Celebrating Delhi's Poet

Feb 15 2013, 06:18 IST
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SummaryRatish Nanda, project director, Aga Khan Trust for Culture talks about the research behind the project

‘The aim is to get the city interested in Khusrau once again’

Ratish Nanda, project director, Aga Khan Trust for Culture talks about the research behind the project

Is the ambit of the festival wider this time?

The festival is the culmination of five years of research, fieldwork, and documentation, on the musical legacy of Hazrat Amir Khusrau Dehlavi by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (ATKC). The research co-funded by Ford Foundation, will be disseminated not only through concerts but also lectures, exhibitions and heritage walks.

Khusrau was iconic to Delhi’s culture but do we know enough about him?

Khusrau was also at the vanguard of Hindustani culture, as we know it today; an icon whose fame spread way beyond Indian borders, he is revered in Iran and Tajikistan. This festival aims to get Delhi interested in him once again.

Do you plan to make this festival an annual feature?

A multi-venue, multi-programme festival such as this should ideally become an annual feature. For us at the ATKC , it will hopefully result in the setting up of a Khusrau centre.

The festival will give Delhi another venue: the amphitheatre that’s coming up in Sunder Nursery.

The garden amphitheatre at Sunder Nursery will hold its inaugural event on February 20. It can accommodate about 800 people. Apart from performances, it can be used for flower shows, seating visitors or as a lecture space.

The second edition of Jashn-e-Khusrau comes to the city

Mohay apnay hi rang mein rang lay,Tu to saaheb mera Mehboob-e-Ilaahi

Almost 750 years ago, Amir Khusrau Dehlavi, a court poet to several Sultans of Delhi, the favourite disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and one of the finest contemporary poets known in the continent, must have written this couplet in his house in Ghisiyapur, now known as Nizamuddin Basti. The strains of this poetry and more will reverberate around the same area where the second edition of Jashn-e-Khusrau will take place. The festival organised by the Archaeological Survey of India, in collaboration with Aga Khan Trust for Culture is hosting a fine and rare line-up of musicians apart from exhibitions, film screenings and symposiums to be held during a month-and-a-half long tribute to the genius of Khusrau. “The rare qalams, Persian and Hindavi, and some of the ragas that he invented will be part of the musical performances,” says Shakeel Hossain, the curator of the festival.

The festival, which opens today with a classical vocal recital

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