Solidarity from the Kitchen.
It is said that January in the UK is the time when many are at their lowest ebb, the nights are long, dark and cold and spring seems far away. The Kadam/Pulse team felt that a way to lift our spirits would be to set up a party on Zoom, Dancing in the Kitchen, with the wonderful DJ Ritu. We invited guest musicians to talk about new tracks, and welcomed anyone who wanted to join us to get together, enjoy the music and dance at home, with cameras on or off. It happened that January 2021 in the UK was a peak period for daily pandemic mortality rates, so it was a hard time for all. After months of lockdown during which many had been feeling isolated, those who came to the party said they felt truly uplifted by the experience, and the musicians enjoyed having a rapport with audiences. This had been a party thrown by Kadam as a one-off; however, we were asked to continue with the event, so we did, on the last Friday of each month, selling tickets at a choice of prices. Dancing in the Kitchen became a well-attended event, with regular participants and new friends on each occasion.
In late April, however, ahead of Dancing in the Kitchen #4 the news of the terrible situation in India hit us. Kadam cancelled an event that had been arranged in partnership with an organisation in India. However, what should we do with our UK-based Friday night musical event? Two members of our team lost people close to them in India. We decided, however, rather than cancel it, to go ahead but change the character of the evening to reflect the circumstances. We named it ‘Solidarity from the Kitchen’ and all concerned agreed that the proceeds of the tickets sales should be donated to a charity to help provide oxygen in India (British Asian Trust Oxygen for India Appeal). We lit candles, held a minute’s silence, and then DJ Ritu began to play carefully-selected music, Parvati Rajamani led us in a healing dance, the invited musicians joined us – and by the end of the evening, in spite of the painful circumstances, we all felt better for having been there. It was thoughtful and uplifting. We are very grateful to all those involved, to those who came and contributed by their presence and their donations. We were able to donate £600 to the appeal.
‘I always really really enjoy these evenings. It probably sounds a bit pretentious, but it feeds my soul. So glad the proceeds this time were going to help India too.’
‘Of course I had wondered whether it would go ahead under the circumstances. I think it was a lovely, creative thing to do.’
‘…found the event very comforting – she lost a relative two days before Friday.’
'Thank you for the DITK evenings. The last one was very heart-warming with fund raising… much enjoyed the way in the event handled our sadness but encouraged hope'.
‘… glad that its going to be a regular feature, I love it! Congratulations on the handsome sum raised.'
'A wonderful event as always and such a worthy cause – thanks so much to you and DJ Ritu for repurposing the funds.’