Vibha has been reading Rumi lately and she has even been making me read a few verses of the saint. I should admit that I have no relationship whatsoever with poetry. I have never read poetry. And when it comes to Sufi poetry, I only know the poetry that is used in bollywood sufi songs. And I never really paid attention to the lyrics. But a couple of verses by Rumi really rang a bell. So when Vibha told me about the event "Seeking Rumi - Celebrating Soulful Poetry", I was interested. The event was to be held at Akshara Theatre and was being organized by Poetry Couture and PACH.
We reached there half-an-hour late and were right on time because the event started within 5 minutes of us taking our seats. The hall was already full, but people still kept pouring in. Soon even the stairs were occupied.
Asha Mittal was presenting the event.
The event started with a flute performance by Natalie Ramirez. She started with a verse by Rumi and then mesmerized the audience with her stunning performance. It was the perfect start.
Next was a discussion on the relevance of Rumi and Sufism between Danish Iqbal, Akhtarul Wasey, and H.S. Shiva Prakash. The discussion was expertly moderated by Raghavendra Madhu. Panel discussions become fun if the panelists know what they are talking about. And these panelists were very knowledgeable indeed.
Next, Shreya Kumar took over with her subtle, smooth interpretation of the poem "Windows to Walls" by Raghavendra Madhu. The poem was narrated by Nikhil Mawkin. Shreya Kumar deserves a special mention because there was a serious technical glitch while she was performing and she managed it really well.
The last event we witnessed was the musical performance by the band Playback. Abhishek Shankar was wonderful at vocals and the guitarist and the percussionist were pretty great too. But Kartikeya Vashisht on the flute was an instant hit with the audience.
We had to leave after this section, but yet to come were the address by Dolly Singh who was to introduce Delhi Poetry Festival. The event was to end with poets reciting their poetry around Sufism and love. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay till the end. But I will say that the event was worth attending and superbly planned.