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Evening of mystical melodies

RENUKA VIJAY KUMAR

The two-day Sufi music festival in the city was undoubtedly a treat to the ears.

PHOTOS: P.V. SIVAKUMAR AND SHAJU JOHN

A Sufi Quwwali singer.

For the second consecutive year, Ruhaniyat- A Sufi and Mystic music festival was brought to the city.

The event featured a whole range of artistes — right from Tibetan monks to baul singers and even prominent performers like Dilraj Kaur and the Ajmeri brothers. This year, the awareness surrounding the event and Sufi music was better and the audience seemed to be more appreciative. Frankly, there was nothing about the event that could not be appreciated or looked upon as a flaw. Right from the hostess of the programme to the way the continuity of the event was maintained, there was nothing people could find to complain about.



Tibetan Buddhist monks at Ruhaniyat.

The opening with Tibetan monks chants, a way of bringing about an invocation of positive spirits, had everybody closing their eyes to soak in the chants and opening their minds for the beautiful line up of musicians that was to come.

Hafeza Begum and her troupe sang Sufi songs that had been written along the lines of regional Assamese songs. The women clapped as they sang to maintain rhythm and in that lay the beauty of their performance. Baul singers Madan Vairagya and Parvathy Baul sang baul songs accompanied by their ektara on the second day. Parvathy's one-song performance was an encore performance of the previous day.

While some of the performers set the spiritual tone of the event, others mesmerised with their energy and vibrancy.



SOUL RHYTHM Rajasthani folk musicians give a performance

The Maganiyars from Rajasthan - Kachra Khan, Rana Khan, Mahesaram, Kulcham Bai and others were one such example. The musicians were as alive as their music - a clear reminder that are extremely passionate about their music. Another unusual performance was by the Siddhi Goma drummers from Africa. These people are a lesser-known tribe of the country and migrated to Gujarat hundreds of years ago. Till date they have retained many of their customs and the drums they play accompanied by certain rituals stand testimony to this fact. Even renowned singer Dilraj Kaur's Sufi kalam was a class apart.

The finale by the Ajmeri brothers-Shameen and Nayeem was worth a standing ovation and that's what they got. Shameen and Nayeem's Sufi qawwali's were beautifully sung no doubt, but it was their rendition of the sounds of a ghunguroo that had everyone on the edge of their seats. The sound system complemented the ghunguroo sounds perfectly and despite being sung, the left and right ghunguroo sounds were distinct. Even the sound of individual bells of a ghunguroo scattering all over was brilliant.

Ruhaniyat essentially means a spiritual vision and to say that this two-day event didn't provide us with one would be undermining the power of music and spirituality completely.

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