by Poorvi Rajimwalé
Haat bazaar (Photo credit: Aakshat Sinha)
An eight-day long cultural festival Rajasthan Utsav was recently organized in the city to commemorate Rajasthan Foundation Day – observed on 30 March every year– allowing the attendees a glimpse into the resplendent culture and vibrant traditions of the state.
Hosted by Bikaner House, this festival was an attempt to connect the arts and crafts of the region with the local populace. A vivacious haat bazaar was set up in the CCA lawns that displayed a wide range of regional products, such as earthenware, paintings, jewellery, apparels, etc. besides several gastronomical delights which attracted impressive crowds.
Inside the premises, there were two ongoing art exhibitions, one of which was titled "SAMA'' hosted by Bridge Bharat that put on view works in various traditional Indian art forms but with a larger focus on the Rajasthani style. These mesmerizingly beautiful miniature paintings sublimely encapsulated the innate spirit of diverse storytelling traditions that exist in our country. The organizers did a fine job in bringing out the native talent. Another was "Yuva Sumbhava" by The Raza Foundation featuring works of several artists in contemporary style. Furthermore, there were several engaging book-reading events and author-led discussions that drew in a good number of bibliophiles.
Book Fest schedule by Kunzum
(Photo credit: Aakshat Sinha)
Drum circle performance
On-stage musical and dance performances
The evenings were filled with multiple, soulful musical performances by classical and folk artists. A personal favourite was a fervent vocal recital by Vishal B. Shelke whose deep, meditative songs dedicated to Lord Shiva completely captivated the listeners. Another was by Fouzia Dastango, the first woman dastango, who enchanted the spectators with her engaging storytelling on Radhe-Krishna ki Love Story.
Perhaps the most noteworthy event of the entire fête was the Vintage Car Rally held by Heritage Motoring Club. A fleet of heritage and vintage cars owned by erstwhile maharajas and Bollywood stars were driven through the streets of Delhi, starting from Bikaner House, brought back and reassembled to be put on a display for an entire day for the visitors. It was a delight to watch old beauties from the bygone era come to life again.
Altogether, the Utsav was a triumph in helping connect the artists and craftspeople of the region with the general public and putting their talents on view.
Jubilant crowd after the vintage car rally
(All images are courtesy of the photographers Manoj Kesharwani and Radhey, unless mentioned otherwise.)
Poorvi Rajimwalé is originally from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. She holds a Masters in English Literature. She is currently based in Delhi, works as a freelance artist and writes on art.