FOR a change, Mutare was treated to a unique form of showbiz, and had a feel of immaculate, refreshing and unique works of art after artistes from the Indian classical art forms lit up the city at a local venue last week.
Every year, the Embassy of India celebrates ‘Namaste Zimbabwe’ in three cities, and this year the event was held in Mutare.
Previous events were held in Harare and Bulawayo late last month.
The Embassy of India this year partnered with World Forum of Art and Culture to showcase Indian culture to Zimbabwe.
The event saw guests being immersed in “Ananda” which is the expression of bliss and joy.
The artistes from the Indian classical art forms showcased a rich heritage that has been carried forward for over 7 500 years.
The auspicious event curtained up with a lighting ceremony which, according to a tradition in India, is a symbol of wisdom and prosperity.
The Indian classical arts gave the highest regard to the guru ‘Shishya
Parampara’ which is the teacher-student tradition. The display was finely executed by Archana Sharma.
Another splendid display was done by Kriti Chordia, a versatile Kathak artiste and arts manager who trained under luminaries like Padma Bhushan Kumudini Lakhia and the late Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj. The artiste seamlessly and effortlessly blended tradition and modernity in her performances.
Her performance delved into the vibrancy and richness of nature that surrounds humans.
Another performer, Aakash Thakkar, did not disappoint.
She brought to the guests a lilting composition that reminded many why a flute is synonymous with emotion.
An Ayurvedic doctor by profession and a musician by passion, she has been performing for over 15 years, and also holds a passion to explore several instruments in the world of percussion.
The energetic Thakkar, a young dynamic Hindustani Classical Flautist and composer, has been performing for over a decade alongside several luminaries, and not only as an acknowledged scholar, but a holder of multiple recognitions including the prestigious National Centre of Performing Arts Scholarship Award.
The performers were looking spruce and dapper with some elegant wardrobe.
The cuisine was yummy and top-drawer.
Their dishes included Indian flat bread known as ‘naan’, chicken curry in a thick spicy gravy, rice and a hot spicy dish made from cheese samosas among others.
In a sideline interview, Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Vijay Khanduja, said Zimbabwe and India share excellent relations.
He also hailed artistes in Zimbabwe for morally upholding their culture through art.
“There is a lot of collaborations with Zimbabwean artists, and we appreciate Zimbabwe art a lot. There are several private artistes from Zimbabwe who are highly successful in India. In this edition, we have brought Indian classical dances and music and there are unique and exciting. It is a composing package from very talented artistes. We have achieved a lot together, throughout the year. Music, dances and culture connects the countries,” he said.
Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Misheck Mugadza, who was represented by Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Abiot Maronga, said: “We appreciate the cultural event and we expect such refreshing events in the near future. Zimbabwe and India share a great relationship. There are records of trading in textiles that date back from the 15th Century. It is my view that we need to explore new business opportunities, particularly in the textile industry as Manicaland is a renowned producers of cotton.”