Salim Merchant, Farah Mitha and Raj Pandit perform the Jubilee Games theme song live, at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Jubilee Games in Dubai.

Chai time with Salim and Sulaiman
Samreen Khoja
29 July 2016
  • The Jubilee Games has celebrated not only the excellence of athletes in the Jamat, but also amongst the Ismaili community’s musical performers. Much of the excitement and unity of the Jubilee Games has been spread through world-class music.

    “Music is about people and bringing people together,” said Salim Merchant to the crowd of about 300, who came together to take in an interactive workshop hosted by him and his brother Sulaiman halfway through the Games.

    They shared from their own experience in the music industry, and how it parallels what athletes go through.

    “The sports anthem in the film Chak de India was rejected nine times,” said Salim. “We almost walked away. It was only on the tenth attempt when we got things right and the song became an anthem for all sports in India.”

    Salim and Sulaiman spoke about the pride they take in being Ismaili Muslims, and how it has helped them be successful. They pointed at Mawlana Hazar Imam’s emphasis on meritocracy as a source of inspiration.

    “That is how we entered the Bollywood music industry — through merit.”

    Tausif Nathani, an aspiring singer who has performed with the Merchant brothers before, attended the workshop. It was “a great platform for young musicians like us to know our fellow Ismaili musicians and their success stories.”