Saint Kabir was a renowned mystic poet of Hindi
literature whose writings influenced the Indian people. He was born on 1398 AD
and during his life he wrote many influential scriptures that influenced the
Bhakti movement. He ranked among the world’s greatest poets whose straight
forward approach gave new direction to the Indian philosophy.
Kabir Festival Mumbai
Started under the aegis of the Kabir Project, the Mumbai chapter of it, aims at making sure that the message of Kabir reaches out to the people. The need for such cultural programs comes from the fact that a majority of Kabir's chants and poems, if materialized in today's world, could change the face of the society.
The Kabir Project is under the guidance of Shabnam Virmani
, who himself is a documentary film maker, and a devoted lover of Kabir's folk music.
This iconic Kabir festival is attended from all over the country by enthusiasts. The Mumbai Kabir Festival will begin with the screening of documentaries, relevant to the present day’s society’s picture. Last year's list had the following gems:
- Had - Anhad: It revolves around the complex puzzle of religion, with India and Pakistan as the epicenters.
- Chalo Hamara Des: It explains Kabir's thoughts, through the friendship of two people, belonging to exactly opposite environments and locations.
- Koi Sunta Hai: It covers the gaps between the rural and urban world, and their portrayal of Kabir's thoughts.
- The Unknown Bard: Directed by Tanvir Mokammel, the documentary is a biography of composer Lalon Fakir. It takes you for a ride into Lalon’s heart and mind, through the lyrics that he had penned down.
- Baul Singers of Bengal: This is Benoy Behl's 11th offering from his 26-parts long "Spectacular India" series.
This screening was then followed by a facilitated healthy discussion among all the gathered laureates.
The three-day-long festival was marked by several events, organized to enlighten the attendees with Kabir's thoughts and penned poems, including live folk music by several folk artistes, namely, Prahlad Tipanya, Mukhtiyar Ali, Mooralala Marwada, Shabnam Virmani, Makeshift, Parvathy Baul & Lakshman Das Baul, and the duo of Vedanth & Bindhu.
Apart from the music, Mumbai Kabir Festival also had a story telling session, to open the gateway of children's minds, so that they can be more aware and relate to Kabir's messages being told. The organizers line up some of the best story tellers, namely,
- Delhi-based writer, and Hindu-alumni, Ankit Chadha
- Actor and VOA, Ashish Paliwal, who’s done voice-overs for NGC, Fox History, BBC, etc.
- Social Activist and a professional story teller, from the States, Ameetha Singh, who’s already a popular orator for the children here, with her gigs at the Jan 2011 Mumbai Kabir Festival.
Apart from these, you’ll also get to attend workshops, focusing on the musical understanding of the attendees. This year, it will be celebrated between January first and second week.
The best thing about this festival is that it is for free! Yes, the entry to the fest is based upon 'first-come-first-serve' basis. In fact one should not miss such a golden opportunity to understand between the lines as to what message does Kabir want to pass on.