Farewell to Dehradun

For the last five months, every Friday at 3.30pm, I have endeavoured to tune in to Dehradun in Uttarakhand, northern India.  There, Anna Tanvir and Maninder Singh of Indeceltic have entertained friends and family around the world to songs and music, and news from the Indian lockdown.  For them, and for us, this weekly rendezvous has been an anchor in a turbulent, shapeless world.  The music is wide ranging, some familiar, some new, from many nations, instrumental and songs with harp, guitar and ukulele.

I have known Anna for 35 years; she is the granddaughter of my great friend and campaigner Barbara MacDonald, and daughter of Jill who wrote the book for Anna’s son Mukti, about which I wrote here.  I lived with Jill, Anna and her sister Vickie in Wonford Road, Exeter, for six years.  I remember with joy the evenings spent singing with guitars.

Anna and Vick

Anna and Vickie at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh, India, 1975. Anna wrote that this was her ‘first experience of music being such a good way of communication across cultures’.

Many years ago they spread their wings, and Anna is now widely recognised as an accomplished musician.  She spends time in India (the nation of her late father, the theatrical pioneer and thespian Habib Tanvir), France and Ireland, among other countries.  She was not intending to spend five months in India, but she got caught by the lockdown and lived with her friend Maninder’s parents, Rajinda and Dalbir, all that time, through intense heat and monsoons, barely going out, and focusing on music-making.

Maninder and Anna.jpeg

Maninder and Anna

The healthcare company FigMD generously support Anna and Maninder’s weekly concerts which are presented on You Tube (put Indeceltic in the search box to find some of them).  Each week Anna wears a different outfit and they alter the decor in the background for variety.

Last week, they told us that they had at last managed to book a flight to Paris; they suffered from mixed emotions, after five months under the roof of Maninder’s wonderful parents they were sad to leave, but excited to be heading for Europe.  For the final concert from Dehradun they were joined by Dalbir who, although a little shy, sang with them.

Anna Dalbir Maninder

Anna, Dalbir and Maninder on 24 July

And this morning I have heard with relief that they have made it safely to Paris.  I am delighted that the weekly gigs will continue.  See you soon, Anna and Maninder!

 

About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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