Before the youth of India lost themselves to the massive frenzy of electronic dance music in the early 20th century, Sufi ruled the hearts of all music lovers across the nation. Interestingly, as India progressed with its musical choices matching steps with the West, Sufi still remained a popular choice amongst Indian audiences.
It is rather appalling to realise that even though Sufi has for decades been referred to as the 'most celestial' genre of music, no one in the Indian events ecosystem has truly thrived on its magnanimity, bringing to the fore the delicious tranquilizing effect it has on the audiences.
Passionate and ecstatic, spiritual and entrancing, Sufi music acts as a uniquely valuable bridge between East and West reflecting the most accessible, liberal and pluralistic aspects of the undying love for God. 'The Sufi Route' takes you on a journey from the traditional dervish and Qawwali forms to explore the modern innovators inspired by the spirit of Sufism.
The performances at 'The Sufi Route' opened with a poetry session, moderating the age-agnostic cultural extravaganza by renowned lyricist and poet Manoj Muntashir, who presented the plethora of the rich cultural heritage of Sufism.
Set amidst an ethereal ambiance emancipating an evocative aura, stellar performances by Satinder Sartaaj, Nooran Sisters, Dhruv Sangari transported patrons to a celestial ecosphere where old world mysticism met new world allure. The Nooran Sisters showcased their well-rooted linguistic and musical traditions through their songs like Sayoni, Allah Ho Fakira, Pattakha Guddi. Qawwali and classical maestro Dhruv Sangari too made it a memorable evening with Kabir, Tum Ik Gorakh Dhandha Jo and many more, showcasing the rich Sufi culture spanning eight centuries added to the magical vibe.
Sami Yusuf, popular British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, had promised that his first ever concert in the country would be a night to remember. And the musical icon kept his promise delivering an encore performance to a full house. He performed some of his most memorable pieces as well as new compositions. Journeying from East to West with master musicians of traditional music and performing some of his greatest hits and even popular Indian qawwalis like Mast Qalandar, he regaled his audience late into the night.
That said, the one performer for whom hundreds of music lovers from across Delhi NCR had congregated for, A R Rahman, truly took the concert to a celestial dimension. A proud exponent of Sufi music plunged into the evening with his soulful crowd pleasers of Kun Faya Kun, Allah Huma Salle Alla, Arziyaan Sari Main, and many more for a set that exceeded over two hours. He was supported by the vocal prowess of Javed Ali. Not to forget he premiered his first ever on stage Sufi rendition of Piya Haji Ali that further captivated the audience. The concert commenced mid-afternoon and concluded late evening with a satiated 3000 plus audience.