Towards its end, everyone looks
up to the cloudless, blue sky for respite.
monsoon winds start to blow, the clouds gather and
suddenly torrential rains drench the thirsty earth,
the trees and the people.
Now it’s time to celebrate, to sing the famous
At the end of the monsoon season this year,
Indian classical maestro, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan,
the Khalifa of Dilli Gharana of classical music,
stages a grand concert in the capital to celebrate
over 20 mystic melodies of Raga Malhar with a lineup
of over 40 artistes.
The Dilli Gharana Ensemble had Indian Classical
orchestra, Indian classical vocalist group, Indian
Sufi and folk group and, surprisingly, a Western
Classical Instrumental Band.
When the curtain rose, the assembled singers and
musicians took the breath away of the packed
The concert started with a tiny tot singing the
basic strains, followed by a spirited violin recital
by a twelve-year old prodigy.
From then onwards, various versions of Raga
Malhaar came thick and fast.
The beauty of this Raga is that it is sung by
different persons for different reasons:
The children dancing and bathing in the rain, the
young romantics yearning for their lovers, the
married woman longing for her parents’ home where
she grew up, the committed devotee thanking the lord
In vocal instrumental, classical, Sufi and folk
styles, the soft pitter-patter of rain drops, heavy
rain, pouring showers, thundering cloud bursts were
all artistically created in different ragas.
Fascinating legends are associated with this
When sung passionately and totally, it can induce
This raga has been sung much earlier than
Many legendary maestros like Tansen, Baiju Bawra,
Baba Ramdas, Baba Ramdas, Nayak Charju, Miyan
Bakhshu, Tantarang, Tanras Khan, Bilas Khan
(grandson of Tansen), Hammer Sen, Surat Sen, and
Krishna devotee Meera Bai are among the singers who
are said to have been capable of starting rains
using various kinds of Raga Malhar, according to Dr.
Geeta Banerjee, author of ‘Raga Malhar Darshan’.
Fabled vocalist Mian Tansen is associated with a
legend about this raga.
Once the Mughal Emperor Akbar asked his court
musician Tansen to sing Raga Deepak, the raga of