Baul Lalon Shai

Story of Bauls of Bangladesh

Baul Lalon Shai (1772-1890) could not attend school, which hindered the production of more songs. However, his songs are included in a graduate textbook as a literary device called a grimoire, translated into English as grammar, highlighting the importance of grammar for success in life.

When Lalon was two years old, his family lost their land under British rule. Their business closed, and due to a lack of proper irrigation, a food crisis arose from drought, causing many farmers to drop out. In 1774, many people died of starvation in Bangladesh, including Lalon’s two brothers, Kolom and Molom. Lalon became an orphan at age 8, and his father’s last words were for him to leave the village and go west as far as possible to find a teacher who could teach him the language of different people.

Due to illiteracy, villagers left their homes searching for jobs but needed help finding employment. The phrase “milon hobe koto dine” implies the possibility of life changes.

The purpose of life is to reach objectives meeting Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s called Milon, with understanding humanity first—every human connects every particle. If one is hurt, the other suffers. Lalon wrote, When will such a human society be created;

The day when Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians will not matter; When will such a human society be created? Amir becomes a fakir, and everyone will get the same debt; Ashraf said Alas,  When will such a human society be created? Who will listen to Veda Buli? No one will take the shoulder bag; I tell my parents to keep me. They will push me away. When will such a human society be created?

Society needs to embrace diversity. My dad once told me about a conversation between his grandparents, discussing the importance of education for protecting the poor and securing freedom for future generations. They decided to send future kids to school or leave the tribe to seek education. My granddad left the tribe to go to Asam, the land of freedom, without discrimination. 

Lalon found himself in an unknown house with unknown people when he woke up. The adopted family gave him food and let him work in their field to farm. Lalon wanted to go back to school. Lalon’s teacher, Shiraj Shai, explained that privileged Indians view the lower castes as inferior, causing them to suffer from Brahmin curses that impede their education. The condemnation of prejudices lessens as we become more educated and will eventually dissipate when we awaken to the call of humanity. Without honey, it’s all poison. Without water, all in vain. Education is the cornerstone of freedom. It empowers us to break the curse.

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