We’ve recently celebrated the festival of colours in the country and where I come from, Rangpanchami is also celebrated with equal enthusiasm and as I’m writing this blog on the day of Rangpanchami, I can’t help but trace the cultural interpretations of the festival and the diversity of it makes me wonder joyfully. Apart from the use of colours, another common factor that’s always associated with holi is music and that association brought back memories from some of the Holi Drumming sessions that we’ve done in the past. One of them was a part of a series of Drumming Circles For Healing with a non profit while a couple of other sessions were Drum Circles for Seniors, many Team Building Activities in Pune for our corporate clients and a special Women’s Drumming Circle when Holi coincided with Women’s day. The junk percussion ensemble for the non profit looked something like this:

Varun Venkit Facilitating a Holi Junk Percussion Ensemble in Pune

While tracing the different cultural ways of celebrating this festival, I stumbled upon a very intriguing fact that highlights the secular nature of the festival. Holi is a festival that was and still very enthusiastically celebrated by Sufi saints and the great Amir Khusrau has written extensively on the same. You know what else is used by Sufis as a tool for healing and community building? Yes, Group Drumming. In fact the concept of ‘Rang’ as a metaphor for the flavours of life is largely attributed to Sufism as it is heard in the famous sufi qalam, ‘Aaj Rang Hai’

Varun Venkit spreading Rhythm and Colours.

Some of the highlights of our holi events have been our Team Engagement Activities In Pune and elsewhere for the corporate sector in which we not only played holi with them but also imparted some learnings and joy through our Team Bonding Activities and HR Activities for Employees.

Picking up the context of using ‘Rang’ or colours as a metaphor, our culture also talks about it at great lengths in the form of ‘Rasas’ and when it comes to ‘Rasas’ the mediums dissolve after a certain stage and what matters is the colours they add to the lives of individuals and communities and perhaps that explains the unbreakable connection of Holi and community music making and celebrating through music. 

Happy Holi Everyone!
-Aman Joshi
Taal Inc. Drum Circle Facilitator