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Reliving memories of Khusrau-Kabir

A concert in the city celebrates the rich legacy of the two great geniuses through an Indian classical recital

music Updated: Jun 09, 2012 17:48 IST
Soumya Vajpayee
Soumya Vajpayee
Hindustan Times

It would be audacious to even try and provide an introduction to the mystic poet Kabir and the “father of qawwali”, musician and poet Amir Khusrau. An understanding of Indian poetry, in fact, is incomplete without an appreciation of the works of these seminal (in the true sense of the word) poets.

So whether you are an aficionado of Indian mystic poetry and Sufi music, or one who would just like an introduction to this vast repository of art, the concert titled Khusrau-Kabir Across Centuries is one you can’t afford to miss. The event that takes place at Nehru Centre tonight will be a tribute to the immeasurable contribution of these greats to the realm of Indian performing arts.

For the past three years, organisers Banyan Tree have focused solely on Khusrau’s works. This year, they introduced the works of Kabir to increase their purview. “Kabir is world-renowned and we’re proud to showcase his work,” says Mahesh Babu, managing director of Banyan Tree.

The poetry of Kabir will be presented by some of country’s finest classical musicians, such as classical singer Shounak Abhisheki and folk singer Prahlad Tipanya who are known for works featuring Kabir’s bhajans. Khusrau’s work will be presented by the famous qawwal Chand Nizami. The renderings will be in contemporary classical, semi-classical and Qawwali. “We are also planning to use unconventional instruments like the esraj and banjo besides the tabla and sitar to connect their ancient works with the 21stcentury,” says Babu.

Prahlad Tipanya who will recite Kabir’s poetry at the event, says, “His writings inspire us to introspect and get rid of all that is evil. I know a person who quit smoking after being inspired by Kabir.” Tipanya, who has performed in Mumbai earlier, adds, “The response from the audience here is always overwhelming.”

First Published: Jun 09, 2012 12:10 IST