This weekend, the country’s favourite bard will play muse to a rock band from Delhi at a festival in the city. The band, Makeshift, will play songs based on Kabir’s composition, while members of the Indian People’s Theatre Association, will rap to some of his verses. Promising to present Kabir in a way he’s never been seen before is the Kabir Project, a festival celebrating the fifteenth-century saint-poet that will see the two musicians among a host of other performers this weekend. “Kabir’s poetry is relevant even in the present days. They work well as a social, political comment of our times,” says vocalist Neeraj Arya of Makeshift.
Conceptualised by documentary filmmaker Shabnam Virmani, the Kabir Project will be held across the city featuring talks and discussions, street plays and concerts, besides screening Virmani’s famous documentaries on the mystic.
After being held in five cities across the country over the last three years, the festival makes its debut in Mumbai with renowned Kabir academician Linda Hess delivering a talk in the city. “Kabir has a relevance for Mumbai, where people often forget to stop, think and reflect,” says Priti Turakhia, curator of the Mumbai chapter of the festival.
Other highlights of the festival include performances by folk singers Prahlad Tipanya, Mukhtiar Ali, and Mooraala Marwada, as well as Hindustani classical vocalists Pushkar Lele, Neela Bhagwat and Dhruv Sangari; and a dance recital by Sanjukta Wagh.