New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) With a dimly-lit Qutub Minar standing tall in the background on an early winter evening, a warm crowd of music lovers swayed to ethereal Sufi tunes, quietly tapping their fingers and their feet.
Last evening, all roads led to the Qutub complex as A R Rahman advocated world peace in his unique musical style at the debut edition of The Sufi Route here.
The concert that ran late into the night left the audience spellbound, as the Oscar-winning singer-composer, presented soulful sufi renditions.
Rahman started out on his keyboard accompanied by his band, along with Anandan Sivamani on percussion.
Together they performed songs like “Soz-O-Salaam”, “Allah Huma Salle Alla”, “Zikr” and “Ae Mere Data, Ae Mere Maula”.
Later, Rahman, to the audience’s delight, was joined by popular Bollywood singer Javed Ali.
The duo belted out some of their popular numbers from Hindi cinema like “Kun Faya Kun”, “Arziyaan”, “Khwaja Mere Khawaja” and “Piya Haji Ali”.
The ensemble was also joined by Sana from Israel, a Palestinian Sufi singer.
The concert, which was organised and curated by Friday Filmworks, INvision Entertainment and Invloed Matrix, hosted an impressive line-up of Sufi singers like Hans Raj Hans, Nooran Sisters, Mukhtiar Ali and Dhruv Sangari among others.
One of the most popular acts of the evening was the dance of the Whirling Dervish troupe from Turkey.
Five young men dressed in black cloaks walked on to the stage, only to disrobe themselves and reveal the white gown underneath symbolic of death.
As they spinned on mystical hymns, donning their brown coloured camel’s hair hats, the performance representing Sufi music spanning eight centuries, was nothing less than magical.
Towards the beginning, the event featured a series of poetry performances.
It started off with a recitation of “Hazrat Amir Khusro Ki” by dantangos Fouzia and Feroz, followed by Indian lyricist and television screenwriter Manoj Muntashir, who rolled out some of his favourite shayari.
Popular poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar, however, stole the show with a dramatic recitation of his poem “Ek Aansu”.
The concert was organised in partnership with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation for the ‘100 Million for 100 Million – A Billion Acts for Peace’ campaign, to create awareness about their projects.
“This was the first ever successful Sufi Route concert and it is a very big achievement for us. At this edition of The Sufi Route we are also proud to announce our five year long journey towards peace by partnering with Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation,” Priyanka Arora of INvision Entertainment, event organiser and director, said.