“Marajas (Here and There)”
By Darin “Joe” Pantoomkomol
The word “Marajas” is from the Mahidol College of Music Jazz Department chat group that we use for internal departmental communication. One day, we were going to have an event on campus on the following day. I asked Kom Wongsawat to help print out some posters with a QR Code and post it “here and there” (ที่ต่างๆ, which reads “Tee Tang Tang”) around the room.
Hours later, Kom had done all the work, except that he did not understand what I meant by saying “please produce posters with a QR code and post them Marajas.” I now didn’t understand what Kom was writing about either. When I checked back to the message I wrote, I figured out that while typing (and rushing), my right hand had shifted to the right. So, the word for “here and there” (again, ที่ต่างๆ or Tee Tang Tang) became “Marajas” (มราจาส), which is not a real word in Thai or English. And that word became a topic of discussion for a little while. Some said it sounded like the name of exotic food. Some have tried to shift hands to type this or other new words.
I have liked this word so much (whether in Thai or English spelling) and always kept that in mind. When the opportunity came to commemorate the DC-Bangkok jazz exchange, “Marajas” was given to this tribute.
When we were in DC, most of our time was spent in a peaceful residential area (Mount Pleasant neighborhood), where we stayed and met with great people with great hospitality. The whole trip involved staying with great hosts, getting to know great musicians, playing for really attentive audiences, meeting with an old friend from our old days, and of course meeting with Will and his family. So, this music reflects the feeling of the warmth I feel from visiting Washington, D.C. last year.