Celebrating Holi with Ila Paliwal


A Time for Color and Happiness



Celebrating  Holi with Ila Paliwal

“I will throw color on you

I will throw color on you

I will turn your brown complexion into red

By rubbing red powder on both your cheeks

I will make you dance like a lady

On the beat of the drums.”

This is the English translation of a lively Holi raaga you can hear and internalize.  Enjoy the joy of Holi, the festival of colors, with this delightful video from Hindustani vocalist Ila Paliwal. This beautiful Indian raga embraces the world with its power of celebration and inclusiveness. Indeed, Holi is increasingly becoming a reason to dance and connect with color in many parts of the world and this video by Bharat Bala shows that dance and music have a way of erasing differences and accentuating what we humans have in common.

AR Rahman & Ila Paliwal at the launch at Carnegie Hall

AR Rahman Ila Paliwal at the launch at Carnegie Hall


Celebrating the Festivals of India

The Holi track is just one of nine on Ila Paliwal’s debut album ‘Navaratna’ which is executive produced by A.R. Rahman, the music maestro, and arranged and  produced by Ranjit Barot. The album was launched at Carnegie Hall at a benefit concert by Salome Chamber Orchestra where Ila Paliwal sang several celebratory songs from the album with both East and West musicians.

The album features nine well-loved Indian festivals – Pongal, Holi, Baisakhi, Eid, Janamashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Diwali and Christmas, and the unique feature is that even the Eid and Christmas songs have been based on classic Indian ragas.  Each shows the cultural diversity which exists in the unity of India.

The concept and vocals are by Ila Paliwal, and the music has been arranged and produced by Ranjit Barot.  ‘Navaratna’ was released on March 5, and is available on iTunes and Amazon worldwide.



About the Holi raaga

About the Holi raaga


Navaratna by Ila Paliwal

Navaratna by Ila Paliwal



About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!


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