Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's Virasat time in Dehradun

Want to see the Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh performing live for FREE! Come to Dehradun to witness the Virasat exhibition on 7th of October, 2006. If you happen to be in Dehradun or Mussorie around this time, you should not miss this. In fact you can indulge in sightseeing in the daytime and then relax in the Virasat Village in the evening enjoying some good performances. This year Virasat is being celebrated from 5th to 19th October.

Virasat is a fortnight long folk exhibition aimed at sensitizing people to the folk life of India. It is organized by Reach (Rural Entrepreneurship for Art & Cultural Heritage) – a non profit organization. In fact it had become one of the important events in the tourism calendar of Dehradun. Organised between Dusserah and Diwali, the event consists of exhibition, film festival, workshops, live drama performances and cultural evenings which are graced by noted artists from both India and Pakistan. More importantly there is no admission fee. The entire festival is FREE. However, for events like film festivals and drama, one needs to register and obtain prior invitation cards as seats are limited in those venues.

The main attraction of the festival is the cultural evening. Last year we watched live performances of Ghulam Ali (Ghazal), Abeeda Parveen (Sufi) and Wadali Bandhu (Sufi Quawwali). This year’s prime attractions will be Jagjit Singh (Ghazal) and Tejan Bai (Pandavani). Both will be performing live in the village on the 7th October evening. Quawwali by Warsi Brothers is scheduled for the evening of 8th October and Wadali Bandhus (Sufi) on 9th October. In between these there will be numerous folk performances from across the nation. For security reasons, mobile phones and cameras are bared from all venues this year.

Living in the Dehradun, the previous editions of Virasat became a way of life. We were the privileged ones as the ‘village complex’ is constructed in the ONGC colony stadium in Dehradun. (We used to live in the ONGC Colony in Dehradun). We will be missing Virasat this time.

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