M’s wife A dropped an email to us, mentioning that M’s birthday was around the corner, and that she had planned to call a few of his close friends for a small get together. The highlight being she had planned to ask Shabnam, and Vipul, of the Kabir Project fame, to attend, and sing a few of Kabir‘s songs. This was a surprise party for M.

All the invited party made it to M’s place at the appointed time. Shabnam and Vipul were on time too. After a brief introduction session to know each other, we settled down for what turned out to be an extraordinarily moving session of music, poetry, with an undercurrent of philosophy and spirituality.

Shabnam, and Vipul started singing various songs attributed to Kabir. They prefaced the songs with some context of the song, the regions where it is sung, and also the meaning of the words in the songs. This context provided a more meaningful depth to the soulful music that was sung and performed. Shabnam, and Vipul’s renditions of the songs were moving, and I was drawn into an introspection of sorts, thanks to the beauty of the words, and the tune they were set to.

They sang in the folk style of the singers from the Kutch, Bauls of Bengal, Rajasthan, and a couple of songs which Kumar Gandharv made his own.

None of us wanted this to stop. We finally dispersed after a hearty dinner, with the songs playing in our heads, and the immersive spiritualism that the songs represented.

Wonderful evening. This started off my journey on discovering the world of Kabir, his music, and spirituality.