A music festival that breaks the Lutyens’ Delhi monopoly
With a nip in the air and a performance by renowned classical Ghazal singing duo, Hussain brothers, residents of Mayur Vihar phase 2 had a memorable Sunday evening.
The event marked the beginning of Dastak, a series of cultural programmes organised by Delhi government’s art, culture and language department at local venues such as community parks across the national capital. The idea behind the initiative is to break the norm of restricting cultural programmes to Lutyens’ Delhi and instead take it to residential neighbourhoods. Hence, the name ‘Dastak’, which translates into a knock at the door.
Singers Ahmed Hussain and Mohammad Hussain regaled over 1,000 residents with their renditions like ‘Mein hawa hoon’ and ‘Khayal-e-yaar’ at the ‘Ghazal ki dastak’ at Mahavir Vatika Park.
In keeping with the composite culture of the city and its rich musical tradition, the show began with Ganpati Vandana. As the night grew colder, the Ghazal admirers, and others, kept coming in droves.
“Until now, most cultural events were held in Lutyens’ Delhi. The Delhi government has decided to take these programmes to the people of Delhi in their own neighbourhoods,” said deputy chief minister and art, culture and tourism minister, Manish Sisodia who attended the event.
A request for reciting a nazm by Ghalib by a young girl took the performers by surprise and a performance by Tripathi sisters from Mayur Vihar added a local touch.
“I have been living in Mayur Vihar for 18 years. I have never seen such a mesmerising performance in our area,” said Neha Gupta who had come with her child.
“I also attend the events at Mandi House but I can never imagine in sitting in the front row,” she said after attending the free show.
Terming it an effort to expand the cultural landscape by decentralising art and culture events, Sisodia said it will make the arts accessible to more people providing an alternative to mainstream entertainment.
“We need to create an environment and audience for arts to thrive, that would also provide an alternative to mainstream entertainment for people,” he said.
The next event lined up under the series is a Qawalli performance by Nizami brothers in Chandni Chowk on second Sunday of December followed by a Dastangoi—Urdu story telling—by Vusat Iqbal Khan from Dilli Gharana. The last time a similar event ‘Music in the Park” series of concerts was organised by NDMC in 2006.