Sufiyana !

My routine , this sunday was very unlike the usual sunday routine.

To start with – I woke up at 7. a.m. The ‘ Sister ‘ (whom I lovingly call ‘Kunjechi’ which is again an abridged version of ‘Kunju Chechi’ ) woke me up so early. She resides in the U.S and the time difference kills my sleep . She refuses to acknowledge the fact that 7.a.m is too early for me on a Sunday!

Neverthless I choose not to complain as I got a longer day for myself! Getting up on a Sunday afternoon leaves you with only time to experience the Monday morning panics.   The eventful day started with brunch with two close friends at ‘Eat around the corner’- a restaurant in Bandra. Had a sumptuous English breakfast and chatted with the friends incessantly!

In the evening I got an opportunity to attend the ‘Sufiyana’ an evening of song, music and dance organised by the Indian Cultural Society at  Manik Sabhagraha at Bandra West. Thanks to my roommate for getting invites for the  event .

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I may not have completely understood the dance performances by Mitali and Raul D’Souza which was a fusion of Bharatnatyan and Oddissi. But it was a pleasure to watch them perform. The narration and explanation by the dancers in between the performance did help me understand a few of the performance.

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The Baul rendition by Parvathy Bual was different and unique. I had no idea of Baul culture and Baul renditions. After coming back home I did asked Wikipedia!

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Wikipedia tells me that “………..Baul are a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal. Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but their membership mainly consists of Vaishnava Hindus and Sufi Muslims. They can often be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments. Not much is known of their origin. Lalon Fakir is regarded as the most important poet-practitioner of the Baul tradition. Baul music had a great influence on Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry and on his music (Rabindra Sangeet)……”.

This composition by Lalon Fakir fascinated me:

“Everyone asks: “Lalan, what’s your religion in this world?”

Lalan answers: “How does religion look?” I’ve never laid eyes on it.

Some wear malas [Hindu rosaries] around their necks,

some tasbis [Muslim rosaries],

and so people say they’ve got different religions.

But do you bear the sign of your religion when you come or when you go?”

Sufi rendition by Mir Mukhtiyar Ali was the last bit of the programme. He is from the semi-nomadic Mirasi Community which hails from the Thar Desert. Mukhtiyar represents the 26th generation of this community which has successfully kept alive the oral tradition of Sufiana Qalam..

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What surprised me the most was this piece of information on Deccan herald “……The carrier of an oral tradition, with no written notes to refer to; or formal documentation of learning process of Sufi music, Mukhtiar slips into notes with ease……”

The sheer diversity of art forms and culture was evident from the varied art and dance forms that were a part of the programme.

The day ended with an exciting news – My current craze –period is in town for the post production of his latest movie. Welcome to the Maximum City!  

A day well spent.

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