Raags As Art At The MTV India Music Summit 2018

Taking the idea of exploring music and musicality from a holistic perspective forward, the MTV India Music Summit presents a unique expression of music in this year’s edition: exploring raags through the artist’s brush.

Exhibited at the Summit this year will be artist Shishir Gupta’s colourful rendition of the different raags that form the backbone of Indian music. Take time to view these art works and then listen to these raags at the various sessions of the Summit for a complete musical experience.

A free-flowing expression of the artist’s imagination, these wonderful works will be up for grabs at the MTV India Music Summit.


Raag Bhairav

One of the most important and fundamental raagas in Indian Classical Music, this is an ancient raag (created in the Vedic period) that is music of the dawn or a new beginning, bright and radiant like the sun, spreading energy all around. It has been perceived as the golden rising sun.

Raag Bhairavi

The queen of melodies is imagined to be a female raag with grace and softness. It has similar nuances of Bhairav but Bhairavi is not all power and energy; its melodies are like mellifluous waves evoking love and piety leading one close to ultimate ease and peace.

Raag Ahir Bhairav

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s bandish ‘Albela Sajan Aayo Re’ in Ahir Bhairav is perhaps the most brilliant example of a raag becoming famous through a rendition. Raga AhirBhairav is a mixture of Bhairav and the ancient but now rare raag Ahiri sung at sunrise.

Raag Sarang

Also known as Brindabani Sarang, Sarang is believed to havebeen created by Swami Haridas. The raag is interpreted through the various ebbs and flows in a rainbow of colours that ultimately lead up to a serene state, where the mind merges into the infinite.


Literally meaning ‘sound of swans’, Hansadhwani is said to be anoriginally Carnatic music raag. However, it is also extensively used in Hindustani music. It was created by the Carnatic composer Ramaswami Dikshitar and brought into Hindustani music by Aman Ali Khan – graceful like the gliding motions of a swan in water, the raga signifies a gentle effort to bring calm and creative feelings into human lives.

Raag Basant

Music that celebrates the nurturing warmth of spring.  Resplendent in nature, Basant represents the colours of joy and bliss in human life. The sparkling hues of Basant symbolize freshness, hope and positivity, where negative vibes find no place.

Raag Durga

In keeping with its name, Durga evokes images of the Hindu goddessDurga or Shakti, who is known to be patient and fearless. Raag Durga signifies a form of celestial power and protective energy represented by the colour red at the core and which flows out melodiously into every part, culminating in a generous gamut of hues.

Raag Yaman Kalyan

One of the first ragas taught to aspiring students of Hindustani classical music due to its simplicity and popularity, Yaman Kalyan has gained popularity due to its elevated and ethereal beauty. Like dusk is a harbinger of a calm and respite after a hard day’s work, the raag Yaman Kalyan sets to rest all undulations that life brings and unrolls a vista filled with soothing serenity before the mind’s eye.

Raag Desh

Popular as a Monsoon raga, Desh, also called Des, is played at night. It has a magical energy which transports the listener to quietude and inner joy on the one hand and patriotism and universal love on the other. Raag Desh signifies the harmonious coming together of different streams even while they keep their unique traits, be in terms of colour, spirit and mood; a perfect embodiment of unity in diversity.

Raag Puravi

Raag Puravi is said to have originated in the eastern part of India, or Purab, which gives it its name. This raag is also said to be a favourite with the great Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. It has a deeply serious, quiet and somewhat mystical character.

Raag Jhinjhoti

Raag Jhinjhoti is a slow and serious raag. Some music aficionados believe the raga takes one away from oneself and makes one witness your own mind. It is like the sea stirring up tremendous turbulence and energy but keeping hope distant.

Raag Pahadi

A popular raag based on folk music. As the name suggests, it originates from the Himalayan region. It is a light and beautiful raga which resembles a dhun. Raag Pahadi has all the ingredients of popular appeal. it is difficult to escape the freshness, quiet, echoing effect and palpable romance of the hills in its notes.

Raag Darbari

Said to have been created as a late night raag by Tansen for Emperor Akbarto relieve his tension after a hectic schedule of daily court life, Darbari has roots in Carnatic music and is also called Darbari Kanada. Signifying a deep calm, it is sung deep into the night, when the mood is equally peaceful.

Raag Malkauns

The stream of notes in Malkauns immediately set off an atmosphere of serenity and composure. Raag Malkauns is said to have supernatural powers and can conjure spirits if rendered properly.

Raag Todi

Raag Todi falls in the sublime raag category with an innate intensity and its philosophical and dignified sweep. This raag sounds forlorn and depicts grief,pathos or melancholy.

Raag Deepak

Raag Deepak is one of the six primal raags of Hindustani classical music. It is believed to be created by Lord Shiva. Raag Deepak is blazing and vigorous.

Raag Malhar

This is a raag that cleans the dust of the summer and brings in the cleansing rains. Malhar is that most unusual of raags — it is male, and yet, it invokes the feminine. Tender and easy on the ear, the strains of this raag generate a romantic mood.

Raag Megh Malhar

The name Megh Malhar itself stirs up images of clouds, an overcast sky and incessant rains, so typical of the monsoon season. Legends say that this raag has the power to induce rainfall wherever it is sung. Megh Malhar retains the opulence and fervour of the rainy season, evoking romance in all its moods: joy, longing and even pangs of separation.



A writer-turned-artist and music aficionado, Shishir has made oil his medium, and also uses the technique called ‘Alla Prima’ where entire paintings may be completed in one or more sessions without waiting for the paint layers to dry up. He held his first solo exhibition on the theme of the goddess Durga in Kolkata, the proceeds of which he donated to brighten the lives of underprivileged children of Parivarikee, a social welfare organization celebrating its golden jubilee. Shishir’s paintings met with great success and acclamation which upheld that even non-conformist creativity is vastly valued.His paintings have also found prominent place at ‘Prayas 2017–An Art Initiative’ organized by the famous Chemould Art Gallery, Kolkata, where his work was deeply appreciated and commended.


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