I would do a dishonor to the zeitgeist if I didn’t mention The Dewarists as one of those things which was the absolute highlight of the year 2011. The music was central to the whole experience, of course, and I am presuming for a lot of people where music is a central part of their lives and trade, the show would be a whole lot something more, but to me (and I am presuming a lot of people like me, who are just discovering music through the show -(An article Doing the Dewarists), the show is a revelation. It is music, yes, it is the joy in discovering musicians who are passionate about their music (as Monica Dogra mentions, succinctly at the start of each episode). But beyond it, it is amazing cinematography, it is amazing locales (each episode is ‘based’ in a city/town, and it tries to capture the utter desirability of the place).
Each episode is a cinematic experience in itself. More than all of that, it is a summing up of hope in so many diverse forms for a lot of people following their hearts.
My favorite is Sacred Science, episode 9.
A friend saw the above episode on my insistence, and he pretty much reacted the same way as I did. That the people. the locale, the production values are all top notch, but the song didn’t stick. Then later I downloaded the songs (from here) because I wanted to hear the Raghu Dixit & Rewben song again. And then I heard Sacred Science on audio. And I just could not stop thinking of Karsh Kale’s dancing fingers on the tabla. I have seen the episode itself a couple of times and have put the song through a repeat pe repeat phase.
A lot of things come together in that one. Everything is from the heart. A lot of it is beta version. And a lot of it is brick by brick devotion. This particular episode builds up beautifully. I love the fact that the series is freely available on youtube. I love the fact that HD is freely available on youtube. (I saw the whole series by downloading videos from youtube, in high definition! It adds another dimension!)
And I love the fact that the core idea behind the whole series is just because.
These musicians are Dewarists, they have immense passion for what they do, they inspire others to follow their dreams, and this is why their stories deserve to be heard.
(Please think hear that in the Monica Dogra voiceover).
The whole series is stitched of moments which just stick, jump beyond just the realm being talked about. Like Rabbi saying in episode 6 that he worked very hard at building a sort of undeniability around his music while growing up, of what he wanted to do.
“Undeniability is like love”, he says, “Nobody has to tell you that you are in love. You just know”
Or Guru Rewben Mashangva saying in episode 10
“I cannot sing like others. So I want to make my own, my different way. So wherever there was a programme, I would just request, Please give me a chance, give me a chance to sing a song. And everybody would mock at me and say Aay, what kind of songs, what kind of music, what kind of lyrics. So I would say <he takes a legendary moment clearing his throat> Yeah this is my own. I want to do it, that’s why” followed by a genuine heart felt proud smile.
To a marketing nerd, the branding appeals so much. For a luxury brand in something as whimsical as whiskey, the branding is exquisitely perfect. And affects the target market perhaps even as good as Coke Studio Pakistan.
My other favorites are the oh so gentle Episode 2 featuring Zeb and Haniya and Swanand Kirkire with Shantanu Moitra (in Bombay, oh the places they go, the camaraderie, mashallah!), and the Happy episode 10 featuring Raghu Dixit and Guru Rewben.