Raghu Dixit


The second day of Nexus ’17, the Annual Cultural Festival of Sri Venkateswara College, began with a host of musical events. ‘Battle of the Bands’, organised by Crescendo, the Western Music Society of the host college, was won by ‘Thread Makers’ of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. They performed their own composition, Metamorphosis. The Indian Classical Choir event ‘Goonj’, organised by Alaap, the Indian Music Society, was won by Samranjini of Gargi College and Alankaar, of Hindu College bagging the second prize.

A glimpse from the ‘Battle of Bands’ 

This musical affair was followed by a series of Western Dance Competitions. Western Dance Solo competition, organised by Nritya, the choreography society, witnessed participation from around 22 participants. Vipin Lactrix from IGNOU and Ashmita Tomar from Mata Sundari College bagged the first and second prize respectively, in this event. The main stage turned into a magnetic field when the much-awaited Western Dance Group competition, ‘Razzmatazz’ began. It was won by Zeal, of Maitreyi College, followed by V-Defyn of IIT-Delhi.


Etcetera of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur College won the first prize in Madari, the Nukkad-Natak competition organised by Anubhuti, the Street Play society of Sri Venkateswara College. The second and third prize was awarded to Ibtida of Hindu College and Natuve of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College respectively.

Drawing the second day to a close, The Raghu Dixit Project performed at the Rock Night at Nexus ‘17. Charming the crowd with his mellifluous voice and quick wit, Raghu Dixit and his band members induced energy and exuberance to the evening. As the crowd cheered with verve and zest, the eventful second day concluded with a musical delight, setting the mood for the last day’s performance!


Feature image credits: Vegh Daswani for DU Beat

Lovleen Kaur
[email protected]

Saumya Kalia
[email protected]

Kriti Sharma
[email protected]

In the last week of November the multi talented Raghu Dixit along with his band the Raghu Dixit Project launched their album Jag Changa. This is their second album following the 2008 release. On this album you can clearly see the singer- songwriter go back to his roots, and if you haven’t caught him live yet, you’re missing out on some soulful music.

We’ve picked out 3 tracks from the album to highlight how this Project is at the top of its game and everything IS changa.

Track 01. Parasiva: The album opens with the song Parasiva (Kannada) that has a rather prominent Indian percussive sound but this soon mellows out when Raghu Dixit chimes in with the vocals and a playful chorus. Things that make this track stand out are the droning violin sound, the rather plastic-y effect on the guitars during the chorus (if you tune in carefully this is easily identifiable) and some brilliant bass work to tie the track up. Enjoy this track while dwelling on its meaning, which acknowledges the many strangers who come to our aid in life when we have our backs against the wall- what else can you call it but an act of God as Raghu Dixit says.

Track 03. Jag Changa: As Raghu Dixit explains while performing live, the album was to an extent inspired by the many Delhi gigs the band performed. He says that they took away the word ‘changa’ and its meaning that everything is fine, beautiful, add to that the word ‘Jag’ and you know it, the world is beautiful. Certainly a world with Raghu Dixit’s music is nothing short of a surreal one. The title track of this album opens with Raghu Dixit strumming a sharp progression and humming to it. Before you know it, a percussive click and a slide of the bass ushers in the banjo and Raghu Dixit harmonizing, before the verse. The lyrics sometimes playful, sometimes satirical however always acknowledging that at the end of it all, the world is beautiful. Navin Iyer chips in on this record with a marvelous flute solo that livens up the track. The satire comes through in probably the most striking lines of this song- ‘Insaan ban gaya hai do pal ka ishtehaar. Sansad se zyaada bhar gaya hai ye Tihar.’- followed by a short violin solo. This song will certainly stay in your head for a long time and has the most repeat value.

Track 04. Yaadon Ki Kyari: This song is literally a garden of the singer’s childhood memories with lyrics as pristine as the waters of the Godavari. It is easily notable that Raghu Dixit pours his heart out while singing this song which ties together snippets of his childhood memories such as the scooter rides with his father, his love for the Rasam Shaadam (Rasam Rice) his father would make and so on. The most striking imagery however is that when he reminisces the long walks along the bank of the Godavari with his mother and how they together lit up several earthen lamps and floated them across the river- all those lamps that ornamented the river are described as the most beautiful sight in the world by Raghu Dixit. So take a peek into the singer’s childhood and maybe re live some moments from your own.

Another track that deserves special mention is Lokada Kalaji. Raghu Dixit can make you sing along and this track is testimony to it. A shame if you miss this track while the band is onstage, since through this song Raghu Dixit is happy to give you a lesson in Kannada and an opportunity to be one with the band.

In its entirety the much awaited album is nothing short of a work of art. To add to that, the album features a rather uncanny but welcome redesign to the conventional CD case format and comes in 3 different colours, so you may choose as you please- but what’s on the inside only gets better with every listen.

The Raghu Dixit Project burst on to the Indian independent music scene around 2007 with their hit single ‘Hey Bhagwan’ and a dash of colourful lungis. Having maintained a low profile in India for quite some time, it seems as if they’ve finally made a mark for themselves, gathering up a niche audience. They have, however, experienced phenomenal success abroad, having performed for a show that aired on BBC alongside artists such as the legendary Robert Plant and Adele, among others. His immense popularity is reflected in the fact that they are now flooded with offers to perform at various events around the globe.

Their music, to say the least, is a perfect blend. Beautiful, soulful lyrics combined with equally mesmerizing and soothing tunes; a mix that is rarely found these days. The lyrics are the blend of old and new with inputs coming in from not just their songwriter but also from ancient songs and poetry.

From peppy, foot- tapping numbers like ‘Mysore se Aayi’ and ‘When I’m in Mumbai’ to rich soulful songs like ‘No Man will Ever Love You’ and ‘Ambar’ that make you want to sway in the moonlight, their bilingual songs have got it all. Their most famous song, ‘Hey Bhagwaan’ is a prayer to the God above to give each of us a second chance. “As humans, we tend to make mistakes and it’s never too late to one day wake up, want to leave your past behind and start over!” to quote their website.

Their first and only album as of now, Antaragni, was released back in 2008 with eight songs on the record. Their songs were like a gust of fresh air in the age of mindless Bollywood songs with nothing but groovy beats to back them. That’s probably the reason why their fans have held onto them for so long despite the fact that there has been no new album. Even today, their concerts are jam packed and nobody leaves one without a huge smile playing on their lips and an immense sense of satisfaction.

But along with all the brilliant music, there is something else that makes their concerts memorable– Raghu Dixit, the man himself. His wit and charm alone would suffice to have you in splits. It’s as if he exudes happiness and it makes you realize how much he loves what he does. It makes you want to laugh and sing along to the songs. Then, of course, there is the sheer brilliance of his voice. It has the power to melts hearts.

Their fans are waiting with baited breaths for the release of their new album, having already had a preview of some songs at their concerts. And as someone who has had firsthand experience of a few songs on their yet to be released album, I can assure you that it is definitely worth the wait. It beautifully captures various emotions and exhibits Raghu’s immense knowledge of the classical dance forms.

Prepare to be blown away by the magic that is Raghu Dixit. And to all their ardent fans out there, once this album is out, you’ll finally have a replacement for ‘Ambar’. Or maybe even better, I guarantee.

Surya Rajappan
[email protected] 

Antaragni- Antar + Agni(hindi)-The fire within. Antaragni, the annual intercollegiate cultural festival of IIT Kanpur, is a tribute to the fire that remains kindled in the hearts of people, the fire that drives them to melt boundaries and achieve the extraordinary. The fest started as “Culfest” in the 1960’s before being rechristened Antaragni in 1993. The generic name was to emphasize the fact that it was the first and only such event at that time. Antaragni’12, with the theme ‘Medieval Fantasy’ will be held from the 11th to the 14th of October and is scheduled to be opened by the multi-lingual sensation Raghu Dixit.

Antaragni is one eclectic mix of a lot of things- competitions, professional shows, talks, exhibitions, street shows, workshops and the list goes on ad infinitum. It becomes a classic case of having too many options and one wishes to be present at a lot of places simultaneously. Competitions form the backbone of this festival. Events catering to dramatics, dance, musicals, photography, English and Hindi literature and quizzes have seen extensive and intensive participation from colleges, especially those from Delhi. The situation is such that this year two of the events (Synchronicity- Rock competition and Quizzes) have dedicated Delhi rounds.

In order to cement its position as Northern India’s favourite festival, Antaragni’12 has initiated the ‘Dream On’ campaign. It is an ambitious idea which attempts to give the winners a shot at national fame and creative satisfaction of learning from the best in each field. The winners of different competitions in addition to monetary incentives will be provided with internships, mentorships and recording deals  with leading academies like Shimak Davar’s Institute of performing arts, Barry John Acting Studio, Delhi College of Arts, Delhi School of Photography etc. In fact, Ritambhara has been especially opened to individual participants with coverage in MAXIM and photo-shoots in Hollywood at stake.

To add spirit and flesh to this skeleton of competitions, there would be national and international artists (more than 10 in number) ranging from rock bands to Irish folk musicians to sand artists to Odishi dancers. There would be fun informal activities while Mridaksh will continue its search for Ms & Mr. Antaragni. If it’s the intellect that needs simulation, there would be a panel discussion with eminent people like Arun Maira and Ayaz Memon. To take care of the glamour aspect there would the likes of Sudhir Mishra, Rajiv Khandelwal and Abbas Tyrewala who’ll have special sessions with the students.

The festival seems to be shaping up well with a holistic cultural showcase and it’s only a matter of time before, as the motto says, the fire is unleashed.

Visit www.antaragni.in and https://www.facebook.com/antaragni.iitk for more information.