Malhar: A lyrical exposition

Date: 20-07-2020

Malhar: A lyrical exposition

curated by Chhavi Jain

A journey into Malhar fashions an attempt to interlace the classical with contemporary visual forms. Within the realm of Indian mythology and legend, Malhar is one of the most ancient ragas in Hindustani classical music that, when sung, is believed to induce torrential rainfall. It has over ten variants, the more prominent ones being Megh Malhar and Mian Malhar. Despite its association with rain or monsoon, the depiction of this raga, in forms of bandish (musical compositions) and other forms of representation, has been variable- from an uncontrollable storm to a sense of longing, wonderment, and tranquillity.

Indian lore manifests magic realism in its peculiar power of invocation- of gods, and goddesses. Plausibly, the rainfall alludes to a state of mind brought about by the recital of the raga. Raga, the word in Sanskrit, means ‘colour’. Each raga associates with a rasa or emotion, wherein its structure and performance evoke certain mood related to a season and pahar (time of the day). Malhar is a raga of night time. It is usually depicted in its intense form and visualised in hues of blue and deep purple.

This curation seeks to bring to light the artists' interpretation of ‘Mann ka Malhar’, a state of being (of mind and emotions), with a range of internal or external scapes to experiment with. The raga’s power comes with a combination of primarily two elements- water and air- mediated by the purity of energy and determination of a being. It follows a free verse, of fleeting moments frozen in time and memory. In its very nature lie positivity, fragrance, creation and a power to cleanse.

Participating Artists :
Abhijit Saikia | Digbijayee Khatua | Ganesh Das | Indrapramit Roy | Khandakar Ohida | Laxmipriya Panigrahi | Malavika Rajnarayan | Nur Mahammad | Rajib Chowdhury | Tanaya Sharma

‘Malhar: A lyrical exposition' a video by Khandakar Ohida

Exhibition Artwork