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Revisiting the magical era of old Hindustan with IBTIDA- Ek Mehfil

Anubhav-Jain-and-Tanvi-Bhatia Anubhav Jain and Tanvi Bhatia, founders, IBTIDA- EK Mehfil

Defining themselves as cultural revivalists, Tanvi and Anubhav created IBTIDA - Ek Mehfil in 2019 as a platform to support the underserved ‘Make in India’ brands, the classical artists and artisans as well as the historical sites, all of which have brought the country global renown. Driven by a purpose to change the perception of ‘events’ in the city, IBTIDA blends together art, music, food, spirits and aesthetics to craft immersive experiences that tell stories of old-world charm and culture, inspired by the creative legacy of our past.

In their recent initiative, 'Gul- Phoolon ki Holi,' IBTIDA- Ek Mehfil, Tanvi Singh Bhatia and Anubhav Jain aim at revamping the essence of the festival of Holi that binds a community that shares a mutual love for music, art, and the mehfil. The experiential night took place on the 5th of March at Amaara, New Delhi.

1. Please tell us about the inspiration behind the curation of Gul- Phoolon Ki Holi?

Gul is a concept birthed out of our aspiration to revive the rooted way of celebrating Holi. Our Inspiration is the infamous Vrindavan’s Phoolan Holi. A Holi celebration rooted in culture, uniting people with emotions through the magnificent colours of nature. We’ve been wanting to recreate Holi in Delhi for a while and after the pandemic we finally are getting to create the same this year.

2. How do you aim to elevate the experience of patrons who come for this one of a kind experience?  

We’re stirred to celebrate Holi with everybody who cherishes and craves to go back to the magical era of old Hindustan in a cultural & composed manner. Keeping the Masti Bhav of Holi revived, we’re curating an experience bereft of disrespectful manners & creating a safe space to celebrate the festival of colors with flowers & majestic arts of poetry & music. We are having made in India brands to give the discerning audience a flavour. All our drinks have been named with the Holi fervour. 

3. What is the R&D that goes behind the curation of the various events hosted by IBTIDA- Ek Mehfil? Can talk about Gul in particular.

Our experiences are curated by a team spirit walking towards a single goal to revive Baithaks & Mehfils and work on ethos to connect Make in India brands and to boost these initiatives of our country through being vocal for local while reliving the stories of old Hindustan through the rich arts & artists dedicated to them. 

We created a campaign with women who are from various sectors in the cultural space. Our lead narrative is someone who hails from Vrindavan & has beautifully educated the younger audience with its explanation of the concept, we usually release this prior to the GUL Mehfil.

Gul is one another such curation we’re we met experts on Vrindavan’s rich history & culture and researched through archives to come up with a platform that takes us back to the traditional Holi celebration through cultural rituals and blending them with the contemporary arts.

4. What are the other experiences planned by IBTIDA- EK Mehfil for the coming year?

The next event after GUL - Phoolon ki Holi. We are doing our 3rd baithak in Mumbai with Shilpa Rao and are also planning to collaborate with a bunch or artists from various genres with promoting food & textile experiences along with music. 

We will be taking a full tour around the map of India in terms of experience curations in multiple cities including Delhi, Bombay, Hyderabad, Jaipur with spreading the magic across the international waters and keeping the teaching of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam intact we hope to curate one mehfil in Dubai uniting all.

5. What kinds of audiences do you target for the experiences curated by IBTIDA- Ek Mehfil?

We at IBTIDA - Ek Mehfil do not pertain to any set of audience but move ahead to stir an emotion in each and every heart that feels nostalgic for the era gone by and yearns to live the magic of the era past us 

Our discerning audience are pure lovers of the arts & the craft. Love the formation of India & Culture & who truly appreciate the belief systems of Indian Music & crafts. We have become an experiential safe haven where you see 3 generations coming together & having a conversation and celebrating it together. Our experiences bring a father & daughter and a grandmother and at the same time caters to a younger audience who is still looking for music that soothes the soul 

6. How many mehfils and baithaks have been curated by IBTIDA- Ek Mehfil so far and how has been the response by the attendees?

Gul - Phoolon Ki Holi is our 13th experience. I think the visuals that we receive after every experience says it the best, the teary eyes, the emotional claps, the emotion drenched souls swirling with the symphonies, lips humming in sync of the Gazals. It's like a whole new world has been woven. It’s transcendental. I keep receiving these sweet messages from people after every mehfil, saying it was a life changing experience from them and how they crave for the next mehfil waiting to be part of it.

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