About the Book :
Leela sings while cutting grass on the hill-side. Her voice reverberates in akasha, unifying her song with all the elements. She expresses her lived experience to a friend near by, who responds to her song with a few lines. This creative dialogue is the song of individual experience, of participation, It brings richness and meaning to the lives of the women of Garhwal Himalayas. This book reiterates the significance of looking at the lived experience of communities with the nation of empathy, participation and wholeness, Wholeness means in that all parts belong together, that they partake in each other, Understanding culture is more that what the words imply. It involves an in-dwelling, listening to the hum behind the spoken word. Songs are to be understood as a matter of actual experience, of participation and of keen observation. All this means that a new form of perception, a different spiral of understanding other then that of objectivity is required. This approach is radically different from the normal linear methodologies of social science research which tend to fragment disciplines and treat human beings as passive objects. The way the songs have been looked at in this book provides very significant answers in terms of the new directions which need to be taken into account wherever human communities are involved. The validity of this approach is especially relevant for India because here cultural traditions are largely transmitted by oral means. This is the core-methodology of this book and one of its major contributions in order to set up clear guidelines for an alternate paradigm in anthropological field research.
About Author :
Anjali Capila is presently Reader and Head of the Post-graduate Department of Community Resource Management and Extention at the Lady lrwin College, University of Delhi. She teaches Development Communication and is actively involved with the Planning and Organisation of the field work of the department in rural and semi-urban communities. She has been a consultant to UNICEF on a number of projects, namely, "Images of Girls on Television: perceptions of viewers in Delhi (1988)", Training of field functionaries of ICDS (1991),"Health and sanitation kit for rural motivators - a study in Jammu and Kashmir (1992)" she co-ordinated a research project Women leaders in Panchayati Raj in five states of north India in collaboration with all India Women's Education Fund Association (1966). She has edited a book entitled Studies in Communication which is a compilation of abstracts of the research in Communication and Extension conducted at the Department. This book is based on her doctoral thesis entitled Socio-cultural images of women in the folk songs of Garhwal Himalayas.