Sindh Festival continues to magnetise citizens

Sindh Festival continues  to magnetise citizens

KARACHI: Syed Arif Hussain’s sand art showed a breathtaking vision as the artist has created new works tailored to the spirit of the Sindh Festival. 
Viewers were amazed at Bagh Ibne Qasim on the 10th day of the mega event Sindh Festival, through sand fantasy as a wonderful and magical story emerged in front of the their eyes.
Using his fingers, Arif`s practice of modelling sand into an artistic form, sand sculpture mesmerised the audience. In his performances, Arif draws the best of his creations like models of Mohenjodaro, Garhi Khuda Bakhsh graveyard and Jal Pari. However, his sand sculpture resembling Benazir Bhutto and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the centre of the attention.
“I have made sand sculptures especially for Sindh Festival. I earn my bread and butter by making sand-art sculptures at the Seaview,” Arif said while talking to Daily Times. “There are some university students who come to visit me and learn the art. However, I have no proper place to teach them... I request Bilawal Bhutto or any other authority to provide me a place where I can form an institution,” said the artist who belongs to Rahim Yar Khan.
One of the festival’s sections has been occupied by Sindh Cultural Department’s bookstall where more than 250 Sindhi books are on display. Books like ‘Shah Jo Risalo’, ‘Ma Je Mowas Pandh Mein’, ‘Sindhi Museeqi Ja Sur Taar’ were most on-demand. “Bookstall, which ran from first day of inauguration, drew modest visitors,” said Sikandar Soomro, organiser of the stall.
He said that as compare to senior citizens, it were young people who appeared on the stalls and bought books. “That’s very encouraging,” stated Soomro. Two off-duty policemen, Muhammad Rafiq Bhangwar and Hamid Ali Siyal, both from Nawabshah, were seen busy buying books. “We came here to find a book named Sindh Joon Qaumoon Aein Zatiyoon. Hopefully we would find it,” said one the policemen.
Not too far from the bookstall was the traditional Thari craftsmen stall, organised by Poonam Chand. 
According to him, most of the visitors were more interested in “window- shopping” only. 
“Blame inflation as 90 percent of the spectators come, ask about prices and leave. However, rates are very reasonable,” said Poonam. 
Aamir Siddiqui, who had come there with his family, was busy buying traditional cushions and wall hangings. “This is my fifth visit to the festival. I will purchase traditional crafts and export them to the US, Europe and Canada,” said Aamir, who is an interior designer himself. 
“The interactions between urban and rural Sindh people, courtesy the event, are helpful to understand both sides,’’ opined Aamir.
The event also hosted an open-air concert to mark the festivities with star performances. The day’s highlights included Shahnila Ali`s s live performance on “Ahro Sajan Aj Cho Tho Wanee” which managed to unite all the disparate fans. Shahnila inspired the crowd through evergreen ‘Jogi Mou Khe Hani De’, and ‘Ao Rana Rahun Raat’ numbers.
The music evening also featured an exciting mix of musicians from a variety of traditional backgrounds. Audience enchanted performance of Algoze player Muhammad Urs Bhatti on rarely seen instrument. 
Among others Ustaad Ahmed Ali performed brilliantly on ‘Bhit Ja Bhittai Wo Bhit Te Wasai’ and was applauded by the audience.

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