All Routes led to the Garden of Five Senses for India’s Biggest Concerta Sufi – The Sufi Route
by Gitikka Ganju Dhar Entertainment | March 4, 2019 | Guest Article
Gitikka Ganju Dhar
Mun tu shudam tu mun shudi,mun tun shudam tu jaan shudi,
Taakas na guyad baad azeen, mun deegaram tu deegari.
I have become you and you me, I am body, you the soul,
So now one can say hereafter, that you are someone else and I, someone else.
Sufism hails God as the greatest unifier and one who is pure and indefinable. Safa means pure and from this word flows the purity of a Sufis’ heart. It was around 1000 CE that early Sufi literature, in the form of manuals, treatises, discourses and poetry became the source of Sufi philosophy. Sufism has a solid history in India evolving for over a thousand years. From the nectar of Sufism was born Sufi music, the devotional music of the Sufis, inspired by the works of Sufi poets, like Rumi, Hafiz, Bulleh Shah, Amir Khusrow and Khwaja Ghulam Farid.
India’s love and admiration for Sufi music is as old as the ages and so a Sufi concert will always have many enthusiasts await the date. In case of the Sufi Route, audiences awaited the date also because of his ethereal maiden edition last year. And so, this year welcomed the second edition of the famed experiential property, The Sufi Route. A considerable number of crew members, artists and support services staff were hustling and bustling backstage. With silence in my heart, I walked in at 4 pm, expecting to encounter last-minute pandemonium. But instead, I was engulfed by a sensory calm that I carried with me through the evening, every time I stepped on stage to invite one landmark artist after the other. This concert was meant to be. It is a Sufi thing, Rahul, tum nahi samjhoge!
All roads led to the new cultural destination Kalagram, Garden Of Five Senses as music virtuosos A. R. Rahman and Sami Yusuf advocated world peace and inclusion in their individualistic musical style at India’s foremost travelling global Sufi festival, organized by Friday Music Project in association with Delhi Tourism. The concert commenced mid-afternoon and concluded late in the evening with a satiated 3000 plus audience.
The Sufi Route opened with a poetry session, moderating the age-agnostic cultural extravaganza was the renowned lyricist and poet Manoj Muntashir, who presented the plethora of the rich cultural heritage of Sufism. Yours Truly hosted the well-mounted event.
Set amidst an ethereal ambience emancipating an evocative aura, stellar performances by Satinder Sartaaj, Nooran Sisters, Dhruv Sangari transported patrons to a celestial ecosphere where old world mysticism met new world allure. The Nooran Sisters showcased their well-rooted linguistic and musical traditions through their songs like Sayoni, Allah Ho Fakira, Pattakha Guddi. Qawwali and classical maestro Dhruv Sangari made it a memorable evening with Kabir, Tum Ik Gorakh Dhandha Jo and many more showcasing the rich Sufi culture spanning eight centuries. Satinder Sartaaj’s Sai left audiences spellbound. Sami Yusuf, popular British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, had promised that his first ever concert in the country would be a night to remember. Journeying from East to West with master musicians of traditional music and performing some of his greatest hits from albums such as Ya Rasul Allah, Hasbi Rabbi, Lament, You Came To Me, Sari Gelin, Maulana,Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum, Ya Ummi, Healing and even popular Indian qawwalis like Mast Qalandar.
Here we were at Kalagram in Delhi waiting to bare our souls to this blessed musician. As the evening matured into the night, the sama took on a magical quality of a trance-like state. The tempo arrested an enraptured crowd into a state of fana, spiritual ecstasy. The Sufi Route presented A.R. Rahman live in concert. He was supported by the vocal prowess of Javed Ali. Not to forget he premiered his first ever on-stage Sufi rendition of Piya Haji Ali that further captivated the audience.
Shital Bhatia of Friday Filmworks said, “We had spent an entire year to ensure an even grander second edition and we are pleased with the positive outcome. The concert’s peace initiative, its support towards the rich history of Sufi music and its range of performers were all important statements by themselves. Our team is proud to have been at the helm for pioneering this movement in India.” Gagan Takyar of Friday Music Project said, “Sufi is a popular genre in Delhi but surprisingly enough, while there are several independent venues that organize Sufi evenings, there is no Sufi-specific music event. The idea behind The Sufi Route is to cater to this demand and we believe we have been successful. The event celebrated music which in turn celebrated the universal human values that the event propagates of peace, love, faith in an increasingly chaotic world .” Priyanka Arora of Friday Music Project said, “We are honoured to be received with open arms yet again by the city of Delhi. Being India’s first all-inclusive concert and having the hearing impaired community be part of our journey is not just gratifying but very humbling. We will be back soon with another unforgettable experience”
Food Design was conjured up by Andaz by Hyatt who served an array of delicate delicacies. The Sufi Route 2019 was co-promoted by BookMyShow. One Digital Entertainment was the Digital Partner, Harman Pro India was the Technical Partner, Scoop Brand Holdings was the Production Partner and DNH Artists was the artist partner.
But the most important partners of them all were –
The Spirit of Sufism and Our Audience
“What you seek is seeking you.” wrote Jalaluddin Muḥammad Rumi. On the tranquil night of the 9th of February 2019, it was not just the Sufi Route that was seeking them to spread the message of peace, and oneness, they too were seeking the Sufi Route.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there…
At the next Sufi Route in 2020.
This year welcomed the second edition of the famed experiential property, The Sufi Route.