Celebrating ‘Death’ in the life and thought of MK Gandhi
Based on Ankit Chadha’s years of continuing research on the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Praarthanaa’ is a musical dastan that tries to unravel the mystery of death, as seen by Gandhi. The narrative seamlessly connects the history in oral storytelling to the philosophy in the devotional songs sung during the prayers at Gandhi’s ashrams. The stories range from the tales of personalities whose death influenced Gandhi in South Africa, to Gandhi’s experiences of the death of his dear ones in India. The songs, composed by Vedanth Bharadwaj, include poetry by Tulsidas, Narsinh Mehta and Kabir among others.
Woven and performed by Ankit Chadha
Music composed and sung by Vedanth Bharadwaj
Acknowledgment: This piece was conceived during Ankit Chadha’s fellowship at the Sabarmati Ashram
Duration: 1h 40 minutes
Ankit Chadha weaves research-based narratives performed in the Dastangoi form of Urdu storytelling. His writing varies from
biographical accounts of personalities like Kabir, Rahim, Dara Shikoh and Majaaz Lakhnavi.Ankit has worked with non-profits
to weave modern folk tales on sustainable lifestyles, hunger and the Internet. He has spoken on Dastangoi globally, including at Harvard, Yale and University of Toronto. Additionally, Ankit has innovated the form of ‘Musical Dastan’ that uniquely brings together stories and music. He has also worked on Dastangoi performances for children, adapting classics including Alice, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Little Prince.He is the author of the award-winning books “Amir Khusrau - The Man in Riddles” and “My Gandhi Story”. For details, visit www.ankitchadha.in
Vedanth Bharadwaj is a student of Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, presently under the tutelage of Sri Ramamoorthy Rao. Vedanth, a singer-guitarist-composer, has his own recording studio, SaMa, in Chennai, where he composes music for films, documentaries, advertisements, albums, dance and theatre productions. He has composed the music for a Tamil feature film,
“Aruvi” (in collaboration with Bindhumalini) and the upcoming English feature film, “His Father’s Voice” that is slated for release
in 2018. Having produced and released two music albums ‘Maati Kahe’ and ‘Suno Bhai’, he specialises in singing songs written
by mystic saint poets. He has performed at several music festivals and venues in India and abroad. Vedanth loves working with
children and is the choir director of the Chennai Children’s Choir.