Jashn-e-Rekhta to highlight women's role in arts

Women's contribution in creative and performing arts will lie at the heart of the upcoming sixth edition of Jashn-e-Rekhta, a festival which has carved its niche for celebrating Urdu language and Hindustani culture in the capital.

To begin on December 13 with the musical performance by renowned Sufi singer Harshdeep Kaur, and conclude on December 15 with another eminent singer Jaspinder Narula, the festival will also see an all women poets mushaira as well as 'Chahaar Bait'.

A unique women poets' mushaira session was a highlight at last year's edition.

The three-day festival, which has been hosting a good chunk of Bollywood celebrities traditionally, won't disappoint cinema lovers this time too.

Eminent lyricist Javed Akhtar, director Anubhav Sinha, actor-poet Piyush Mishra and celebrated actors Divya Dutta, Sachin Pilagaonkar and Raza Murad are some of big names visiting the festival this year.

For the Grand Mushaira, a major attraction of the event, the gala will host celebrated contemporary Urdu poets like Munawwar Rana, Rahat Indori, Khushbeer Singh Shaad and Mukesh Alam.

In a first for the festival, two special masterclasses are being organised, one on 'Urdu Poetry Appreciation' led by ace poet-author Farhat Ehsas, and another on Urdu pronunciation, with an aim to try and make people learn the correct pronunciations of various commonly used Urdu words.

It will also commemorate the 150th and 550th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Guru Nanak Dev, respectively.

"While Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi will share his thoughts on role of Urdu in Gandhi's philosophy and his influence on Indian languages and culture, Bhai Baldeep Singh will share how Guru Nanak's teachings offer comfort to restless hearts, and the way his emphasis on enlightenment and spiritual growth captured the minds of poets over the ages," read a statement from the organisers.

Another major attraction of the festival will be the two Dastangoi exponents, Fouzia Dastango and Himanshu Bajpai, presenting 'Dastan-e-Mahabharat', based on the great Indian epic and 'Dastan-e-Lucknow', which will masterfully recall the history of the city.

Food Festival 'Aiwan-e-Zaiqa' will host a grand feast of cuisines for lovers of authentic Awadhi, Mughlai, Hyderabadi, Afghani, Bihari, Kashmiri and popular street food from Old Delhi.

Also, there will be the much famed Rekhta bazaar and Rekhta book bazaar, selling the choicest of itr (perfumes), the antiquities of old Delhi, handicrafts, the delicate beauty, and best of Urdu, Hindi and English literature, respectively.

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