HT-PACE meet takes teachers on a mesmerising melodic voyage

The event conjured up a veritable ‘goonj ki sena’ that tugged at the listeners’ hearts and minds
The teachers enjoy their day at PACE Teachers' Meet at Hotel Hyatt in New Delhi on Thursday.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
The teachers enjoy their day at PACE Teachers' Meet at Hotel Hyatt in New Delhi on Thursday.(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 31, 2018 10:35 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByNida Afrin and Kamalika Sarkar, New Delhi

When an estimated 600 teachers gathered at the Hyatt Regency here on Thursday morning, little did they anticipate that they were about to set off on a melodic journey across borders sans passports.

The HT-PACE Annual Teachers’ Meet gave them this opportunity through the concert ‘Music Without Boundaries.’

Presented by eminent vocalist, composer and poet Madan Gopal Singh, ace guitarist and banjo player Deepak Castelino, sarod artist Pritam Ghoshal and percussionist Aamir Salim, the event conjured up a veritable “goonj ki sena” (army of resonance) that tugged at the listeners’ hearts and minds.

Guiding, cajoling and leading them with witty, humorous and self-deprecating observations, the group presented compositions by Kabir, Bulleh Shah and Amir Khusro; Bob Dylan’s anti-war classic Knocking on Heaven’s Door and renditions from Punjabi, Persian as well as Pahadi traditions.

Striking the right chord, Singh described the perfect teacher “as a murshid or true guide whose teachings stand the student in good stead through life’s happiest and saddest moments.”

Speaking after the performance, Madan Gopal Singh, who is also a teacher, expressed joy at having helped the mentors let their hair down, have fun and be “unfettered” through the concert.

Elaborating on the point, Singh said he was initially apprehensive about performing to such a disciplined, highly systematic audience, and of having to perform an informal style, which Sufi music is all about, in a formal setting.

Fellow musician Castelino expressed happiness at the way the audience showed their appreciation to the concert.

“The concert was indeed a highly enjoyable and interactive experience”, said Anjali John of Mount Carmel School, Dwarka.

Lucky draws were held on the occasion in which the winners were teachers from DPS Sushant Lok; Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar; ITL Public School, Dwarka; Apeejay Public School, Pitampura; National Public School, Maharani Bagh and Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan.

Summing up her views, Annapoorna Sehgal, head, education, HT Media Ltd, said, “Today’s event was a befitting way to mark the completion of 20 years of PACE.”

“It was an amazing event. Such programmes should be organised regularly as these help teachers to relax and unwind,” said Bindu Gupta of Khaitan Public School, Noida.

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