Of classical and folk music, immersive talks, live-art demos and boat rides

 Of classical and folk music, immersive talks, live-art demos and boat rides

Morning Music at Mahindra Kabira Festival

Classical singer Kalapini Komkali

Team L&M

Mahindra Kabira Festival 2021 is all set to celebrate the wisdom of the 15th century mystic & poet Kabir with music, literature and discourse. Included in the programme is a plethora of classical and folk music, talks, live-art demonstrations, the characteristic Kabira boat rides, a delectable local food journey and the quintessential Ganga Arati experience. Forays into the city will be done only if safe but we will bring the joys and sights of the city to our delegates as much as we can. To be held from November 26- 28 on the ghats of Varanasi, the music festival will be open to a select guest list of fully-vaccinated people, and follow all Covid-19 protocols. The festival is a brainchild of Mahindra Group and being held in association with Teamwork Arts.
Never before have the Kabir’s ideals of kindness, simplicity, compassion, equality and inclusiveness held more meaning than now when the entire humanity is facing a collective crisis in the form of pandemic.

Malini Awasthi (left) and Nirali Kartik (right)

Says Jay Shah, Vice President, Head – Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group, Mahindra Kabira Festival 2021 returns with the promise of hope and optimism. It signifies new beginnings in a changed world, a world we can never again take for granted. A world that values compassion & empathy – qualities that Kabir held dear. Our return lays stress on resilience and the spirit of rise, both of which are intrinsic to us at the Mahindra Group. We are delighted to bring back the joy of live performances to Varanasi – a city that is known for its artistry & ancient wisdom – the customary home of Mahindra Kabira.”
“The festival celebrates the inclusive philosophy and syncretic traditions of Kabir bringing to music-lovers and those in search of truth an unforgettable experience,” adds Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts.

(From left to right) Anoop Mishra, Gayatri Asokan and Purbayan Chaterjee

Performing artistes at the festival include acclaimed folk singer Malini Awasthi; one of the finest of Indian classical vocalists Kalapini Komkali; eminent classical vocalist Nirali Kartik; Indian sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee; Malayalam playback singer Gayatri Asokan; Carnatic vocal and violin duo Ranjani Gayatri; folk poet Jumma Khan; Dastango and the only artist of his kind to introduce the art forms of Muharram (Soz-Khwani) Askari Naqvi; and Hindustani classical musician from the Benares Gharana Pandit Anoop Misra among others.
While attendance to certain events like Morning and Evening Music across the two days is free and open to all, there also are customised Delegate Packages which offer a curated experience. These packages are an opportunity to live out the history of one of the world’s oldest cities and its powerful character while coming close to understanding Kabir’s essentially syncretic path of life.

Askari Naqvi (left) and Jumme Khan (right)

Festival highlights

♦. A modern version of well-known theatre personality, actor and cultural activist M K Raina’s all-time hit play Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein, written by Bhisham Sahni.
♦. Collaborative fusions following Kabir’s ideas by artists from The Aahvaan Project.
♦. Music sessions by leading artistes on the historic ghats of Varanasi, walks down mysterious city alleys, talks and discourses, boat rides, and food that is linked with Varanasi’s ancient culinary traditions.




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