History & Culture

Chef Ranveer Brar discusses India's art and culture on Insta live

Ranveer Brar’s Insta live sessions, #BehomewithRB, will bring to the fore various cultural aspects of India. The restaurateur, author and celebrity chef will chat with musicians, poets, comedians and writers. The 45-minute videos are on Ranveer’s Instagram handle @Ranveer.Brar

“I have met many interesting people from diverse backgrounds during my travels, so the idea was to bring them into the conversation. Like in our food, there is a lot of detail in our traditional music and musical instruments. I have always found it fascinating to see this connection between food and music. In my travels I often meet musicians who are working hard to carry forward a musical heritage and keep it alive over generations, heritage that is threatened to be lost over generations, much like lost recipes. I feel a strong need to give these artistes a platform and collaborating with them is one such endeavour.”

Chef Ranveer Brar discusses India's art and culture on Insta live

Ranveer (who calls himself a ‘food sufi’) has had a discussion with Yusuf Khan, from Alwar district who plays the rare single-stringed instrument, Bhapang, which originates from the Mewati community in Alwar district. “I met Yusuf while helping with a friend’s soon-to-be-released musical documentary. I was fascinated by the instrument and the ideology of Bhapang artistes who believe in music transcending religious barriers. Yusuf is digitising pieces rendered by his grandfather and father, also traditional Bhapang players. An engineer by qualification, Yusuf left his job to pursue his passion and work on reviving the dying folk music form. There will be many more such hidden talents coming up.”

As to why he chose Instagram, Chef Ranveer says: “Because of its accessibility. It is an easy medium to use.” There was also a session with Neeraj Arya of Kabir Cafe. “I met Neeraj four years ago. I liked the idea of bringing back the perennial teachings of Kabir through contemporary forms of music. Neeraj absorbs Kabir and translates the philosophy into action.”

Ranveer says he doesn’t “prepare” too much for his sessions. “I read up and refresh my memories by watching the old videos I have made to bring in perspective. All my videos are primarily personality and perspective driven.”

The Insta live sessions began on March 19. Initially it was conducted everyday at 4 pm, but Chef Ranveer has decided to host the shows three times a week, from today. “Data is a finite resource, which should be used to address more serious issues in these times. So now I will conduct sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10.30 pm, which is not peak hours for data usage.”

He says that the idea behind his videos is to look at culture from a broader lens. “I have always written, I play the drums, I paint. I believe that individual expressions symbiotically gets expressed in society.”

Among the videos to watch out for is a discussion with musician Clinton Cerejo and documentary filmmaker Sumit Khanna

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 6:00:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/in-instagram-live-videos-chef-ranveer-brar-has-discussions-with-musicians-poets-and-more/article31205741.ece

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