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Jamai Sasthi Special

Jamai jukebox: A Bengali playlist for sons-in-law to jam to

On the very Bengali occasion of Jamai Sasthi, five songs that celebrate the love for and quirks of the son-in-law

Barnini Maitra Chakraborty | Published 04.06.22, 03:37 PM
Uttam Kumar in 'Ki kore ashe jamai’ from Samadhan (1980)

Uttam Kumar in 'Ki kore ashe jamai’ from Samadhan (1980)

It is that time of the year when Bengali households deck up and prepare for a fun and quintessentially Bangali tradition. The coveted event, when sons-in-law — the jamais, the ‘baba jibon’ of the family — is pampered. Jamai Sasthi is when jamai dearest heads to his in-laws’ for an annual feast. 

Mothers-in-law perform a Sasthi Puja for their sons-in-law and daughters before the feast. From making elaborate meals to gifting new clothes, this tradition is all about the sons-in-law. 

Considering the popularity of the custom, it is little surprise that it has been commemorated in folk culture and on the silver screen, especially with music. To celebrate this year’s special day, which happens to be tomorrow (June 5), here’s a selection of Bengali songs that celebrate the jamai:

‘Mora dujonai rajar jamai’

Any fan of Satyajit’s Ray’s films knows and adores Goopy and Bagha. This song from the popular second installment of the Goopy-Bagha series, Hirak Rajar Deshe, needs no introduction. Sung by Anup Ghosal for the 1980 classic, it features in the introductory segment of the movie, where our two protagonists introduce themselves as the beloved sons-in-law of the kings of Shundi and Halla.

A scene from 'Hirak Rajar Deshe'

A scene from 'Hirak Rajar Deshe'

‘Ki kore ashe jamai’

This playful number from the 1980 movie Samadhan stars Uttam Kumar as the doting husband and fun jamai, and Sumitra Mukherjee as his doting sister-in-law. The song was composed by Adhir Bagchi, written by Gauriprasanna Majumdar and sung by Manna Dey.

‘O sadher jamai re’

Next in the list is this number from the 1975 film Sansar Seemantey, starring Soumitra Chatterjee and Sandhya Mukherjee. The song, with folk influences, was sung by Haimanti Shukla, Provati Mukherjee and Anjali Mukherjee, and composed by the legendary Hemanta Mukherjee, while the lyrics were by Pulak Bandopadhyay.

‘Swashur-e jamai-e holud phool’

This popular folk number was sung by Bangladeshi folk singer Swapna Chakraborty. It focusses on a bond that is portrayed as a love-hate relationship — between two very important men in a woman’s life — her father and her husband. With simple words and a rustic melody, it paints a cheeky visual of the relationship between father-in-law and son-in-law, describing how they are, in fact, not so different from each other after all. 

‘Thakur jamai elo barite’

Another popular lokgeeti by Swapna Chakraborty, this one has probably featured in most Bengali wedding playlists. In the song, the sister-in-law (boudi) tells the daughter of the house (her nonod) that her husband, the thakur jamai has arrived home. And in keeping with the tradition of always making sure the jamai is well-fed, the boudi breaks the news by saying that her nonod should cook some more rice. The humble number strikes a chord and has been sung by many other singers. 

Last updated on 04.06.22, 03:49 PM
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