Unlike Holi, the festival of colours, which has obvious representation in Hindustani music, Diwali, the festival of lights, does not seem to feature similarly in Hindustani compositions.

Raag Deepavali  Pannalal Ghosh

Bansuri maestro Pannalal Ghosh’s raag Deepavali is probably a rare instance of a reference to the festival.  The  contemplative mood of the maestro’s presentation of other raags is equally reflected in this raag.   Music lovers would be aware that it was Pannalal Ghosh who gave concert status to the bansuri or the bamboo flute in Hindustani music performances.  He integrated various aspects of vocal and instrumental presentations as is evident from several recordings of his that are now available.

Raag Dhan Basanti Kumar Gandharva

A rare instance of a song-text describing Diwali is found in a piece composed by the avant garde vocalist Kumar Gandharva in the raag Dhan Basanti, also his creation.

Raag Deepak KL Saigal

The myth related to the raag Deepak, said to be performed by Tansen for Emperor Akbar, is known even to uninformed listeners.  While it does not relate to Diwali, the myth describes the power of the raag to create heat of such great intensity. it lights up lamps.  Watch actor-singer K. L. Saigal ostensibly singing raag Deepak in his role as Tansen.

Clearly, this song is in no way related to documented evidence of interpretations of the original raag Deepak.  Here is a rendition of one such interpretation by Ghulam Mustafa Khan, the doyen of the Rampur-Sahaswan tradition.