for the last 2 days hyd’bad has been hosting a music festival of sufi&mystical music called ruhaniyat( meaning soulfulness in farsi). this is their 2nd year in the city and based on the enthusiastic response they got last year they really went out all the way over this weekend and provided a whole array of music which ranged from the outlandish, bizarre to the top-notch classical artists resplendent in their adaakaari and nazaakat!
there were performances from qawwals from the city and an amazing group from the ajmer shareef who wowed everyone with their trance-inducing performance and their ability to mimic other music-producing objects viz the ghungroo!
of course there were some of them which struck a different kind of note amongst the listeners and left them somewhat bemused and often uncharitable in their remarks. chief amongst them were the group of tibetan monks who had everyone awestruck with the depths their voices could plummet to and yet i couldnt help but liken them to the mating call of the bullfrogs.
among the highlights of the night were performances by the bauls( a kind of wandering mintrel-cum-mendicant people based in West Bengal).the bauls often use hashish to “get into the groove” but they arent the typical rastafarian types although they are quite chilled out and sport dreadlocks.
see,the main objective of ruhaniyat,which i think they’ve achieved entirely, is to bring to light sufism and the mysticism which resides the world over. they dont seek to promote monotheism or even hope that people would embrace their line of thought but just to give us a glimpse of the kind of heights people can soar to in their attempt to connect with the Maker, the Being. it gives one a very different kind of perspective. on one hand you get to indulge your senses and enjoy the myriad of musicality and side by side have an ambience which is both light in vein and deep with resonance and meaning and something which ultimately touches the soul.