Historic melodies, mystic music and the romance of the river.
Come November, Varanasi, the birthplace of the mystic-poet saint Kabir, a city unparalleled for its unique ambience, soul and history, will come alive after a year’s interval, with our annual celebration of Kabir’s teachings in a rich two-day programme of music, history and serenity.
The fifth edition of the Mahindra Kabira Festival, to be held between 26-28th November 2021, will once more inspire an experience of intangible beauty and musical intensity. The idea behind Kabira is to feast one’s senses and spirit on the calm within the chaos of the world’s oldest city and feel that intangible “oneness amongst diversity” preached by Kabir, through the unrivalled power of music, literature and the arts.
Taking off from the memorable past four editions, the festival celebrates the spirit of Kabir and the glorious simplicity of his philosophy and espouses the lyrical aspect of his teachings within a fulfilling two-day programme. Imagine the power of the music as they chime with the peal of ancient temple bells – in a city steeped in history, music, art, mysticism and religion, a city which accommodates multitudes and enables the happy co-existence of the arts and the spiritual.
Kabir’s poetry is all about inclusiveness – and like every year, Mahindra Kabira Festival will celebrate this philosophy and essentially bring to music-lovers an unforgettable experience of listening to leading exponents of the Benares gharana and folk traditions, of Sufi music, dadra, thumri, khayal gayaki styles, ghazals and pakhawaj and tabla players in an ambience redolent with history iand a melting pot of voices and colours intrinsic to the pulse of India’s cultural matrix. Sessions on art and literature inspired by Kabir, specially curated walks with famous local residents playing gracious hosts for our guests in their explorations into the heart of this fascinating city, and delectable local cuisine are all integral parts of the Mahindra Kabira Festival experience.
Thus, at the fifth Mahindra Kabira Festival, for those who have been on our past sojourns, embrace the “Kabir” way of life once again and if coming for the first time, find that elusive peace which we constantly seek in the endless humdrum of our routine lives. Just soak in the music, walk the memorable, winding alleys, get chased by the ubiquitous bulls, hunt the bazaars for wooden toys and taste the sharp, tangy and sweet treats on the streets, go to the weavers’ gullies where Kabir is said to have grown up and see the stupendous detailing that the venerable Banarasi handlooms can enable.
The festival awaits, with a song in its heart and a spring in its step as the omniscient Ganga readies itself with a thousand lights from passing boats, with ghats and buildings calling to you across centuries.
Founded in 1945, the Mahindra Group is one of the largest and most admired multinational federation of companies with 260,000 employees in over 100 countries. It enjoys a leadership position in farm equipment, utility vehicles, information technology and financial services in India and is the world’s largest tractor company by volume. It has a strong presence in renewable energy, agriculture, logistics, hospitality and real estate.
The Mahindra Group has a clear focus on leading ESG globally, enabling rural prosperity and enhancing urban living, with a goal to drive positive change in the lives of communities and stakeholders to enable them to Rise.
The Mahindra Group, over the years, through its products and services, a deep sense of corporate responsibility and programmes in cultural outreach, has enabled positive change in individuals and communities globally. Mahindra “Rise” is holding a mirror to our organization and articulating what we stand for. Cultural outreach is about connecting with the communities we serve through specially created programmes in the space of Art and Culture. Cultural Outreach is also about sparking conversations across different cultures through the vantage of a large global federation of companies. Our cultural outreach programmes are not mere sponsorships. Each initiative has a strategic purpose and creates a positive impact both for our brand as also for the art form we support.
Each of these initiatives brings us closer to our stakeholders and helps strengthen our shared values. Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) has been momentous for several reasons. We are proud to have presented over 100 theatrical masterpieces from all over India in the national capital. Unknown theatre companies have presented on the same stage as well known ones. Learning and appreciation has been unilateral.
A nomination for META is an honour, proudly flaunted by participants at subsequent enactments in their hometowns or elsewhere. Actors, directors, script writers and others in the theatre world feel a sense of having “made it” on being nominated for META. In a span of a week the audiences get a panoramic glimpse of the best of theatre from across the country. The META Awards are the only national level recognition in the field of Theatre. This is what we had set out to achieve. www.metawards.com The Mahindra Blues Festival held at the iconic Mehboob Studios is the biggest Blues Festival in India.
Over the years it has hosted legends like Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Walter Trout, Robert Randolf, Jonny Lang, Matt Scohfield, Popa Chubby, Shemekia Copeland, Ana Popovich, Dana Fuchs, John Lee Hooker Jr. and Jimmy Thackery. This festival celebrates the culture and tradition of the Blues which originated in the Mississippi Delta and gives the Mahindra brand a unique connect with the tractor customers of that region. www.mahindrablues.com The Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival is aimed to bring back Lucknowi tehzeeb. Organised around a fair involving master craftsmen from the regions, the festival, has transformed into a celebration of craft, music, dance, cuisine and heritage.
Spanning over 5 days, the festival enjoys the patronage of Lucknow families and families from surrounding towns and cities as well. Notable performances have included the likes of Shanti Hiranand, Shubha Mudgal, Indian Ocean, Dastan Goi, Parvathy Baul and Shruti Sadolikar. Held at the beautiful Baradari, a building specially created for culture by the last Nawab of Lucknow, Wajid Ali Shah, the intimate ambience lends itself wonderfully to relearn and appreciate the nuances of old world Nawaabi culture. The newest addition this year is the Mahindra Kabira Festival to be held in Varanasi in November. Aimed to celebrate the secular teachings of the Poet Saint Kabir, the festival hopes to be a beacon of love and hope in the Poet’s place of birth while reflecting the deeply rooted values of Equality and Dignity for all espoused by our Founders.
The arts of India are unrivalled in their depth, diversity and mystery and showcasing it to global audiences requires a deep understanding of our culture, an acute sense of relevance in programming and an unflinching attention to detail. Above all, we at Teamwork believe in love and respect for the artist.
For over 25 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India. In countries such as Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and USA, Teamwork produces over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across more than 40 cities.
Teamwork Arts produces one of the world’s largest free literary gatherings, the annual Jaipur Literature Festival, the Ishara International Puppet Festival in New Delhi, the annual Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) and Festival, international festivals Shared History in South Africa, Eye on India in the United States of America, India by the Bay in Hong Kong, the Indo Africa Summit in Delhi and many more.