Mahindra Kabira Festival, Banaras, India || Celebrating Kabir through Music, DastanGoi, and Discourses

We all need more music in our lives. We all need more discourse. And we all need at least some bit of thoughtfulness. When you attend a festival like the Mahindra Kabira Festival, and that too in a city like Banaras, you get all of this and much more.

We all need more music in our lives. We all need more discourse. And we all need at least some bit of thoughtfulness. When you attend a festival like the Mahindra Kabira Festival, and that too in a city like Banaras, you get all of this and much more. 

Mahindra Kabira Festival is a great way to press the pause button in your life and just go with the flow for a few days. It is an opportunity to look up from our various devices and soak in the real world around us. It is an event that will force you to look inward as well and think.

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Mahindra Kabira Festival is a great way to press the pause button in your life and just go with the flow for a few days. It is an opportunity to look up from our various devices and soak in the real world around us. It is an event that will force you to look inward as well and think. 

The Mahindra Kabira Festival is organized in Banaras (Varanasi) where Kabir was born and spent a large part of his life, and thus is the most appropriate venue for the event. This post is an overview of the festival. It will be followed by two more posts that will talk about the events of the two days in details.

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The Mahindra Kabira Festival is organized in Banaras (Varanasi) where Kabir was born and spent a large part of his life, and thus is the most appropriate venue for the event. This post is an overview of the festival. It will be followed by two more posts that will talk about the events of the two days in details. 

The Mahindra Kabira Festival, 2022, began on 18th November and ended on the 20th. While there were several events that were by invite only, most were open to the general public. You could just walk in and grab a seat and enjoy the musical performances and the discourse.

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The Mahindra Kabira Festival, 2022, began on 18th November and ended on the 20th. While there were several events that were by invite only, most were open to the general public. You could just walk in and grab a seat and enjoy the musical performances and the discourse. 

In order to attend the invite only events, you would need to purchase their package. This gives you access not only to the music sessions and the discourses, but also to several heritage walks that are organized during the breaks. The package also includes the hotel stay and meals.


In order to attend the invite only events, you would need to purchase their package. This gives you access not only to the music sessions and the discourses, but also to several heritage walks that are organized during the breaks. The package also includes the hotel stay and meals. 

On Day 1, all sessions were organized on the Guleria Ghat. On Day 2 and 3, morning and afternoon sessions were organized on the Guleria Ghat and the evening sessions on the Shivala Ghat. For delegates and those who had purchased packages, the transport was organized via boats.

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On Day 1, all sessions were organized on the Guleria Ghat. On Day 2 and 3, morning and afternoon sessions were organized on the Guleria Ghat and the evening sessions on the Shivala Ghat. For delegates and those who had purchased packages, the transport was organized via boats. 

On Day 1, the events were all invite only. The events began with the Ganga Aarti, followed by a short introductory note by Umesh Kabir (Profile). The evening concluded with a Santoor - Tabla Jugalbandi with Kumar Sarang and Pt Lalit Kumar.

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On Day 1, the events were all invite only. The events began with the Ganga Aarti, followed by a short introductory note by Umesh Kabir (Profile). The evening concluded with a Santoor - Tabla Jugalbandi with Kumar Sarang and Pt Lalit Kumar. 

Day 2 began with with a classical guitar recital by Vidushi Dr Kamala Shankar and a Dhrupad recital by Ashish Kumar Jaiswal. The afternoon session saw the discourse titled "Suno Bhai Sadho" by Umesh Kabir, and a conversation between Dr. Roobina Karode and Anubhav Nath about the representation of Kabir in Visual Art. The afternoon session concluded with a scintillating Carnatic vocal performance by Sushma Soma titled Home.

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Day 2 began with with a classical guitar recital by Vidushi Dr Kamala Shankar and a Dhrupad recital by Ashish Kumar Jaiswal. The afternoon session saw the discourse titled "Suno Bhai Sadho" by Umesh Kabir, and a conversation between Dr. Roobina Karode and Anubhav Nath about the representation of Kabir in Visual Art. The afternoon session concluded with a scintillating Carnatic vocal performance by Sushma Soma titled Home. 

The evening session on Day 2, began with a group song by students of The Little Flower House School. And then came Dohè jo Mohè by The Ishara Puppet Theatre and Soulë Band. This was the highlight of the day for us. The performance was followed by Anahat by Pt. Shubhendra Rao and Maestro Saskia Rao -de Haas. The evening concluded with a Carnatic performance by Aruna Sairam.The evening session on Day 2, began with a group song by students of The Little Flower House School. And then came Dohè jo Mohè by The Ishara Puppet Theatre and Soulë Band. This was the highlight of the day for us. The performance was followed by Anahat by Pt. Shubhendra Rao and Maestro Saskia Rao -de Haas. The evening concluded with a Carnatic performance by Aruna Sairam.

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The evening session on Day 2, began with a group song by students of The Little Flower House School. And then came Dohè jo Mohè by The Ishara Puppet Theatre and Soulë Band. This was the highlight of the day for us. The performance was followed by Anahat by Pt. Shubhendra Rao and Maestro Saskia Rao -de Haas. The evening concluded with a Carnatic performance by Aruna Sairam. 

Day 3 began with a Hindustani classical vocal performance by Rama Sundar Ranganathan, followed by a Sarod recital by Pandit Vikash Maharaj. Afternoon session was interesting with Dastangoi - Dastan-e-Kabir, by Fauzia Dastango and theatre artist Ritesh Yadav. The dastan was written by Danish Iqbal. The second session in the afternoon was perhaps the most interesting of all the sessions in this edition of Mahindra Kabira Festival. It was titled "Kabir Panguda Allah Ram Ka", which literally means Kabir is a follower of Allah Ram. It was a discourse by eminent scholar Purushottam Agrawal and accompanying songs and music by Vipin Heero. The afternoon left us craving for more.

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Day 3 began with a Hindustani classical vocal performance by Rama Sundar Ranganathan, followed by a Sarod recital by Pandit Vikash Maharaj. Afternoon session was interesting with Dastangoi - Dastan-e-Kabir, by Fauzia Dastango and theatre artist Ritesh Yadav. The dastan was written by Danish Iqbal. The second session in the afternoon was perhaps the most interesting of all the sessions in this edition of Mahindra Kabira Festival. It was titled "Kabir Panguda Allah Ram Ka", which literally means Kabir is a follower of Allah Ram. It was a discourse by eminent scholar Purushottam Agrawal and accompanying songs and music by Vipin Heero. The afternoon left us craving for more. 

The evening was more about fusion music with several bands and singers presenting their versions of spiritual and Kabir songs. It began with a performance by the students of W. H. Smith Memorial School, followed by music by Surat-based band The Tapi Project. After this singer and musician Jasleen Aulakh took on the stage and the evening concluded with several songs by The Raghu Dixit Project.

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The evening was more about fusion music with several bands and singers presenting their versions of spiritual and Kabir songs. It began with a performance by the students of W. H. Smith Memorial School, followed by music by Surat-based band The Tapi Project. After this singer and musician Jasleen Aulakh took on the stage and the evening concluded with several songs by The Raghu Dixit Project. 

The festival tried to cater to all types of audience and if you a lover of music, chances are that you would want to experience it in all forms. And because this was the Kabira Festival, everything had a spiritual vibe to it. Add to it the majestic Ganga flowing right next to the stage - it was a setting of your dreams.

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The festival tried to cater to all types of audience and if you a lover of music, chances are that you would want to experience it in all forms. And because this was the Kabira Festival, everything had a spiritual vibe to it. Add to it the majestic Ganga flowing right next to the stage - it was a setting of your dreams.

Overall, it was a unique experience and was also a nice break for us. It gave us time to focus and to rejuvenate ourselves before getting sucked back into the daily hustle.

....

Overall, it was a unique experience and was also a nice break for us. It gave us time to focus and to rejuvenate ourselves before getting sucked back into the daily hustle.

....  

Overall, it was a unique experience and was also a nice break for us. It gave us time to focus and to rejuvenate ourselves before getting sucked back into the daily hustle. 

Overall, it was a unique experience and was also a nice break for us. It gave us time to focus and to rejuvenate ourselves before getting sucked back into the daily hustle.


 .... 

Overall, it was a unique experience and was also a nice break for us. It gave us time to focus and to rejuvenate ourselves before getting sucked back into the daily hustle.

....

Overall, it was a unique experience and was also a nice break for us. It gave us time to focus and to rejuvenate ourselves before getting sucked back into the daily hustle.

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