Gurugram’s art and music extravaganza starts today in the lap of Aravallis
The Gurgaon Utsav, which is in its eighth year, starts today and will continue through the weekend. The festival, which is going to be held at the open air amphitheatre at the Aravalli Biodiversity Park, is a celebration of different art forms and is one of the oldest and most-awaited festival in the city.
The three-day festival will see Punjabi folk artists Hari and Sukhmani croon folk songs to contemporary beats in the evening. On Saturday, veteran Hans Raj Hans will belt out Sufi numbers and Baul music artiste Parvathy Baul and critically acclaimed theatre artiste Mita Vashisht will perform musical and drama pieces that address the subject of female energy in the Indian spiritual tradition.
Entry to the festival is free and performances start at 7pm every day.
While residents in the city are excited for the coming weekend that holds many cultural shows and performances, the artists in question too are looking forward to connect with the city’s audiences.
Mita Vashisht said, “In my hour-long rendition of the 14th century poetess Lal Ded’s life in English, Hindi and Kashmiri, I hope I can establish a connect with the audiences and transport them to the time and space of her life, how her earliest compositions came to be and how she became one of the most important names of modern Kashmiri Literature.”
Like Ded’s poetry, Vashisht’s rendition will be seeped in Sufi mysticism and Shaivism philosophy that came to impact all of Ded’s works.
Sufi music is also going to be the key element of Hans Raj Hans’ performance , who is known for his powerful Sufi renditions. Parvathy Baul will be serenading audiences with melodious Baul music from the terrains of Bengal, Tripura and Assam.
Uma Prakash, one of the founders of the festival, said, “This year’s festival’s performances emanate strong messages of brotherhood, love and humanity. The performances will definitely tug at the heartstrings of the audiences both, for their artistic excellence as well as strong message.”
Art and music enthusiasts in the city are looking forward to the festival and say it has been a constant in their cultural calendar since the first edition. Trisha Baruah, an IT professional said, “It’s nice to have such cultural festivals in the city. The fact that it is held in the open air makes the experience even more enjoyable, I really hope the weather supports the events.”
For Jagrutti Singh, an educationist, such festivals are a great way to retain and bring cultural elements in the city. .
She said, “It’s nice that we have our own festival, and it has some great artist coming in every year. I would love it though if these events could be made longer, maybe a week at least, like they are held in the Capital and have sessions throughout the day.”