In its 13th year now, Ruhaniyat, the annual Sufi music show that travels across India, is bringing together musicians from Turkey and India in addition to other performances. Ruhaniyat will be in Bangalore this weekend after first showing in Delhi in November.
The main act for the evening will be Rumi-Emre Meet Khusrau-Kabir, a performance in which the poetry and music of Turkey and India collaborate.
The idea for the combination was initiated when Mahesh Babu and his wife Nandini, directors of Banyan Tree Events that organizes Ruhaniyat, visited Konya, where Persian poet Rumi is buried. “We meditated a bit at the site and thought of Rumi’s poems,” says Babu. The idea followed: “Why can’t our Kabir’s poems collaborate with their Rumi?”.
What he calls a symmetric synergy of Turkish and Indian poetry, instruments and voices, is the headline act Rumi-Emre Meet Khusrau-Kabir, in which Latif Bolat and the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey will perform with Madan Gopal Singh and the instrumental ensemble, Chaar Yaar of India. The evening will also include a performance of Baithi Dhamal by the Siddhi Gomas of Africa, Theyyam by Ajeesh V. & Group from Kerala, and a Sufi qawwali by Chand Nizami and group from New Delhi.
Babu says that in the 13 years they have been organizing Ruhaniyat, more than 2,000 new artistes have been introduced from across the world. “We travel half the year and listen to music from across the world,” says Babu, adding that many of the artistes, discoveries of Ruhaniyat, have become well-known faces and are being invited to various festivals not just in India but in other countries as well.
They say bringing together the 10-city tour, which includes Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur and Bhubaneswar, takes them more than six months. “The gratifying bit is also that the audience has grown from 500 to 2,000 for every show since we first started. Now people understand appreciate and seem mesmerized,” says Babu. Ruhaniyat will also be presented in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2014.