The Stranger’s connect : At the Rainforest Music Festival… and beyond

It’s been a while since I wrote on the blog. Ironically, though the last post spoke of ‘a full circle’, it has worked as anything but closure. Not that I didn’t mean to write anymore, but if I had come across that post on another blog, I would’ve assumed that to be ‘the last of sorts’. Quite contrarily, that post ( weeks later) continues to bring me conversations with strangers.

In one such recent mail from Geneva, (if you are reading this, thanks once again for writing :-)), my ‘stranger’ wrote to me about soul to soul connect. And the last few years of my life flashed right in front of me! My most cherished memories, some of the best conversations in the last years have been with strangers, some of whom I have lost along the way and some, have gone on to become my soul mates (I believe you have many in one lifetime!).

One thing these experiences have made me, is a HUGE advocator of solo travel and open mind – so far it’s been the greatest potent combination I’ve seen, to make special connections. 🙂

Recently, I was at the Rainforest Music Festival in Sarawak, Kuching. I wasn’t traveling solo, and sure enough, when I am not, I don’t make very many strangers’ connections (that perhaps explains the deadly combination observation earlier on).

But something said this trip was going to be different – and I’m glad it was :-). There was music, a cultural village, meeting a few locals, world musicians, many a travelers and a strong strangers’ connect!

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…of mystic, magic and music!

A mystic, a poet, an artist and a singer, Parvathy seems to follow her heart like there isn’t another way!

In an interview with the Sufi journal, she talks about how she was drawn to the Baul tradition (hailing from the West Bengal in India. Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baul). A chance meeting with a Baul singer in a train, opened her heart to it. She then found her guru in Shri Sanatan Das Baul and one afternoon, before she’d even begun any training, just started singing with him!

I had the privilege of watching her perform at ‘Ruhaniyat’, an all India Sufi and Mystic Music Festival. The organisers aptly describe the festival as the ‘call of the soul, enlivening centuries of spiritual wisdom’. It brings together musicians from Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan etc. besides India. (Read more about the festival here: http://ruhaniyat.com/)

On a mystical night in Bombay, set in the Hornimon circle garden, among the Sema dervishes and the Qawwals, in walked Parvathy Baul and her magic!

Pic Courtesy: Ruhaniyat Website

Pic Courtesy: Ruhaniyat Website

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