Mahindra Kabira Festival concludes

After two days of celebrating Kabir and his teachings through a wide range of performances, the Mahindra Kabira Festival 2021 ended late Sunday evening.

The concluding day explored the glorious simplicity of Kabir’s philosophy through mystic melodies and music. The performances showcased the coexistence of art and spirituality.

Opening the Morning Music, Varanasi-based classical vocalist and teacher, Prateek Narsimha presented devotional bhajans of Kabir about the latter’s wisdom, including ‘Nar Te Kya Puraan Padh Keenha’ and ‘Maaya Maha Thageenee Ham Jaanee’. His performance also included Raag Nut Bhairav and Drut Khayal.

‘The Aahvaan Project’ presented some vibrant performances. The artists created conversations around Kabir promoting the philosophy of love, humanity and kindness through stories of everyday lives based on the latter’s words.

Vedi Sinha of Aahvaan Project said, “The reason I sing is so that I can share stories with others through my music. ‘Kabir, Tum Kahan Ho’ is a conversation that a little girl is having with elders around her.”

The afternoon session witnessed musician, storyteller and author Raman Iyer presenting his reflections on a few verses of Kabir to understand work-life balance. Iyer used stories and songs to discuss modern-day work pressure.

He said, “Kabir’s verses helped me in finding answers to many questions, including ‘how to give a hundred per cent without over-working? How do we differentiate dedication from a workaholic lifestyle? What’s the difference between ambition and greed?”

In the next session, ‘Tarannum Se Kabir’, Askari Naqvi showcased a unique style of musical rendition. ‘Kabir in Tarannum’ was a mixed bag of the well-known poems of Kabir and some rarely performed musical pieces.

“Kabir is free of everything and did not believe in any structure. My singing style of Kabir’s words is also without any structure and absolutely free-flowing,” Naqvi said.

Starting his performance with Kabir’s doha, Pinjar Prem Prakasiya, Naqvi included ‘Dhuns’ and ‘Ragas’ belonging to Varanasi that explained what Kabir thought of Ram, life and death, love and knowledge.

Evening sessions commenced with Niranjali by DPS Varanasi Choir.

Post the choir, the evening witnessed ‘Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein’, a classic by M.K. Raina and a modern reinterpretation of Kabir’s poetry.

Sharing his thoughts on the session, Raina said, “To present the music of the play — Kabira Khada Bazar Mein — in a new form is a matter of pride for all of us in the city of the great poet. These verses written in the the 14th century are still alive and meaningful, and give us solace.”

This was followed by a performance by Hindustani classical vocalist Kalapini Komkali.

Performing in the style of ‘Zikr’, she introduced the audience to how the people of Malwa view and love Kabir. She performed ‘Kaun Thagwa Nagariya Lutal Ho’, and ‘Sunta Hai Guru Gyani’, two of Kabir’s famous bhajans.

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, said, “Old paradigms have given way to new avenues of renewed energy in the face of all odds. What has remained constant is the ability of human beings to adapt and move forward as reflected by Kabir’s philosophy.”

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