The fifth edition of the Mahindra Kabira Festival started with a musical medley at the Guleria Kothi ghat in Varanasi.
Part of the Mahindra Group’s Cultural Outreach programs and produced by Teamwork Arts, the Festival hosted a gala reception on Friday evening to kickstart a magnificent ode to Kabir way against the backdrop of the majestic Ganges lit up with the glow of countless floating candles. The evening featured performances by Pandit Anoop Mishra and the Anirudh Varma Collective.
Opening the evening, Pandit Anoop Mishra performed Khayal and semi-classical renditions. He
said, “In these difficult times for the country and especially the artist community, the festival has brought back confidence and hope to artists.”
Mishra also remembered his uncle and renowned Hindustani classical vocalist, the Late Pandit Rajan Mishra of the Benares Gharana, who performed at the previous edition of the Festival and passed away during the second wave of Covid-19.
“The music, especially of Kabir, will help everyone in the present time of the pandemic and help ease the pain with its message,” he added.
Anirudh Varma expressed his deep feeling of reverence for Kabir. He said, “Kabir is love and love unites everyone, including a diverse group of artists and musicians.”
The Anirudh Varma Collective, in its contemporary representation of Hindustani classical music, performed a rendition of ‘Naiharwa’, ‘Ghat Mai Panchi Bolta’, ‘Kaun Thagwa’, ‘Ram Niranjan Aaya Re’ and ‘Udd Jayega Hans Akela’.
Jay Shah, Vice President, Head — Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group, said, “The Mahindra Group is elated to bring back the much loved festival back this year. Varanasi has been the rightful perch of this soulful event from its inception and we hope this auspicious beginning heralds better times for all of us. Attendees can look forward to two days of top notch programming in a controlled and safe environment. Our online attendees will also be able to view live streaming of the entire festival.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, said, “As the world faces some of the greatest challenges it has ever known, it is time again to pause on the banks of the sacred Ganga at the timeless city of Varanasi.”