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22 Grand Maestros Of Indian Classical Music Captured In 1 Book.
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
This coffee table book is the culmination of an intimate photographic journey Viren Desai took with 22 Legends of Indian Classical Music!
Crowd Favourite
INR 64,101
128% FUNDED AS ON 13/07/2017







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Funding Model :Fixed
Started from 06/04/2017
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You can get this book for yourself OR as a GIFT for your friends who appreciate Indian Classical Music OR for your corporate clients in large numbers. This 288 page book with unseen, stunning images and stories about the 22 Maestros, can be ordered by selecting the reward you want from the options on the right.

PIC: The final book.


Note: This book has a MRP of 6500 INR & is being crowdfunded at an initial early bird price of only INR 4500. There are only 50 books at this price. 

This book has been the talk of the town already!

PIC: Coverage in the Hindustan Times

PIC: Coverage in Better Photography

This coffee table book is an absolute exclusive.

For years, I would hear these masters at concerts, baithaks & festivals.

I listened, swayed, swooned, and mesmerized by the celestial music. Realising the work, patience, dedication, creative and sadhana that into creating these masterpieces.

The more I listened, the more my curiosity to know the person behind the music grew. Their persona on stage, the adulation they received from their listeners completely overshadowed the real person, the one I wanted to get close to.

PIC: Ustaad Alla Rakha and his son Ustaad Zakir Hussain together.

I chose my camera to tell my story, to tell their intimate stories.

I first approached Ustad Zia Mohinuddin Dagar and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, explaining the concept of the book that I wanted to create and how I wanted to showcase them. They graciously agreed and gave me time from their busy concert and teaching schedules. It is these series of images that I used to rope in the rest of the maestros who are part of this book. This is how this book began and thus started my journey of exploration.

Over the last 25 years, I’ve put together exclusive photos, interviews and anecdotes from these greats describing life, family, love and most importantly, music – all in one book.

PIC: Viren Desai

Who am I?

I’m Viren Desai a freelance Fine Art and Advertising Photographer based in Mumbai.

I graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York in 1985. I then freelanced in New York for 2 years, before moving back home to Mumbai in 1987. Since then, I’ve worked for corporate and advertising campaigns for brands like Hero Honda, Visa, Channel V, Concern India, Shrenuj, Ravindra Heraeus, Pepsi and more. My work is available at www.virendesaiphotography.com

I’m also an Indian classical music buff, and used this book to combine both my passions.

PIC: Pandit Ravi Shankar with his wife Sukanya Rajan in their garden.

Let’s talk about the book

This book is an exploration of the creative and soulful lives of some of the greatest contemporary Indian classical musicians. I have chronicled the time spent with these legends through the camera. Every image in this book has been shot exclusively by me for this project, and captures their lives both on and off stage.

The quotations are drawn from my personal interviews with each artist, trying to understand the real persona behind the music.

This book is one-of-a-kind, with the largest number of geniuses in one book. When you flip through the pages, you will get a feel of the essential personalities of these artists as well as the insight that they have garnered from life and from music. Decades of musical genius, collated knowledge, and dedication to their art and craft, have been synthesised in this book.

Who are the maestros? (in alphabetical order)

 1.      Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan                                                          

2.      Ustad Alla Rakha                                                                            

3.      Ustad Amjad Ali Khan                                                                      

4.      Pandit Bhimsen Joshi                                                                       

5.      Ustad Bismillah Khan                                                                       

6.      Pandit C.R.Vyas                                                                              

7.      Vidushi Girijadevi                                                                            

8.      Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia                                                         

9.      Pandit Jasraj                                                                                 

10.    Vidwan L.Shankar (Shenkar)                                                         

11.    Vidwan Dr.M.Balamuralikrishnan                                                   

12.    Vidushi M.S.Subbulakshmi                                                             

13.    Vidushi N Rajam                                                                           

14.    Pandit Ram Narayan                                                                      

15.    Pandit Ravi Shankar                                                                     

16.    Pandit Shivkumar Sharma                                                             

17.    Vidushi Shobha Gurtu                                                                  

18.    Vidwan T.H.Vinayakram(Vikku)                                                    

19.    Vidwan T.K.Murthy                                                                       

20.    Ustad Zakir Hussain                                                                    

21.    Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar

22.    Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar

Let’s talk numbers.

The book is 288 pages (12’’x 12’’) with 158 colour photographs and 130 black and white photographs. It is divided into 22 chapters, each depicting a single artist. Each chapter opens with a concert picture followed by other images, interspersed with quotes from my interviews with the artists.

Why should you support this book?

To see never before images all shot exclusively for this book and to read about the laughter of Pandit Ravi Shankar, as the pop of my camera strobes matched his notes on the sitar. He asked me jokingly if I had any training in music.

To see the shy smile of Amma Subbulakshmi, teasing me about whether she was a new bride because I was taking so many pictures.

To know about Ustad Bismillah Khan reminiscing about the unforgettable taste of his mother’s ‘gobi ka sabji’.

To find out about the graciousness of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, worrying about how his wife might get upset when I moved his living room furniture about to set up a shot. I promised to set it back as it was and did.

The music of these legends has enriched my life, and that of others, beyond words. As has this journey to create this tome. 

What’s next!

The first edition of this book is now out. Due to popular demand I am running a fresh campaign to make sure this amazing tome reaches more people. I’m grateful for all the support I have received so far. Order for yourself, or gift someone!

Thank you for your time.

Warm regards,
Viren Desai


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Monthly Updates have been committed to after the campaign ends.
6 years ago

"The Grand Maestros of Indian Classical Music" has been part of the books in the entry which won Pragati Offset,  The Book Printer of the year award  (Speciality), at the PRINTWEEK 2017 Awards held recently.

Kudos  and thanks to Pragati Offset for their brilliant printing, Reproscan  and Pixeltone Inc. for their immaculate scanning and pre-press, the  media for all the press releases and all the funders for helping me  bring my dream project into print.

This is an open forum for all funders of this campaign.
Other registered users can send their comments/ queries directly to the campaign owner as a message.
Shashwat Parhi
I have seen and held a copy of this book that was gifted to a friend of mine, an exceptional sitar maestro himself. I have to say I was blown away by the quality of the images and the production value of what I witnessed. I immediately enquired about how I could have a copy of my own. Wonderful project that I hope receives all the success it deserves!
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INR 3,500
The Coffee Table Book
The Coffee Table Book is available at an amazing discount of 40% on the MRP. Includes shipping charges within India only.
CLAIMED 10 Out Of 10
Delivery date: 06/2017
INR 46,500
Set of 15 Coffee Table Books
This set of 15 Coffee Table Books are available at an amazing discount of 48% off the MRP. Includes shipping within India.
CLAIMED 1 Out Of 1
Delivery date: 06/2017