On the 29th of January, I was among the audience of Melodies for Tibet, an initiative that aimed to bring about a significant change in the lives of the millions of displaced Tibetans around the world. Conducted by Amplify Creative Co. and Center for Youth Development and Activities (CYDA), this event was in collaboration with Students for a Free Tibet, Open Space and FTII, where the event took place.
Although the event was of a small scale, the spirits among the organizers ran pretty high. The location they had chosen for the event could not have gotten any better. Shantaram Pond, although ill-fitting to the customary definition of a pond, was nonetheless a brilliant pick. Lined by century-old banyan trees, the location provided the perfect cover for an intimate setting of music, dance and laughter.
Basking in the light of little Chinese lanterns, the musicians immediately engaged in an impromptu jam session. Among the many musicians who performed were Ron aka Sadma Electronic with his ambient electronica, the Iranian Mehdi Bateni with his sitar and Arabic lyrics, singer- songwriter Sagar Sharma, the Mumbai-based Travelling River Band, the newly-named Imagine with their own rendition of the famed John Lennon song, Piyush Auluck with his sweet Flamenco tunes and lastly 16mm – the band of the first years of FTII. Floyd Fernandes stole the show away with his melodic blues tunes and encouraged everyone to play along with his band.
One of the most memorable moments was when an FTII alumnus came up on stage to sing about the Dalai Lama. Other songs also reflected such sentiments throughout the night in varied genres such as electronica, folk fusion, and blues, jazz and alternative rock. This event was the third in the series of similar initiatives undertaken for spreading spread awareness about different social issues by using music as a medium to rebel with a cause.
Although the Tibetan War for Independence has been a long and daunting struggle, this bunch of young minds truly believe that they could make a difference in the world, by spreading the word about the atrocities faced by the people of Tibet. So the next time something like this is happening in your city, go ahead, explore your horizons and get inspired to fight for a cause that really matters.
As for me, that’s what I call a Sunday well spent!
All images belong to the event organizers.