THE MAHINDRA KABIRA WAY
Come winter, Varanasi, the birthplace of the mystic-poet saint Kabir, a city unparalleled for its unique ambience, soul, and history, will come alive after a year’s interval, with our annual celebration of Kabir’s teachings in a rich two-day programme of music, history, and serenity.
The seventh edition of the Mahindra Kabira Festival, to be held between 15 – 17 December 2023, will once more inspire an experience of intangible beauty and musical intensity. The idea behind Mahindra Kabira is to feast on Kabir’s ideas, experience the calm within the chaos of the world’s oldest city, and feel that intangible ‘oneness amongst diversity’ preached by this unparalleled mystic through music, literature, and the arts.
Taking off from the many memorable past editions, the festival will once again celebrate the spirit of Kabir and the glorious simplicity of his philosophy and espouse the lyrical aspect of his teachings with a fulfilling two-day programme. Imagine the power of the music as they chime with the peal of ancient temple bells – in a city steeped in history, music, art, mysticism and religion, a city which accommodates multitudes and enables the happy co-existence of the arts and the spiritual.
Kabir’s poetry is all about inclusiveness – and like every year, Mahindra Kabira Festival will celebrate this philosophy and essentially bring to music-lovers an unforgettable experience of listening to leading exponents of the Benares Gharana, folk Sufi, dadra, thumri, khayal gayaki styles, ghazals, the pakhawaj and the tabla players in a culturally rich, ambience redolent with history, voices and people. Sessions on art and literature inspired by Kabir, specially curated walks with local guides, and delectable local cuisine are all integral parts of the Mahindra Kabira Festival experience.
Thus, at the upcoming Mahindra Kabira Festival, for those who have been on our past sojourns, embrace the ‘Kabir’ way of life once again. And for those coming for the first time, find that elusive peace which we constantly seek in the endless humdrum of our routine lives. Just soak in the music, walk the memorable, winding alleys, get chased by the ubiquitous bulls, hunt the bazaars for wooden toys and taste the sharp, tangy and sweet treats on the streets, take boat-rides on the glistening Ganga, savour the grand arati, go to the weavers’ gullies where Kabir is said to have grown up and see the stupendous detailing that the venerable Banarasi handlooms enable.
The festival awaits, with a song in its heart and a spring in its step as the omniscient Ganga readies itself with a thousand lights from passing boats, with ghats and buildings calling to you across centuries.
The Mahindra Group
Founded in 1945, the Mahindra Group is one of the largest and most admired multinational federation of companies with 260,000 employees in over 100 countries. It enjoys a leadership position in farm equipment, utility vehicles, information technology and financial services in India and is the world’s largest tractor company by volume. It has a strong presence in renewable energy, agriculture, logistics, hospitality and real estate.
The Mahindra Group has a clear focus on leading ESG globally, enabling rural prosperity and enhancing urban living, with a goal to drive positive change in the lives of communities and stakeholders to enable them to Rise.
Cultural Outreach at Mahindra
The Mahindra Group, over the years, through its products and services, a deep sense of corporate responsibility and programmes in cultural outreach, has enabled positive change in individuals and communities globally. Mahindra “Rise” is holding a mirror to our organization and articulating what we stand for. Cultural outreach is about connecting with the communities we serve through specially created programmes in the space of Art and Culture. Cultural Outreach is also about sparking conversations across different cultures through the vantage of a large global federation of companies. Our cultural outreach programmes are not mere sponsorships. Each initiative has a strategic purpose and creates a positive impact both for our brand as also for the art form we support.
Each of these initiatives brings us closer to our stakeholders and helps strengthen our shared values. Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) has been momentous for several reasons. We are proud to have presented over 100 theatrical masterpieces from all over India in the national capital. Unknown theatre companies have presented on the same stage as well known ones. Learning and appreciation has been unilateral.
A nomination for META is an honour, proudly flaunted by participants at subsequent enactments in their hometowns or elsewhere. Actors, directors, script writers and others in the theatre world feel a sense of having “made it” on being nominated for META. In a span of a week the audiences get a panoramic glimpse of the best of theatre from across the country. The META Awards are the only national level recognition in the field of Theatre. This is what we had set out to achieve. www.metawards.com The Mahindra Blues Festival held at the iconic Mehboob Studios is the biggest Blues Festival in India.
Over the years it has hosted legends like Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Walter Trout, Robert Randolf, Jonny Lang, Matt Scohfield, Popa Chubby, Shemekia Copeland, Ana Popovich, Dana Fuchs, John Lee Hooker Jr. and Jimmy Thackery. This festival celebrates the culture and tradition of the Blues which originated in the Mississippi Delta and gives the Mahindra brand a unique connect with the tractor customers of that region. www.mahindrablues.com The Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival is aimed to bring back Lucknowi tehzeeb. Organised around a fair involving master craftsmen from the regions, the festival, has transformed into a celebration of craft, music, dance, cuisine and heritage.
Spanning over 5 days, the festival enjoys the patronage of Lucknow families and families from surrounding towns and cities as well. Notable performances have included the likes of Shanti Hiranand, Shubha Mudgal, Indian Ocean, Dastan Goi, Parvathy Baul and Shruti Sadolikar. Held at the beautiful Baradari, a building specially created for culture by the last Nawab of Lucknow, Wajid Ali Shah, the intimate ambience lends itself wonderfully to relearn and appreciate the nuances of old world Nawaabi culture. The newest addition this year is the Mahindra Kabira Festival to be held in Varanasi in November. Aimed to celebrate the secular teachings of the Poet Saint Kabir, the festival hopes to be a beacon of love and hope in the Poet’s place of birth while reflecting the deeply rooted values of Equality and Dignity for all espoused by our Founders.
From Concept to Curation, And Design to Production
Teamwork Arts is a highly versatile production company with roots in the performing arts, knowledge-creation, social action and the corporate world. For over 30 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India, presenting the finest of Indian performers, writers , change makers and visual artistes in the knowledge and arts space in India and abroad. The arts of India are unrivalled in their depth, diversity and mystery and showcasing India to global audiences requires a deep understanding of her culture, an acute sense of relevance in programming, an unflinching attention to detail and above all, love and respect for the artist. Our expertise spans the sphere of entertainment and knowledge, and includes making of documentary and feature films, conceptualising and developing visual, performing arts and literary festivals around the world which embody both a classical and contemporary India, and nurturing new talent across all art forms.
Every year, we produce over 33 festivals in 42 cities and 17 countries in the fields of performing & visual arts and literature; our venues include Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK and USA as well as many eclectic festivals across India. We produce the world's largest literary gathering: the annual Jaipur Literature Festival; JLF international now travels to the US, UK, Canada and Australia and the Maldives and soon in Europe.
We produce acclaimed festivals across India such as the Ishara International Puppet Festival, the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META), festivals of magical music -the Mahindra Kabira in Varanasi, the Sacred in Pushkar, The Jazz India Circuit in Goa and the National Capital Region, the Jaipur Music Stage in Jaipur and the monthly Under the Banyan Tree which happens on a “Full Moon” night in Delhi.
Our international festivals include India by the Nile in Egypt, India by the Bay in Hong Kong, Confluence - A Festival of India in Australia, India in the Sunshine City in Zimbabwe , India by the Bosphorus in Turkey, India in the Alps in Switzerland and many more. Our musical extravaganza, Bollywood Love Story - A Musical, continues to tour the world with sold-out shows everywhere it is held.
Even amidst the upheaval and unsettling times of 2020 and through 2021, Teamwork Arts successfully launched the digital series, ‘JLF Brave New World’ and ‘Words Are Bridges’, which were viewed by over 4.8 million people in their first season. Through its digital avatar, the Jaipur Literature Festival reached over 27 million viewers in January 2021 and brought together the world’s leading commentators and writers. Amidst the pandemic, Teamwork Arts also created ‘Art Matters’ - an initiative empowering artistes across India to collaborate across genres by commissioning them to create new works. It has since then raised awareness, actioned change, developed support channels and inspired the community to contribute to the cause in various direct and indirect ways. The digital series ‘Be Inspired’ was launched in 2021 – a series that crystal-gazes into the future with conversations on science, technology, innovation, environment and more.
More information at: www.teamworkarts.com