‘A Delicate Weave’, musicians from Kutch stitch together a message of love and peace

#1 Oct 30th, 2017, 22:30
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A Delicate Weave | School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India

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Songs about love, communal harmony, peace and the journey of life, set in one of India’s most stunning regions. We get all this and more in A Delicate Weave, the latest documentary from Anjali Monteiro and KP Jayasankar to explore the musical traditions of the Kutch region in Gujarat.

A Delicate Weave (2017) is the final chapter in a trilogy after Do Din Ka Mela (2009) and So Heddan So Hoddan (2014). In the 61-minute documentary, which will be screened in Mumbai on November 24, the professors at the School of Media Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai introduce us to four groups of artists and their musical journeys: the young men of Bhujodi who get together to sing Kabir bhajans, a group of women from Lakhpat who are doing their bit to take forward the tradition of the Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Jiant Singh and his disciples, also followers of Bhitai, and Noor Mohammed Sodha, who plays and teaches the wonderful double-flute.

Sufi songs serve the twin functions of enriching the ear and the soul at the same time. Singer of these traditions, therefore, would generally be deeply aware of the rich philosophical universe of the songs.

In A Delicate Weave, Monteiro and Jayasankar show us how well-versed the artists of Bhujodi and other villages in Kutch are with the meanings of the songs they sing. In the opening sequence, which gives the film its title, Naranbhai, a carpet weaver and a singer and archivist of Kabir bhajans speaks about one of Kabir’s most famous compositions, Jhini Bini Chadariya. “Kabir, who was himself a master weaver, said life is like a shawl, a delicately woven one,” Naranbhai says. “It is our duty to keep this gift of life, this shawl, unblemished and spotless.”

Elsewhere, Jiant Singh explains, again with remarkable ease and clarity, the futility of seeing Ram and Rahim as separate entities – a reading of one of Shah Abdul Bhitai’s compositions.
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