I’m still reeling from the music of the magnificent Vieux Farka Toure at the Siri Fort Auditorium in Delhi, on Saturday. I went there by chance, lured by the thought of a Desert Music Festival, and the Manganiars from Rajasthan who I have heard much about. The performances were in a half-full auditorium and I wished we were in an open-air space – a garden, a more intimate setting, the smell of winter in our noses. I wished there were more people. But, as the music went from the Thar, to the Sahara and back…it ceased to matter.
The melody of the Kora and Madou Diabate, the vivid Manganiars from Rajasthan, and then the soulful Vieux Farka Toure and his troupe. The audience took their feet. The old and young, were now a free-dancing troupe of happiness. So was I. Swaying to a tune I’d never heard, a language I’d never learned, a man I now adored.
“You need no language, when you have music,” said Vieux Farka Toure. He was trying to explain himself to an audience who couldn’t understand a word of what he was saying. Perplexed, he then went back to his guitar.
And then, no words were needed. The audience left grinning, satiated. There was even an encore!
Music can do magical things to you.