Sufi-themed weekend in Mumbai

Published: 01 December, 2012 09:48 IST | Ruchika Kher |

Music's mystical side will manifest itself this weekend at Ruhaniyat, an annual Sufi festival at the iconic Horniman Circle Gardens where strains by musicians from across the globe will converge on one stage

When this festival was conceptualised 14 years ago, there were no takers for an event with a concept that was deep-rooted in the spiritual aspect of music.

But, determination found voice and Ruhaniyat was launched as a one-day musical event in Mumbai, 12 years back. Now, spread across a two-day musical journey that spans nine cities, the much-awaited Mumbai chapter will take place this weekend, with a unique lineup of musicians.

Tannoura — Dancing Dervishes (Egypt)

“When we started Ruhaniyat, we felt a musical event like this was the need of the hour. There was negativity and hatred everywhere. Peace was missing and everyone led stressed lives. Hence, we decided to float this idea, so that people are reminded about the great mystics and their philosophies that spread love and tranquility,” reasons Nandini Mahesh of Banyan Tree Events, organisers of this festival. Mahesh avers that numerous people are carriers of the living traditions of great mystics and the message they put forward is powerful and beautiful enough to touch the soul. Thus, in this emotionally hardened world, Ruhaniyat plays a very important role.

This year, the event that takes place at the Horniman Circle, will witness performances by musicians from across India and the world, including Sindhi Saraiki — Ismali Para & Group (Kutch), Mohammad Farghaly & group (Egypt, Kerala and Rajasthan), Tannoura — Dancing Dervishes (Egypt), Sabri Brothers & group (Jaipur), Shabad — Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa (Punjab) and Baul Songs — Parvathy Baul (West Bengal) among others. Apart from Mumbai, this year the festival will travel to Raipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru.

Mohammad Farghaly and group (Egypt, Kerala and Rajasthan)

While the event has witnessed substantial growth in the last decade, Mahesh expresses that she has perceived tremendous growth among the audiences as well: “It’s not just in terms of sheer numbers, but even in terms of how they connect with what’s happening on the stage. We have feedback telling us how enriched and satisfied people feel after attending the performances. Many have even called it an annual pilgrimage,” she shares.

However, organising Ruhaniyat is no cakewalk, according to Mahesh — “The basic challenge is that the event throws many surprises at you. There are always last minute changes, unexpected emergencies, and lot of tension.” She adds that the diverse participants, and need to keep everything under control requires plenty of planning and patience.

On Today and tomorrow, 6.30 pm onwards AT Horniman Circle, Fort.

Sabri Brothers and Group (Jaipur)

Take your pick
December 1
>Mystic Drums – P Nandakumar and Group (Kerala)
>Sindhi Saraiki – Ismali Para and Group (Kutch)
>Sufiana Maqam Ensemble — Oud, Kanoon, Edakka, Kamaycha
>Mohammad Farghaly and Group (Egypt, Kerala and Rajasthan)
>Kapalik Pandvani — Meena Sahu and group (Chhattisgarh)
>Tannoura — Dancing Dervishes (Egypt)
>Sufi Qawwali — Sabri Brothers and Group (Jaipur)

December 2
>Sukhnani Ojhapalli — Dron Bhuyan and Group (Assam)
>Mystic Ravanhatta Ensemble — Sugunaram & Group (Rajasthan)
>Shabad - Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa (Punjab)
>Baul Songs — Parvathy Baul (West Bengal)
>Tannoura — Dancing Dervishes (Egypt)
>Sufi Qawwali — Chand Nizami and group (Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, Delhi) 

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