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News |  05 Nov 2019 18:39 |  By RnMTeam

Fourth Mahindra Kabira Festival to feature acclaimed artistes in unique collaborations

MUMBAI: Varanasi, the birthplace of legendary 15th-century mystic – Kabir - unparalleled for its unique ambience, soul and history, will once again play host to the Mahindra Kabira Festival, to be held from the 22nd -24th of November 2019.

Acclaimed and gifted artistes will make the iconic ghats of Varanasi reverberate with sublime music celebrating the works of the poet and saint Kabir at both sunrise and sunset.

Delegates at the Festival can enjoy ‘Afternoon Literature Sessions’ at Guleria Ghat and curated ‘Heritage Walks’ through the ancient alleys of Varanasi. Conceived by the Mahindra Group and pioneering performing arts and entertainment company, Teamwork Arts, the fourth edition of the Festival will feature a rich, two-day program highlighting fascinating aspects of Kabir’s philosophy as well as the city of his birth through music, discourse, walks, boat rides and local cuisine.

Talking about the Festival, Jay Shah, Vice President and Head – Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group, said, “In this the 4th edition of the Mahindra Kabira Festival we are delighted to present Kabir’s verses in diverse styles through various artists and programs. Music, food, heritage walks and literature sessions will punctuate this enlightening weekend in Varanasi. With a combination of local artists and nationally acclaimed musicians, the attendee will be immersed in an environment of virtuosity and spirituality. The core values of the Mahindra Group resonate in the ideas of Kabir and we are proud to be able to celebrate him through this festival.”

On the first day at Guleria Ghat at Morning Music, audiences will awaken to uplifting musical performances by renowned sitar-player Neeraj Mishra and Delhi-based Hindustani classical vocalist Ujwal Nagar. Talented and innovative flutist Rakesh Kumar will collaborate with Indian classical violinist Sarada Prasan Das for a unique recital on the second morning of the celebratory Festival. Renowned Kabir-panthi Shabnam Virmani and musician Swagath Sivakumar will also perform on the same morning with an exploration of the challenge of love in the voice of Kabir and other mystics, through folk songs.

Talking about how Kabir’s philosophy weaves itself into his current work for the festival, Ujwal Nagar says, “Sant Kabir’s philosophy revolves around human values and doesn’t confine itself to one particular religion. Kabir’s verses still feel contemporary as they are relevant for all societies and all times. They talk about self-introspection, love, compassion and empathy, instead of looking outwards and indulging in fault-finding negativity. There are compositions where Sant Kabir talks about the value of having a ‘Guru’, a teacher in life and there are verses where he discards religious exclusivism. I hope to take such verses and bhajans and present them in my own rendition style in the upcoming Festival.”

The Evening Music program, a ‘Flute Symphony’, is a cross-genre flute medley which experiments with the sounds of the wind by Pt. Ajay Shankar Prasanna. Ustad Kamal Sabri from the Ustad Imamuddin Khan Dagar India Music and Culture Society, the Dagar Archives, Jaipur, will present the poetry of the enigmatic saint as well as Indian classical ragas through his sarangi. Sharing his thoughts on the Festival Kamal Sabri says, “It is very important to attend this festival as it reminds us about how to live life the right way.”

Sharing his thoughts on Kabir’s teachings, Pt. Ajay Shankar Prasanna, said “Kabir’s teachings are so relevant in today’s day and scenario where there is materialism, violence, untruth, and people are dissatisfied with everything in life. Our way of life defines our personality, our mentalities as human beings and ultimately it determines our conduct. Kabir's teachings encompass all walks of life and give us the right path that leads to self-realisation and self-fulfilment.”