A Sufi state of mind
Artistes unite in celebration of Sufi thought and poetry across regions and religions at a three-day festival
Main toh apne kamre mein tere dhyaan mein gum tha, gharwaale sab kehte the saara ghar mehekta tha," says Mohammed Vakil, one of the performers at Sama'a: The Mystic Ecstacy, an upcoming three-day Sufi music festival. Just like the verse he shares with us, his performance will delve into the deeper realms of Sufi thought, transcending religion and form. Titled Raqsam, which means dancing in Urdu, Vakil and group will present something from every religion that embodies Sufi thought.
"From Kabir to Mira to Guru Gobind Singh's shabd and Bulle Shah's poetry, we will present everything," he says, explaining that a Sufi is one who walks the divine path keeping worldly vices at bay. This is also the genesis of Sama'a, now in its 10th year, a celebration of the mystical in myriad forms and languages, and across regions. "Sufis didn't want to wait till the end to connect withthe divine and it is their longing to connect with it that forms the essence of Sufism. Music here is a vehicle that brings them closer to this ecstasy. Though branching out from Islam, it resonates in other forms and movements like Bhakti," explains Suvarnalata Rao, programming head, Indian music at NCPA. This timeless ideology thus finds representation in the festival through diverse performances that both, spread the mystics' message and push the envelope in the musical context. So, while on the one hand Moroccan all-women's group Hadarrattes Souiriyattes will present Sufi music from the region with a hint of trance and the use of multiple instruments, on the other, Parvathy Baul will enthrall audiences with her interpretation of it through the folk form from West Bengal.
There will also be a film screening, ChaloHamara Des: Journeys with Kabir and Friends, directed by Shabnam Virmani, which juxtaposes the journeys of home-grown Kabir artistse Prahlad Singh Tipanya with academician Linda Hess. The festival will also see the contemporary representation of Sufi thought through a performance by Neeraj Arya's Kabir Cafe. "Like its earlier editions, the festival has traditional, overseas and contemporary representation," says Rao. It also puts the spotlight on women with female artistes. From qawwali in earlier editions to baul and Mirabai's poetry, Sama'a, Rao believes, is a means to unify, celebrate and spread the message of love and tolerance that lies at the heart of Sufism.
On February 7 to 9
At NCPA, Nariman Point.
Log on to bookmyshow.com
Cost Rs 400 onwards
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe