Love knows no re­li­gion and Su­fism gives the proof

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - Suhina.Bis­[email protected]

New Delhi: “Su­fism is not a re­li­gion, it is love.” This was the thought that shaped Satur­day night. And in the out­pour­ing of love through mu­sic and po­etry stood six young sign lan­guage ex­perts, guid­ing and in­ter­pret­ing the pro­ceed­ings for those who had no other way of lis­ten­ing to it.

If the soul­ful mu­sic wasn’t enough to warm the hearts of thou­sands gath­ered in the freez­ing weather, this ex­tra ini­tia­tive for the hear­ing im­paired surely did at the sec­ond edi­tion of The Sufi Route 2019 con­cert for peace, a con­cept by Fri­day Mu­sic Project in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Delhi Tourism. The con­cert for Sufi mu­sic lovers was held at Kala­gram, Gar­den of Five Senses on Fe­bru­ary 9.

Many artistes made the crowds swoon to their tunes, in­clud­ing the likes of AR Rah­man, the star at­trac­tion, a man whose voice fol­low­ers of pop­u­lar cul­ture recog­nise too well, with songs like Maa Tu­jhe Salam and Kun Faya Kun cred­ited to his name. All those gath­ered saved their en­ergy through the hours to give due credit to his per­for­mance. He is known for in­te­grat­ing In­dian clas­si­cal with elec­tronic mu­sic, a glimpse of which was wit­nessed dur­ing his per­for­mance. Goose­bumps could be felt in the chill as he was wel­comed with po­etry and the words, “Sangeet jaadu ho jaaye toh AR Rah­man kehlaata hai.”

The mu­si­cal jour­ney from tra­di­tional qawwali forms of mu­sic to mod­ern in­no­va­tions were not the only at­trac­tions as the new venue for the cho­sen con­cert was also a fac­tor of awe. Kala­gram, whose en­trance has been in­te­grated with the 20acre Gar­den of Five Senses, helped the au­di­ence en­joy a brisk walk through a beau­ti­ful gar­den with foun­tains in the rocky south­ern ridge, with a view of sev­eral mo-

SPELLBOUND: While AR Rah­man en­thralled the crowd with songs like ‘Kun Faya Kun’, Bri­tish singer Sami Yusuf (R) gave a mes­meris­ing per­for­mance in his first-ever con­cert in In­dia

nu­ments. And right out­side the open con­cert venue were ar­range­ments to en­joy food while groov­ing to the mu­sic. The sets were solely de­pen­dent on the artis­tic lib­erty of the or­gan­is­ers and they did full jus­tice to them with re­spect to the chang­ing songs.

Bring­ing the con­cert to life were Sufi per­form­ers like Dhruv San­gari, who learned clas­si­cal mu­sic at the ten­der age of seven and later delved into the world of Sufi mu­sic by learn­ing qawwali. His per­for­mance was fol­lowed by that of Jy­oti and Sul­tana Nooran, pop­u­larly known as the Nooran Sis­ters, Sufi

singers from Ja­land­har who are fa­mous for their block­buster mu­sic. They had the crowd at the word go with tunes peo­ple could re­late to, in­clud­ing Ankhiyan Udeek Diyan by Pak­istani le­gend Us­tad Nus­rat Fateh Ali Khan, Patakha Guddi from the movie High­way and Tere Bin Nai Lagda Dil Mera Dholna. They also roped in the crowd to sing along and share their love for mu­sic.

Keep­ing the crowd wait­ing for more beau­ti­ful in­sights was lyri­cist Manoj Mun­tashir, known for Bol­ly­wood songs like Gal­liyan, Tere Sang Yaara and Kaun Tu­jhe. His con­stant plea to the au­di­ence to

be­lieve in Al­lah in­side them cap­ti­vated the crowd as he urged ev­ery­one to not see Su­fism as Is­lam or a re­li­gion as, ac­cord­ing to him, there is noth­ing greater for a Sufi than ishq (love). For him, if you’ve ever loved, you’re a Sufi. He spoke of his child­hood in beau­ti­ful sha­yari, think­ing of it as a time when, “Mazhabon ka ze­her tab mere khoon me nahi tha.” (The poi­son of re­li­gion was not in my veins).

Satin­der Sar­taaj is an In­dian Pun­jabi singer, song­writer, ac­tor and poet, whose ticket to fame was the song Sai, which he per­formed to a huge round of ap­plause. He ex­pressed de­light to be per­form­ing for

the first time on stage and shared a song he com­posed re­cently, Gus­taakhi Maaf, with the au­di­ence.

With a vis­ual in­tro­duc­tion that’s hard to for­get, Sami Yusuf, a Bri­tish singer, song­writer, multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist, com­poser and record pro­ducer, who grew up in London and per­forms around the world, held the crowd in awe with his voice. He be­came fa­mous with his de­but album Al-Mu’al­lim in 2003. “In a con­cert like this, au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion is ideal so that ev­ery­one can feel the mu­sic,” he said. He also pre­sented an un­re­leased song on the stage.

Pho­tos: Anindya Chat­topad­hyay

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