Thursday, October 4, 2007

Akshaye at Lead India Peace Initiative

The Times of India’s Lead India Peace Mela organised by Citizens for Peace on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti consisted of a series of happenings throughout the day, all propagating the significance of peace and the values that the Mahatma extolled.

A series of plays kickstarted the long day; from there on, the action shifted to the brightly decorated Horniman Circle gardens where a recitation of dohas by Sant Kabir and a performance on urban folk songs by Susmit Bose was followed by a heart-wrenching account of a commuter caught in the Mumbai bomb blasts last year.

Enacted by Vaibhav Deshmukh, this moved most of the audience to tears as they were heard sighing, “It was simply brilliant!” Raell Padamsee and Teesta Setalvad’s group of zesty kids then took centrestage as they performed skits on the theme, after which poets Javed Akhtar, Menka Shivdasani and Ranjit Hoskote spun their poetical magic.

While these activities were going on, one could also see people reading the interesting messages hung on the ‘Peace Tree’; some even wrote their own peace messages on kites which were to be flown later in the evening.

The concluding part of the programme was a scintillating performance by Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash who played Gandhiji’s bhajans on the sarod — a performance that left actor Akshaye Khanna marvelling even as he “wah-wahed” the performance.

Akshaye was earlier spotted with the brothers, asking them questions about their art. Hmmm, wonder if the talented actor is onto something new now!

Akshaye then spoke about what freedom meant to him. “There cannot be a bigger joy than being free — free to talk, to write, to do whatever you please. It was after doing the film and getting to know in detail about the struggle that Bapu went through to help us achieve this freedom, that I have actually begun to realise the real worth of this freedom which we tend to take for granted” said Akshaye.

The evening, which also consisted of soulful ghazals rendered by Jagjit Singh and a blues performance by Vivienne Pocha and Merlin D’ Souza, concluded with a collectively taken peace pledge, led by Deveika Bhojwani.

The event saw quite a few of Mumbai’s well-known faces enjoying the proceedings; prime amongst those included Dolly Thakore, Brinda Chudasama-Miller, Jayant Kriplani (who made a cute sight as he sat on the Horniman Garden benches and sung and drummed away oblivious to the world!), Pravina and Jamal Mecklai and Ila and Ishitaa Arun who clapped the loudest on the Bangash brothers’ and Jagjit Singh’s performance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable 4 me. Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash brothers are my favourite bachelors along with Akshaye Khanna and Rahul Khanna. Akshaye Khanna - the bachelor meeting the Ali Bangash brothers. Nice gathering.