By Aditya Chakrabarty(04 Dec 2010)
Lalan Fakir, one of the greatest Bauls and philosophers of Bengali folk music is seen narrating the story of his life to Jyotindranath Tagore.
Lalan Fakir had contracted small pox when he was a teenager while on his way back from a religious place with his friends. His friends had thought him to be dead and given him a sort of a watery burial whereby his body had been placed on a ‘bed’ made of bamboo and pushed away. An elderly Muslim lady had come across his body when it had washed ashore along the banks at one particular point. She was childless and she had nursed him back to health and considered him to be her own son. The Pirbaba whom the lady followed had converted him to Islam and taught everything about Islam. When he came of age, he had gone away with the Pirbaba and after years when he had gone to his own village where his mother and his ‘widowed’ mother remained, they had been shocked to see him as they had been informed that he was dead. He goes away disgusted and on the way comes across a guy Suleiman who becomes his follower. He starts living with Suleiman, his wife and her father.Gomli, Suleiman ‘s wife tries to win him over with her charms, but he is unmoved.
In due course of time, Lalon’s has a huge number of followers as people from all over the village start singing his songs. He also saves a bride from committing Sati one day (in fact she was being forced to commit it). Some disruptive and harmful elements try to spoil the atmosphere and there is turmoil all over. The local zamindar calls Lalon over to sing one day where all the people of both communities are present.Lalon is able to convince everyone that he means no harm and is there to spread peace. There is a situation where the villagers start throwing stones at Lalon’s group and Suleiman gets killed in the process. The zamindar apologizes and promises that the guilty will be severely punished.
Many years pass and now Lalon is an old man. He requests Jyotindranath to forgo any taxes and asks him to donate the land where he stays.Jyotindranath agrees and makes arrangements.