What is it about the 'rangrez' and sufi music influences?
Increasingly I come acros songs invoking the Rangrez or The Dyeing Artist.
'Kun Faya Kun' mentions the rangrez, 'Rangrez mere' takes it to another level comparing the dyer to God. The song sequence ends with the leading lady wearing dove white and wandering around amongst dyer's work stalls and all around her are multicoloured dupattas in various stages of the dyeing process. The accompanying vocals meanwhile confer various roles to the 'Rangrez' - killer, friend, judge, master, god, etc.
From all the old numbers that I can remember, only one song comes to mind that has a mention of the 'rangrez'. Inhi Logon Ne from Pakeezah.
Humri na maano, rangrajva se poocho, jisne gulabi rang dee na dupatta mera.
The only character out of the 3( the merchant, dyer and soldier) who did not demean her virtue by putting a price on it or snatching it away from her.
Quite an unexplored character, this Rangrez. Loads of potential. Only hitch being that dyeing is restricted to a few small towns in the North of this country and slowly more and more from the Rangrez caste are turning to other lucrative professions like auto-driving and ironing clothes.
In a dupatta-less age of skin show, the Rangrez makes an unobtrusive exit from the society. Time for poetry to immortalize him.
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