Great minds think alike

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m.a.f.i.a.—Musicians Artists Filmmakers Interesting log….. Aajaao! Can a message be more explicit or curious? Probably not. And true to its name, the idea behind it was not any painstaking effort to organise art events but to do some addabazi, says the founding member of m.a.f.i.a, Gurpal Singh.

“We wanted to get away from the oppressive city atmosphere for a while to share each others work, thoughts, ideas and experiences in some fresh air — nearby a river amidst birds, butterflies and trees. And, of course, no phone or the Internet,” says Gurpal, an actor and film director.
To some, this may sound too good to be true. But m.a.f.i.a has achieved this not less than 11 times. Such gatherings have already taken place in the scenery and tranquillity of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and many more are yet to come.
As Gurpal Singh puts it, “by default” the addabazi brought in many art, music, cinema and culture lovers who began to organise small events all across the country. Music Film Club is one of such initiative, which is presently screening feature films at Kunzum Travel Cafe, Hauz Khas Village every Wednesday. The eighth screening showed a documentary film on classical music traditions of urban Pakistan Khayal Darpan by director Yousuf Saeed.
The group has organised many events include gatherings in Kumaon Hills, Indie Art Event and Sounds of the Sea, Sonapani Film Festival, and Music Film Club — both film festivals in association with BYOFF (Bring Your Own Film Festival).
The latest in line is an upcoming week-long painting and sculpture exhibition “Delhi 56 Hours” at Lalit Kala Academy starting today. “About 14 artists, including me, will showcase their work at the exhibition,” says Sukant Panigrahy, production and art designer.
The group has so far been into private events and “Delhi 56 Hours” would be the first public event by the group on a large scale.
“We aim to organise as many small and informal events as possible. Therefore, it is hard to measure the effect of m.a.f.i.a, but it has given a platform to many artists across the country,” says Nihal Prashar, a member who has been organising poetry gatherings and events.
Formed just two years back, the group already has more than 2000 members on Facebook though the core team is of about 150 members who keep the cultural activities abuzz. “It is an open platform for anyone who wishes to be a part of it. There are many artists involved with the group and many more who are interested,” says Sukant.

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