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Jugni is an age-old narrative device used in Punjabi folk music. While literally it is the "female firefly", in folk music it stands in for the poet-writer who uses Jugni as an innocent observer to make incisive, often humorous, sometimes sad but always touching observations. Though its origins are lost to history, the name suggests a momentary spark to lift the darkness for an instant to tell a story of a time and place.

Much of early Jugni writing is spiritual in nature and relates to one's understanding of the world and one's relationship with God. Many poet philosophers have used the Jugni device, which is in the public domain, to make social, political or philosophical, often mildly subversive, commentary. Jugni is cross religious and depending on the writer, invokes the name of God (often using the world "Saeen", the vernacular word for Lord), Ali or the Gurus. A kernel of truth is an essential and integral part of every Jugni composition.

The narrative style relies on Jugni landing up unexpectedly in diverse places and, wide-eyed, learning something new. Jugni makes her comments in three or four well wrought verses which may or may not rhyme but can always be sung in a rudimentary north Indian country style. The object could be a city, a state, a market place, a school, a religious place or a saloon, Jugni's non-malicious commentary catches the essence of the place and produces in the listener a chuckle and sometimes a lump in the throat.

There are many modern practitioners of the Jugni tradition in both parts of the divided Punjab.

In the age of recorded music and radio, the first Indian artist to make a mark was Asa Singh Mastana. More recently, Kuldeep Manak, born Latif Mohammad, has made notable Jugni contributions. Apart from that every other pop or folk singer from Harbhajan Mann, Gurdass Mann, Gurmeet Bawa to Rabbi Shergill has had his Jugni moment. Bollywood movie Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye has at least three songs that use the word Jugni. The song was sung by Des Raj Lachkani(basically a dadi singer ), Lachkani is a village near Patiala.

In Pakistan, Jugni was popularized by the late folk music singer Alam Lohar. He received a gold disc LP for his Jugni in 1965. After that Saleem Javed and Arif Lohar, Alam Lohar's son, among others, have kept the tradition alive. Arif has brought in a more contemporary touch by incorporating modern vibes and rock influence in his versions of Jugni with Mukhtar Sahota (notably in his album "21st century Jugni"). In popular Pakistani culture Alamgir's Jugni is often the most-commonly recognized.

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