as this arts attracts many tourists and visitors who visit the colourful city of Jaipur. This we conclude that making your hobby in puppetry to carrier or a business is good choice . So puppetry is a diverse culture in Indian long list of culture it is not restricted to villages in a small areas but it also to high cities in India and also abroad . Day by Day it is gaining importance because of its style different ways of depecting are being invented.