Paying tribute to your own heritage
Mumbai has numerous unique sites that make it a top location among tourists. But how often do we care about our cultural heritage? To celebrate these unsung legacies that may be crying for help so that they don’t disappear, the Indian Heritage Society (IHS) in its 28th year, brings a musical festival known as Mumbai Sanskriti.
The idea, Anita Garware, chairperson, Indian Heritage Society, says is to preserve Mumbai’s rich cultural heritage through live music. The festival has eminent artistes this year, such as Ustad Amjad Ali Khan performing along with his sons Ayaan Ali Bangash and Armaan Ali Bangash and Pt Sanjeev Abhyankar and Vidushi Kala Ramnath.
A nostalgic Garware says, “Back then, in 1990, no one else had the courage to visualise and execute open-air events of this scale in Mumbai the way the Mumbai Sanskriti festival did. Earlier, it was known as the Banganga Festival and Mumbai Sanskriti is an offshoot of that. Banganga had to be stopped because of the Bombay High Court’s order on sound amplification in the city.”
Why keep Asiatic Society of Mumbai as the venue? “We had to look for an alternate heritage site and the site outside the Asiatic Society of Mumbai was considered most suitable. The steps of this majestic neoclassical architectural structure inspired us to begin our journey of showcasing cultural heritage,” she adds.
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, who will be performing at the festival says, “I have always heard about the magic that is created during this festival. I am delighted that this year the amalgamation of classical music, the magnificent precincts of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai and beautiful winter evening would compel the people of Mumbai to look back at our history and say how glorious it was.”
His son Ayaan Ali Bangash feels it is an honour to perform with his father. “It is always a blessing, however, both my brother and I perform individually and together, as well. When we get the opportunity to assist our father, it’s a sublime feeling, because he has been our guiding light.”