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Love and Light

Region 1 - Young Adults Programme

On the 18th April, the youth of region 1 got together at Swathi ben and Jitesh bhaiís house for the regular monthly Young Adults programme (YAP) for a BHA-JAM. Initially the idea was to do two activities consisting of bhajan composing and video editing. However, all the youth that attended, including myself, thought it may be fun and interesting to delve into an area that we had never done before, so we all participated in a bhajan-jamming session, entitled Bha-jam.

The session was led by Mathurini Visakan, a youth member and professional Carnatic singing teacher who has conducted many music composition workshops at centre, regional and national levels.

Mathurini started by explaining her own journey with Swami and how bhajan writing came about in her own life, before providing us with inspiration through showing us her own bhajan compositions.

She then, separated the youth into two groups with varying musical abilities within each group (to keep it a fair playing ground!) whereby each group had to come up with a bhajan. In order to provide a starting point for this, Mathurini handed out sheets of paper with various words on it, and asked the groups to pick out words that depicted either each personís individual relationship with Swami or what Swami meant to them.

She then asked the groups to come up with lines using these words as a starting point and suggested ideas on melodies and how a bhajan should be structured.

The teams then went away and whilst some would argue, that certain melodies sounded like existing popular songs from Indian films, both teams produced different yet beautiful bhajans.

When hunger called, Swathi ben had lovingly prepared us Mexican bean wraps with guacamole,salad, salsa and crisps. As if this wasnít enough, Swathi ben also made delicious mango cupcakes which makes my mouth water even thinking about it! After the inspirational Bhojan, we had a couple more rounds of practising our compositions before we finally presented this to each other and to Swathi ben and Jitesh bhai, who had lovingly opened up their home for us to use.

This sessionís YAP was hugely inspiring and made us all come away feeling like we too could compose our own bhajans.

Sai Vinothan Visakan
Region 1