A Sufiana symphony

Delhi reverberated with the sound of Sufi music recently. Bollywood singer Kavita Seth, renowned percussionist Bickram Ghosh and sufi singer Parvati Kumari took the Capital by surprise as they created a ‘sufusion’ of age-old sufi music and Western influences. They performed to a packed Kamani auditorium over two days at the 14th annual Sangeet Mahotsav.

This programme is conducted annually by legends of India – a non-profit organisation meant to nurture Indian art form and create awareness among the next generation. Its secretary Krishna Bhadra, says, “Exposure to Indian art forms is restricted to our society’s upper crust, while below its glitter, the picture is gloomy. Unless such art are involved in our education process, they will shrink and become near showpieces in our cultural showcase.”

“We intend to correct this situation by identifying young talent and bring them to Legends of India – a known festival in Delhi’s cultural calender now. It is important that other youngsters also see them perform and learn the value of our classical and semi-classical music.”

One the first day, Bollywood singer Kavita Seth, who has hits like Iktara and Tum He Ho Bandhu to her name, performed some soul stirring sufi songs. She started with ‘Ru-ba-ru, ek ruhani ehsaan’ and moved on to some never-heard-before self composed Sufi songs.
The next day was a tribute to the genius of percussionist Bickram Ghosh.

True to his trademark style, Bickram fused different sufi sounds with technology-induced rhythm-heavy music. He employed the traditional Indian dholak and tabla as well as the Western percussion instrument drums. The old and new in music came together to form an amazing melody for the year and food for the soul.

At the end Bickam and Parvati Kumari both came together to present their version of Duma Dum Mast Kalandar. It was a befitting finale to a rich musical evening like this. The festival organiser Dipayan Mazumdar informed Metrolife, “Bringing Sufi music to the festival was a conscious decision. We also hope to bring other forms of vocal, instrumental, dance, theatre and fine arts into the show in the years to come.” 

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