Sajda Festival returns with tributes to inspiring artists

Sajda Festival returns with tributes to inspiring artists

After the pandemic, Sajda UK’s first physical events of Sajda Festival Season 3 took place in London and Manchester recently.

The festival’s London session was held at the Nehru Centre in London, which paid tribute to the sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan. The musicians for the evening, Ustad Mehboob Nadeem on the sitar and Saleel Tambe on the tabla, enthralled the audience with a rousing tribute to Ray and Khan.

Tambe and Nadeem are masters in their genres, and they captivated a hall full of 200 audiences at the Nehru Centre with amazing eloquence.

Amish Tripathi, author, diplomat at the Indian High Commission UK and Director of the Nehru Centre, graced the occasion.

The Manchester version of Sajda season 3 was a moving tribute to auteur Bharat Ratna Satyajit Ray. Ray’s world-famous classic movie ‘Jalsaghar’ (The Music Room) was screened as a fitting finale at the Carlton Club, Manchester.

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This critically acclaimed film profoundly embodies Ray’s genius in every scene, character portrayal, music, motif, and symbology. The screening was followed by a discussion on the relevance of the movie today, its timelessness and its music. The faulty feudal system of the British colonial era, as portrayed in Jalsaghar, draining of working class’s hard-earned money for the futile luxury of the upper-class Zamindars felt surreal amid today’s cost-of-living crisis, watching the film over again.

‘’SAJDA has drawn a lot of interest and enjoys a reputation among connoisseurs, discerning audiences and the popular audiences. The festival engaged them from the comfort of their homes and now has gone back to being its regular offline model,’’ said Rahul Laud, Curator of the festival.

“The online and offline versions of Season 3 reiterate Sajda’s philosophy to entertain, educate and pay tribute to different performing arts and genres and artistes,” he added.

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Laud assured that Sajda’s aspiration to pay tribute to Unsung Heroes from different genres, dying art forms and musical instruments, which are seldom played or sometimes not even heard, will continue. Several luminaries like Esme Ward, director of the Manchester Museum, Craig Pruess, famed sitarist and music director, Pt Ronu Majumdar (flautist), Bhawani Singh Shekhawat (head of Akshaya Patra Foundation, UK) were advocates for Sajda’s festival format and its contribution to the arts.

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