The ‘Fakiri’ fair of Alam Shah and Liyakat Ali

Posted by Kaahon Desk On October 6, 2014

Fakirdanga is a non-descript village in the middle of nowhere in Birbhum district of West Bengal. From a distance, a few tall blooming trees, the burial monuments of two legendary fakirs, Alam Shah and Dayem Shah and a forlorn rail track leaving a vanishing trail till the horizon make a perfect picture postcard of tranquil rural scenery. For a day every year however this place turns into a buzz of human activities, brimming with thousand pilgrims congregating in memory of fakir Alam Shah in a daylong mirth of festivities and song recitals. All trains passing through make it a point to stop for few minutes on that day.

Liyakat Ali, a poet and an ethnographer of Fakiri path has married the granddaughter of Dayem Shah. He lives in Fakirdanga with his in laws and is a charming raconteur of the place, its people and this gradually growing Fakiri fair. Lately he has started composing songs in the tradition of Baul and Fakiri mahajans (greats).

This Fakiri fair happens in the month of July on the 5th Friday of Aashar (Bengali calender month).

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