'The Dewarists:' Must-watch Indian TV show
Part music documentary and part travelogue, "The Dewarists" is a new original Indian TV series that's nearing the end of its first, and very successful, premier season.
In each episode Indian musicians from different backgrounds collaborate with each other, or guest artists from abroad, to create an original track while traveling to different parts of the country and working with sounds inspired by these settings.
The launch episode -- which premiered on October 16 and has been watched 350,000 times on YouTube -- featured Grammy award-winning British multi-instrumentalist Imogen Heap experimenting with Hindi lyrics and ghungroos (bells worn around the ankles by Indian classical dancers) in her collaboration with Bollywood music composers Vishal-Shekhar.
The first episode was filmed at the Samode Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Followed by Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Jaisalmer, Assam, Mysore, Goa, Kerela and Shillong in the subsequent nine episodes of season one.
The travel angle of the show is somewhat submerged, meaning this is not a direct display of exotic India travel destinations.
However it is one of the best packaged showcases of contemporary Indian culture on television. You meet a variety of Indians who reflect the country's cultural diversity and more modern attitudes, as they are then leveled by music and music creation.
"The show is made by people who are immersed in the Indian indie scene, as opposed to those who are attempting to co-opt it," said music commentator Amit Gurbaxani.
Watch the entire first season on The Dewarists YouTube channel.
The season finale airs this Sunday December 18 at 8 p.m. on Star World in India.