[Reader-list] Seeking the Beloved: Festival of Sindhi Sufi Poetry, Nov 21, Bangalore

Chintan Girish Modi chintan.backups at gmail.com
Wed Nov 17 20:20:59 IST 2010

For information about passes, mail sampaulsake at gmail.com

Sophia High School Auditorium, Near Golf Club, Bangalore

Promotional Video : (http://vimeo.com/16690747)
What –
A festival of poetry by 17th century poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai –
featuring folk singers from Kutch, poetry readings and evocative story
telling of the love legends which feature in the Sufi poetry.

Where –
Sophia School Auditorium, Sophia High School, 70, Palace Road, Bangalore
560 001.

When –
6pm-10 pm, Sunday, 21 November 2010.

The poet –
Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689-1752) is one of the greatest Sufi poets along
with Rumi (1207-1273) and Mir Dard (1721-1785), but relatively speaking
lesser known. His poetry draws on the power and beauty of Vedanta and Islam
melding the two philosophies into one poetic and spiritual vision. His major
work is the “Shah Jo Risalo” and his poems thrive today as a vibrant oral
tradition being widely sung, quoted and loved by both Hindu and Muslim
communities in the Sindh region on both sides of the Indo-Pak border. He
takes the popular love legends of the region and speaks through the voices
of different woman protagonists. Sometimes he is Sasui, sometimes Moomal,
sometimes Sohini and sometimes Marui… and through their journeys of seeking
the Truth he expresses his own. His poetry creates a tantalizing dance of
expressions between the sensual yearnings for the earthly Beloved and the
deeply meditative yearnings for the transcendent Beloved.

my veins throb
he remains silent

my beloved butcher
soothe me

only you
can pacify my soul


she jumps in

to choose safe waters
is the path of imposters

those who love
take on the mighty river

(translations by Anju Makhija & Hari Dilgir, from “Seeking the Beloved”,
Katha, 2005)

Disciples and followers of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai gather from all over the
world annually at an Urs at Bhitshah in Sindh, Pakistan, where the poet
spent the final years of his life.

The performers –
In the festival on Nov 21st, the poetry of Shah Latif will come alive in two
distinct musical genres. One is the Kaafi form of singing prevalent amongst
the bhajan singers of the Meghval community of Kutch. This style will come
alive in the robust yet lilting voice of Mooralala Marwada, a folk singer
from Janan village in the Khadeer region of Kutch.

The second is a deep, meditative musical form known as Waee which is also
the name of the style of poetry created by Shah Latif. This style is
prevalent across the border between India and Pakistan. The festival will
present the last exponents of the Waee form of singing in the Indian Sindh
region – Mitha Khan Jat and Sumar Khan from village Bagadia in the Banni
region of Kutch.

The poems and love legends –
The music performances would be interspersed by evocative story telling of
the folk love legends and poetry readings by Mumbai-based translator & poet
Anju Makhija and filmmaker Shabnam Virmani.

Also –
A sampling of traditional Sindhi cuisine will be available at the venue
along with stalls of films, music, books, T-shirts inspired by the poetry of
Shah Latif and Kabir.

Organized by –
The Kabir Project, Sindhi Culture Foundation and National Centre for
Biological Sciences.

The Kabir Project is housed at the Srishti School of Art, Design and
Technology in Bangalore and has been engaged for the last 8 years in
understanding and sharing contemporary expressions of the 15 century mystic
poet Kabir. Currently the project has begun a similar journey of
understanding the Sindhi Sufi poet, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. The Sindhi
Culture Foundation was founded a year ago with the commitment towards
researching and creating awareness about Sindhi culture and history.

Donor Passes for Rs. 200/- available at –
KC Das – St. Marks Road, CMH Road, Wheeler Road, BTM Layout,
Marthahalli, JPNagar,
Sampige Road, New BEL Road.
Bulchee – Garuda Mall, Forum Value Mall -Whitefield, Cosmos - Whitefield,
Total Mall - Sarjapur
Sigma Mall, Cunningham Road
Prism – The Bookshop, 11th Main, 4th Block Jayanagar 080-26637527,
080-26637527, 080-26637527, 080-26637527, 080-26637527
Inside Bharati Vidya Bhavan, Race Course Road (10.30-5.30)
Supermarket – 5th Avenue, Brigade Road 080-25581248
Pecos R & B – Near Ramaiah Hospital, New BEL Road 080-40905168
Pecos – Brigade Road, 080-25586047
MOJO – Residency Road (near Ballal Residency) 41142038
Stones Pub – Indiranagar 41481574
Favourite Shop – Commercial Street, MG Road, Jayanagar, Indiranagar,
Marathalli, Forum Value Mall, Whitefield, Mantri Square
Soch – Forum Mall, Koramangala, Commercial Street, Forum Value Mall,
Whitefield, Mantri Mall
    21 Nov6pm-10pmSophia AuditoriumPoetry reading and storytelling of love
legends by Anju Makhija and Shabnam Virmani/Performances by the Waee singers
and Mooralala Marwada

Programme Schedule:

6:00 pm to 7:45 pm
Introducing Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai
Concert by Mooralala Marwada & troupe (Kaafis & Bhajans)
interspersed with poetry reading
and story telling of the legends of
Umar Marui & Sasui Punhoon

7:45 pm to 8:00 pm
Short interval with tea and snacks

8:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Concert by Mitha Khan & Sumar Khan Jat (Waee songs)
interspersed with poetry reading
and story telling of the legends of
Sohini Mehar & Moomal Rano

9:30 pm onwards
Sindhi cuisine available for dinner
Meeting with the performers

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