DELHI: The 73 meters tall repository of our illustrious history, the Qutub Minar, will now metamorphosed into a cultural arcade of multiplicity. Sufi Route festival that is being organised there on November 18, is an extraordinary amalgamation of Sufi music, poetry and folk arts. The crowning glory of the fiesta will be a performance by Grammy Award winner, composer A R Rahman.
Drenched in the colours of roots music (traditional music), the evening will be embellished with the artistry of poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar; Sufi singing duo from Sham Chaurasia gharana, the Nooran sisters; singer Mukhtiar Ali; singer Hans Raj Hans; Konya Turkish Music Ensemble; Dhruv Sangari; Dervish dancers among others.
The promoters call this a ‘music led peace festival.’ All artists will keep the tenets of Sufism alive in through their performances. It’s all about staying as close to love and truthfulness as possible, as these form the foundation of the ancient faith.
Sufi Route is an effort undertaken by Friday Filmworks, INvision Entertainment and Invloed Matrix. They’ve designed it to be age agnostic, they tell us. “We welcome anyone with an ear for alternative music and poetry,” says the promoter Shital Bhatia of Friday Filmworks. It’s conceived to be a travelling festival, with the possibility of Indian artistes performing in Turkey in the next edition, followed by concerts in the UK and UAE.
Integrating two ancient and culturally rich roots of Sufi music—Turkish Tasawuf and Indian Sufism—the festival takes you a intense spiritual voyage. Says Gagan Takyar of INvision Entertainment, the event organiser and co-owner, “Not many music lovers have heard the undiluted rhythms of Sufism that are truly soul-stirring, and it deserves a chance to be enjoyed in its authentic form.”
Hans Raj Hanj, who is performing in the 4 pm to 10 pm slot feels it’s high time Sufi music gets its due. “Contrary to what people think, it’s not easy to sing Sufi compositions. It needs a lot of meditation to develop concentration so that one can do justice to the demands of the genre,” he says, adding, “Whenever I sing Dama Dam Mast Kalandar, I go into a state of trance. For that to happen, mastering the technique is paramount.”
Hans will start his show with a tribute to Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin, a Persian mystic, with the song Rakho Mori Laaj based on raga meg. Post that, he will sing traditional and Sufi songs. The singer seems convinced that by singing songs of peace and love, the world can become a better place. Perhaps he’s over simplifying things, but surely his beliefs in Sufiana kalam and its healing powers is tremendous.
Poetry by Javed Akthar, Manoj Muntashir, Kaamna Prasad, along with Fouzia and Fazal Rashid who choose to master the style of traditional storytelling, the Dastangoi in chaste Urdu. Ultimately spiritual truth is what each one of them seek through their presentations. “What you seek, is seeking you. All you need to do is listen to your true calling. Find out that quite corner in your heart which is not yet inhabited by the world, but you yourself, says Muntashir.
Rahman, who will take stage on the last day, will present his popular compositions including Khwaja Mere Khwaja. “For me, Sufi means destroying the evil in your heart, as the need of the time is that spirituality and love which Sufi talks of, should be shared with everybody, he says.” Sufi Route: November 18, Qutub Minar, 1 pm onwards. For tickets, log on to Insider.in