After the Capital's annual date with Sufi music -- the newest genre of music to become fashionable -- at Jahan-e-Khusro, it is time to move to more serious aspects of the music: the philosophy. Getting to the heart of the matter, it will give people a perspective on the music.

Celebrating the strong bonds of Sufism is the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature. Bringing together the inheritors and followers of this tradition to debate the philosophical issues at a conference, the Foundation hopes to be able to not only focus on mysticism and Sufism, but also highlight the composite culture of this region.

Titled "Sufi Traditions, Poetry and Philosophy'', the conference is a first ever, non-governmental initiative to explore various dimensions of Sufism. This three-day conference aims to strengthen dialogue between boundaries and people.

Besides looking at the historical perspective of the issue from the influence of the Bhakti movement, the conference also seeks to define the futuristic vision of Sufism. Widening the debate to include countries traditionally not in the Sufism "loop" there will be eminent scholars from France, the United States, Britain, Canada and Italy. There will also be scholars from Iran, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey.

Like all great debates and deliberations, the conference will be held at in the Capital's intellectual hub -- the India International Centre. Beginning March 18, there will be special guests like, former Prime Minister V.P Singh, Omar Khiladi and Adib Hussain.

While the conference aims to give people a chance to get to know the philosophy involved in Sufism, there is an opportunity to enjoy the music too with a performance of Sufi music by Shanti Hiranand on the first day. -- Mandira Nayar