Last Saturday, I went to see the Bhakti Utsav at the Nehru Park, one of the most beautiful parks in the capital. It was the second day of the three-day music festival which is organised in the park every year. The sun was about to set and people had started trickling in. From where we were sitting, flowers, trees and lush green fields could be seen all around. The stage was erected under a huge tree. The place had been well lit and decorated. Soon, there was a big crowd, but it was very orderly. I could see young and old, men and women, and a number of foreigners (Nehru Park is very close to the diplomatic area of Delhi).
The programme was a good mix of classical and folk music. For the first time, I heard the Rajasthani musical instrument 'morchang' being played. It is a small instrument, but produces a variety of beautiful sounds. Those curious can experience morchang on Youtube.
I liked the performances of Kaushiki Chakravarty and Jaipur Khan Langa. It was so different from the film music that we normally have to put up with at all events.
Bhakti Utsav is an example worth emulating . Such festivals will help draw crowds to parks and give them a different experience. Music and nature are natural allies. Such festivals will also give a platform to our dying folk arts.