Mumbai, Jan 9 — The third edition of a festival dedicated to the memory of mystic poet and saint Kabir began in the city Wednesday. The event will see workshops, concerts and film screenings at different locations over five days.
“Concerts, storytelling sessions, workshops and documentary films on Kabir and other noted poets and philosophers will mark this edition of the festival. Eight artist groups from across the country will bring in their soulful art in the form of music and stories of the noted saint,” said Falguni Desai, a coordinator of the festival.
Five films: “The Unknown Bard” by Tanvir Mokammel, “Baul Singers of Bengal” by Benoy Behl and “Koi Sunta Hai”, “Chalo Humara Des” and “Had Anhad” by Shabnam Virmani will be screened at different venues during the festival.
The only fully volunteer-run, community-based annual event has come to be known as the Kabir Festival, Mumbai.
Among the most sought-after events this year is an early-morning concert Jan 12 at the iconic Gateway of India, a rare juxtaposition of folk and classical music, performed by Padmashree Prahlad Tipaniya from Malwa, Madhya Pradesh and the Kumar Gandharva-inspired Rahul Deshpande.
“A Hindustani classical singer, Deshpande has also studied under Kumar Gandharva’s son Mukul Shivputra. Gandharva’s renditions of Kabir are hugely popular. Deshpande has openly acknowledged the influence of Malwa’s folk music tradition and the folk renditions of Kabir and other saint poets on his singing. Hence it will be a one-of-its-kind concert,” Desai said.
Other artists set to perform at the festival are Mooralala Marwada Lakshmandas Baul, Parvathy Baul and Mukhtiyar Ali.
Mukhtiyar Ali, from the semi-nomadic Mirasi community of the Thar desert that has kept the oral tradition of Sufiana Qalam alive, will also conduct a learning workshop on sufi music and other aspects of Kabir.