Known for its hospitality, Hyderabad is a wonderful and warm cornucopia of cultures where every festival is celebrated without any barriers. Celebrating the influx of talent and encouraging the vibrant nature were back to back events that keep the city buzzing till the end of the January.
No sooner had we entered the new year of 2018, that a range of festivals in different fields assailed us with their unlimited options. Hyderabad Kite festival, Numaish, Tyagaraja Aradhana Music Festival, Book Fair and Hyderabad Literary Festival are just some of the many festivals and exhibitions which left the audience asking for more.
Kickstarting the eventful month was the arrival of the harvest festival Sankranti which was celebrated with much gusto in the Telangana International Kite Festival organised by Telangana Tourism. Being conducted from the past two years, the kite fest brought international and professional teams together along with thousands of kite enthusiasts. A series of kite making workshops, kite flying lessons, and kite fighting competitions against the backdrop of a regional food fair that boasted hundreds of sweets, an arts and crafts carnival kept both the young and old entertained.
Interestingly, every event organised in January had a motto behind it. The four-day Tyagaraja Aradhana Music Festival organised by Sanskriti Foundation paid tribute to saint Tyagaraja’s contribution to Carnatic music. It effectively put an end to many years of criticism that Telugu musicians faced for not doing much in the way of recognition. The founder of Sanskriti Foundation, Violin Vasu, says, “It’s a festival for all the local artistes to meet and celebrate music globally in the month of Tyagaraja’s death anniversary. We organise this event in Hyderabad in order to encourage local artistes rather than paying exorbitant fees to invite artistes from other cities. Also January is a month where climate doesn’t play a spoiler.”
While the Tyagaraja Aradhana Music Festival celebrates local artistes, Hyderabad Literary Festival celebrates linguistic creativity in all its forms. The multi-lingual event in its eighth year witnessed writers, artistes, scholars, publishers from India and abroad, each bringing with them a unique perspective. Started in 2010, the literary festival has emerged as an important event in the city calendar representing the rich and cosmopolitan ethos of the twin cities along with the lively culture of modern Cyberabad. It does this by inviting a foreign country every year to showcase its literature, art and culture, and the country in focus this year was Spain, while the Indian language in focus was Kannada.
Bibliophiles were spoilt for choice at the book fair organised at Telangana Kalabharathi. Going by the sales at the fair, it drove home the point that reading books will come first over kindle any day. More than 10 lakh people in the age group of 4 to 90 years attended the book fair this year. “The book fair is generally held in the month of December. We had to postpone it due to the recent Telugu Mahasabhalu held in December. One crore books were sold at the fair,” says Juluru Gowrishankar, president, Hyderabad Book Fair Society.
Amalgamation matlab Numaish
One of the oldest exhibitions in India with a rich history is Numaish, the All India Industrial Exhibition. Started in 1938 by group of graduates from Osmania University, local products from vendors were exhibited for a period of 46 days back then. Held during the reign of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, it was known as Numaish Masnuaat-e-Mulki (exhibition). In 2009, the original name of Numaish was added to the All India Industrial Exhibition. Today, the 78-year-old exhibition sees participation by sellers from all over the country. NVN Charyulu, secretary of Exhibition Society says, “Numaish starts on January 1 and goes on until February 15. Since many events happen in and around Hyderabad with elites and international artistes in the month, we have only local artists performing in Numaish. Despite that it has a vibe of its own. Its appeal is such that people will attend no matter what other event is happening elsewhere. More than 30 lakh people attend this event from all over India.” Sharing his love for Numaish in the form of a verse, he says, “Musi gandi hogayi, tankbund bhi bahut hogaya, Golconda historical se leke khandar ban gaya, usko tho hume reserve karna hai, aur humara ye Numaish bacha hai, woh chal raha hai, chalta hai aur chalta he rahega.”
Historical charms apart, Hyderabad also happens to be a city filled with modern architecture and facilities. Geospatial World Forum 2018 chose Hyderabad to celebrate their decade of success with close to 2,500 delegates from 49 countries. Among the delegates was Nobel laureate Professor Martin Chalfie who emphasised on the importance of basic research on science among students and researchers at the School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad.
“A few years ago, the common complaint was that nothing culturally worthwhile was coming to Hyderabad. Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi and even Chennai would have events taking place every other month. I guess some people took this to heart and started doing something about the problem instead of complaining about it. Individuals like Mohammad Ali Baig did their bit. Theatre groups, old and new, showed an amazing resurgence. Krishnakriti Festival, Sutradhar, Vaishali Bisht, Dramanon, LCM, Saurabh Gharipurkar, Krishna Shukla, Feroze…the list of names is endless. And similarly with the discovery of several groups interested in different types of music at several platforms, the buzz has indeed happened,” opines Vijay Marur of Little Theatre fame, adding, “Hyderabad is finally on the destination map of most performers, sponsorship has evolved and purse strings have been loosened.”