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Poetic leap for the 21st century: A music festival to pay tributes to Kabir and Amir Khusrau

A music festival to pay contemporary tribute to the great poets, Kabir and Amir Khusrau

Prahlad Singh Tipaniya (centre), who hails from a region near Ujjain, is known for his Kabir renditions in Malwi folk style. He received the Padma Shri in 2011.
Prahlad Singh Tipaniya (centre), who hails from a region near Ujjain, is known for his Kabir renditions in Malwi folk style. He received the Padma Shri in 2011.

"Hindu kahen mohi Ram piyara, turk kahen Rahmana/ aapas me dou ladi-ladi mue, marm na kou jana." (The Hindus say they revere Ram, and Muslims, Rahman. They fight till death over this, and yet the truth evades them) Written by saint-poet Kabir in the 15th century, these lines could well be about what unfolds around us today. To familiarise young audiences with the rich poetic tradition of India, the Khusrau-Kabir festival will present the compositions of Kabir and the 13th-century sufi poet Amir Khusrau in a contemporary avatar.

"While their compositions have a literal, more easily understood meaning, they all have a profound spiritual connotation at a deeper level, which needs to come across," says Nandini Mahesh, director of Banyan Tree that has been organising the event for nine years. Vocalists Alap Desai, Shruti Pathak, Shilpa Rao and Gayatri Asokan will present renditions with keyboard and guitar as accompaniments. Noted musician and Kabir Panthi Prahlad Singh Tipaniya will serenade the audience in his folk style, while the Sabri Brothers will present Khusrau's qawwalis.

"At the end of the concert, it's the elderly who enjoy the modern renditions, while the youngsters take to the Classical form, and that's the aim of this festival," Mahesh concludes.

ON: June 23, 6.45 pm 
AT: Nehru Centre Auditorium, Worli. 
LOG ON TO: bookmyshow.com
COST: Rs 350 on wards

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