Indian Music


Qawwali is a Sufi form of music that originated in the 13th century. Amir Khusro, a Sufi musician, poet, and scholar is regarded as the godfather of Qawwali. It provides a synthesis of the truth and divine love and its rendition of creates a ‘sama’ that transports you to a completely different place. It is one of the most exhilarating musical experiences to listen to Qawwali live.

Bollywood has been successful in composing some of the best Qawwali, some of which have survived the test of times because of their sheer beauty. Here is a list of the best Qawwali’s that you will find in Bollywood –


1) Nigahein Milane Ko Jee Chahata Hai

‘Nigahein Milane Ko Jee Chahata Hai’ was released in 1963 as part of the album of ‘Dil Hi To Hai’ movie. Starring legends like Raj Kapoor, Nutan, and Prana, this album is perhaps best known for the song ‘Laga Chunri Mei Daag’ but hidden in the album is this gem. Sung by Asha Bhosle and composed by Roshan, this Qawwali is perfection in itself. Sahir Ludhianvi has weaved magic into the lyrics of this song that renders it a unique quality.


2) Murshid Khele Holi

A very recent Qawwali that won hearts was ‘Murshid Khele Holi’ of the movie D-Day. Sung by some of the most talented singers of this era such as Munnawar Masoom, Shankar Mahadevan and Javed Ali, this is nothing short of a masterpiece. Munnawar Masoom is a magical artist, whose work needs to be seen live in order to be fully experienced.


3) Na To Caravan Ki Talash Ho

Sung by Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle and Sudha Malhotra, this Qawwali which is around twelve minutes long defines what perfection is. It is from the movie ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ which has some other famous Qawwalis and will leave you in awe of the composer Roshan and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. It remains a personal favourite and has an other-worldly element to it.


4) Jee Chahata Hai Choom Loon Teri Nazar Ko Mai

‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ starring Madhubala and Bharat Bhushan was an immense hit when released in 1960. It was also one of the last movies to star the very beautiful Madhubala. The movie album which has four Qawalis became really popular back in its day. This Qawwali which is sung by Asha Bhosle, Sudha Malhotra, Balbir, and Bande Hassan deserves a spot on this list for all the right reasons.


5) Teri Mehfil Mein Qismat

There is no movie that can ever reach the heights that Mughal-E-Azam has achieved. This remains to be one of the iconic movies that Bollywood has produced. People remember this movie for its direction, sets and, music. Composed by Naushad and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum, the ‘Jugalbandi’ is sure to enchant you and move you with its magical element.


Anukriti Mishra.

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Feature Image Credits- Pinterest


The societies from across Delhi University showcase the exceptional talent of students in various activities during the annual Cultural Fest season. Competing neck to neck this year as well, the societies put up enthralling performances in different activities displaying their dedication towards their art and winning positions in college fests across the varsity.

From all the societies that participated, a tally of top 3 positions was created and from those, the society that emerged as the top society was selected. Every society that won the 1st position was awarded with 3 points, the 2nd with 2 points and the 3rd with 1 point.

Following this scheme, the societies that bagged the 1st,, 2nd and 3rd positions in the Indian Music (Choir) category were Samranjini, Gargi College with 17 points, Swaranjali, Hans Raj College with 7 points and Tarkaas, Institute of Home Economics with 6 points respectively.


The Winning Society at a glance

Samranjini- The Indian Music Society of Gargi College, with their belief in diligence and dedication towards music sought to present ideas that serve as the springboard of thought and activity across the field of music; through their music composition.

Quoting the society’s president, Samridhi Sinha, “We at Samranjini believe that diligence and dedication helps achieve one’s goals. This year we knew what we wanted early on. Keeping that in mind we approached Mr Avinash Kumar for his able assistance.”

For the year 2016-17, Samranjini’s music composition comprised of two raagas namely Raageshri and Lalit and a moorchana showing a shade of raaga Todi. The composition is a unique combination of a sweet,romantic raaga with a deep and serious raaga.

“One of the factors that worked in our favour was using two contrasting raagas that no other college went for. After selection of the raagas and preparing the basic structure; a lot of work had to be put in to refine the piece”, she added.

Performing members:

  • Samridhi Sinha
  • Sonali Dey
  • Ananya Samajdar
  • Poorvi Gaur
  • Aishwarya Unni
  • Meera Kalyani
  • Monika
  • Sharvini Shivapuri
  • Pooja Joshi
  • Anisha Jhawar
  • Sohini Chakravorty
  • Teertha Sukesh


  • Ashutosh Verma (Tabla)
  • Anshuman Sharma (Keyboard)


Winners Tally : Samranjini

A total of 8 fests was included in our analysis for this series. These were, : Reverie; Gargi College, Montage; Jesus and Mary College, Nexus; Sri Ventakteswara College, Crossroads; SRCC, Mecca; Hindu College, Confluence; Hans Raj College, Ullas; Kamala Nehru College and Tempest; Miranda House.


The fests in which Samranjini bagged positions are:

I Position: Crossroads, Nexus, Reverie and Montage

II Position: Ullas and Tempest

III Position: Mecca

(Hover over the icons to know more about their victories)

Design by Alex Arthur


Priyal Mahtta
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Every year, societies from colleges across the campus compete neck to neck and put up spectacular performances during the fest season. This year too, saw certain teams shine a little brighter than the rest. We bring you a series with college societies that put their heart and soul into their respective fields and took home the top prizes at various cultural fests.

The best college society in each category was selected by creating a tally of the top 3 positions at competitive events held during various cultural fests of this season. Whenever a society won the first prize they were awarded 3 points, for the second position they received 2 points and for the third position, 1 point was added to their tally.

For the Indian Music (Choir) category, Alahyaa of Daulat Ram College scored the maximum points in the tally. Alahyaa’s 11 points were followed by Samranjini, Gargi College that scored 10 points. Alankar of Hindu College and Swaranjali of Hans Raj College bagged third spot scoring 8 points each.


The Winning Society at a glance

Alahyaa, Daulat Ram College

Alahyaa, the Music Society of Daulat Ram College (DRC), was born in 2012. Despite being a new entrant among the other much known societies of the Delhi University (DU) circuit, Alahyaa made its place among the best societies of DU. Alahyaa, the winning society from DRC has a very unique and beautiful composition for the session 2015-16. This composition was composed by the members of the society and is based on ‘Raaga Hameer’. It has a unique beginning in which there are tabla bols of different taals beautifully weaved and incorporated into ek taal followed by a bandish “bhavra jaa re jaa” in the same taal and has an impactful  ending in teel taal.

Israt Jahan, the President of Alahyaa said, “The secret of our success lies in our constant hardwork and attachment to the society. We used to practice early in the morning in college so that maximum people attend practices, waking up at 5 a.m., something we can only do for Alahyaa! Other than that, we even practice for 4 hours every day in the afternoon. It is less of a cultural society and more of a family. We pay attention to the tiniest of details and always try to keep modifying and improving our performance by keeping a check on our recent performances and learning from other societies and their performances as well.”

Performing Members:
Israt Jahan
Brahmanshi Shekhar
Sukriti Agnihotri
Vanshika Choudhary
Ramita R Iyer
Anukriti Raghav
Tanisha Panwar
Ekta Jalotra
Arushi Taneja
Tanya Mitra
Bhavya Burnwal

Chongrosiem Hauzel- Keyboard
Payal Saria- Santoor
Shivangi Barman- Sitar
Ashutosh Verma- Tabla

Winners Tally: Alahyaa

Ten fests were included in our analysis for this series which were: Tarang, LSR; Ullas, KNC; Tempest, Miranda House; Montage, JMC; Mecca, Hindu College; Reverie, Gargi College; Nexus, Sri Venkateswara College; Shruti, IPCW; Confluence, Hans Raj College and Rendezvous, IIT-Delhi. 

Here is the list of winning performances by Alahyaa (Daulat Ram College):

I Position: Rendezvous, IIT-Delhi and Shruti, IPCW

II Position: Tarang, LSR and Nexus, Sri Venkateswara College

III Position: Tempest, Miranda House

(Hover on the icons below to know more about their victories)  

Nidhi Panchal
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We thrive on cinema, and our cinema thrives on its music. The music of any Indian film forms a major part of its promotional campaign, its total revenue collections, and what the audience remembers it by.

Music in the Hindi film industry had a glorious run in the 50’s 60’s and early 70’s where the music, though monotonous, was melodious. Composers like O.P. Naiyyar offset more ‘conventional’ musicians like Madan Mohan. The 80’s and 90’s became the era of mindless action flicks feeding into the audience’s demand for angry young men taking on the bad guys. There was no scope for melody.  In the 2000’s, while films saw new themes,the music industry went through a phase of uninspired, jarring, repetitive tunes.

The contemporary Hindi film music scene however, is going through a gradual transformation.  In the past few years it has become more inclusive, more experimental, and is producing varied and better music as a result. A few young musicians who are leading this change deserve special mention as they have created a completely new style for themselves,adding very refreshing elements to the concept of ‘film music’. They’re giving us hope and redefining what Bollywood Music means now and can mean in the future.

Amit Trivedi: He came, he saw, he conquered. While his first bollywood project was Amir, Trivedi shot to instant fame with his music compositions for DEV D. He won a national award for it, and then there was no looking back. Although firmly connected to the theme of the movie and the mood of the scene, all his tunes have a certain childlike innocence and simplicity. This, combined with beautiful melody is what distinguishes his music from that of his contemporaries.

Personal Favorite: Lootera Soundtrack

Sneha Khanwalkar:  She came into the spotlight through a music show on MTV, SOUND TRIPPIN. An enthusiastic traveler, Khanwalkar likes collecting the sounds of each place she visits on her recorder. These snippets of music (which can be anything ranging from a drum beat to the sound of water droplets on a steel pipe), when mixed with unconventional vocals, make for an extremely interesting album to listen to.  Her bollywood ventures include the soundtrack of critically acclaimed films Gangs of Wasseypur (parts 1 and 2). Her music is refreshing in its rustic tunes and earthy vocals. Sneha has been in the news also because she remains one of very few female music directors in the industry. She likes to play that down though. In her own words, ‘Does the gender of the music composer really make a difference to the audience?’

Personal favourite: Womaniya (Gangs of Wasseypur)

Mikey Mcleary: Originally from New Zealand, he has been living and composing music in Mumbai since 2007. Having composed music for a lot of television commercials, Mcleary gained popularity through two albums, Classic Bollywood: Shaken not Stirred (2011), and B Seventy (2013). Both have old bollywood tracks revamped and remixed with heavy influences of jazz, reggae, and cabaret. It is worth mentioning that while the soul or the mood of the mix always matches that of the original, each track has a distinct Mcleary quality about it. Mcleary’s Bollywood fame rests majorly on these revamped versions of old classics, but he has shown real talent in original compositions for films like Nautanki Saala and Shanghai.

Personal Favourites: Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho (Coke TVC), Mast Kalender (David)

This development in our music industry has been a result of a number of things like receptiveness of the audience to new styles and increased willingness of musicians to take up composing as a profession. Film music being such an irreplaceable part of who we are for so many of us, this can only mean good things.

Sonakshi Agrawal (Gargi College)

Every year, societies from colleges across the campus compete neck to neck and put up spectacular performances during the fest season. This year too, saw certain teams shine a little brighter than the rest. We bring you a series with college societies that put their heart and soul into their respective fields and took home the top prizes at various cultural fests. The best college society in each category was selected by creating a tally of the top 3 positions at competitive events held during 13 cultural fests of this season. Whenever a society won the first prize they were award 3 points, for the second position they received 2 points and for the third position, 1 point was added to their tally. With 19 points, Gargi College’s Samranjini emerged as the winner in the Indian Music (Group) category. Kamala Nehru College’s Sangeetika and Daulat Ram College’s Alahyaa follow next with 12 and 11 points respectively.

The Winning Society at a glance

Samranjini, Gargi College

Gargi College’s Indian Music Society, Samranjini, sang their original composition in fests like Mecca and Shruti this year. The song was based on two ragas, namely Puriyadhanashri and Shuddh Basant raga. When we asked this talented choir their secret to success, they said, “We swear by the saying ‘practice makes a man perfect’. It was passion towards music and the endeavour to give our best that drove us all the way.” Names of the performing members: Aishwarya R, Vibhooshitha R, Ambika Srikrishnan, Mohima Chakraborty, J Subhadra, Arpita Sahai, Anjali Mehra, Ishita Mathur, Darsana Gogoi, Arundhati Ray, Yatika Sharma, Stuti Rai, Sahishnuta Barua, Needhi Roy. Note: The thirteen fests included in our analysis for this series include SRCC’s Crossroads, Gargi College’s Reverie, Sri Venkateswara College’s Nexus, LSR’s Tarang, Hans Raj’s Confluence, I.P. College for Women’s Shruti, Daulat Ram College’s Manjari, Hindu College’s Mecca, Jesus and Mary College’s Montage, Miranda House’s Tempest, Kamala Nehru College’s Ullas, Kirori Mal College’s Renaissance, SGTB Khalsa’s Lashkara. Out of the fests listed, only 11 had conducted an Indian Music Group Competition.]]>