Singer Raageshwari Loomba is ready to launch her first album in five years, with an ode to Sufi music. After being diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, the singer had almost given up on her career. Her return, titled The Sufi Odyssey, consists of eight Ginans (long verses) which are about seven minutes each, which she calls “journey of love, peace and harmony containing a message of humanity.”
Raageshwari reveals, “The Sufi album will contain a mix of Afghani Pushto tunes with Persian flavour. There is also a Pakistani flavour on tracks like Duma dum mast kalandar… and semi-Hindustani classical music with tracks devoted to everyone from Ram to Rahim.” The songs are an enacted version of the community’s holy verses, which date back to the 12th and the 13th centuries, and talk about all Gods in the same breath. She says, “To give you an example, if a Hindu is curious about Christianity and likes to go to the church besides his temple visits, he is a sufi. Anyone who is open to other religions is a Sufi, and will appreciate this music.”
Having gone through a dark phase after her diagnosis in 2000, Raageshwari began to concentrate on healing herself, and turned to philanthropic activities. Her last release was Sagari Rayn (2006), six years after the paralysis. “The experience helped me realise the things that were really important, so in a way everything that happens is for good,” she says.