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Earth fair in the concrete jungle

Bhoomi Jatre, on May 1, will bring together art and artistes from various corners

HOW DOES one learn to celebrate the earth, to love it, to nurture it? There are obviously many ways of doing this. Some may suggest nature-mediation, or reading Wordsworth. Planting a tree is another. Saving water is yet another. But come May 1, Bangaloreans will witness a unique way of honouring the earth through an all-night music, dance, and film festival called Bhoomi Jathre (at Fireflies, Dinnepalya village, Kaggalipura, off Kanakapura Road.)

Organised by the Artists Action Group and Fireflies, this will be a night to remember. This one-of-its kind festival that kicked off last year, expected just 200 people to turn up, but a staggering 800 were present at the venue. This year 2000 people are expected.

Bhoomi Jatre is a celebration of Bangalore's own musical and artistic repertoire. There will be Thermal and a Quarter, Tripura Kashyap, Konarak Reddy, Pedestrian Pictures, Attakalari, Tara Kini, Collective Chaos, and many others. At Bhoomi Jathre the atmosphere is festive, with clean, good fun, which quickly builds into a sense of friendship, joy, and respect for the earth.

The energies behind Artistes Action Group are Kirtana and Konarak Reddy, two of Bangalore's best-loved artistes. Kirtana a filmmaker, actress, and singer and Konarak a guitarist who plays classical, has now burgeoned into a talented stage director. Both Kirtana and Konarak are also deeply concerned with social and environmental issues.

The other organiser of this festival is the Fireflies ashram, an ashram without a guru. Fireflies believes that humanity has a future only if it considers earth as sacred.

Bhoomi Jatre is a non-sponsored show. Artistes who are performing at the show are not sure if their expenses will be covered. And to further audience participation in the jatre one can even donate books to the stall, take home free books, sell, trade or barter home-made crafts, old CDs, blue jeans, batik T-shirts and others at the Flea Market. There will be an entrance fee of Rs. 200 to cover the costs. Those who are keen on knowing more about the free bookstall, call 98440 01619 or 22214909

Bhoomi Jathre posters will appear in public spaces, but the organisers are also pinning hopes on the grapevine and other guerilla techniques to get the word out. Here is an event for the sheer fun and joy of it, without jockeying for position or money. The only ambition is to connect music, dance, and film with our real lives, transforming us, taking us to a high and committing us to making our planet greener.

For passes and tickets contact Deepa on 94481 30756, or John on 94481 92010.

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