- The Indian Whistlers’ Association (IWA), founded on Sept. 19th, 2004 by Mr. Rigveda Deshpandey (The Maverick Whistler), is the world’s first truly Indian and the largest whistling fraternity. It is India’s 1st and only school, dedicated to promoting Musical Whistling as a performing art and has done more than 300 shows all over India since 2004. We have many awards and accolades to our credit as well.
- Proud to have whistling members-both male and female, from the age group of 10 years to 70 years from all walks of life.
- Our whistlers are capable of whistling not just film songs but also classical (Western & Indian), devotional, patriotic and other diverse range of compositions.
- IWA shows have provided a unique and unforgettable experience to its audiences all over India.
- Add uniqueness to your event/show
- Liven-up School, College Annual functions/festivals
- Promoting No-smoking
- Performing shows for charity and fund-raising
- Organize shows for Corporate, Defence Sector, Award Nights, etc.
- India’s 1st and Only school dedicated to teaching Musical Whistling as an art.
- To find, meet and bring together, whistlers from all over India, onto a single platform,
- To change the perception of whistling in India, get it recognition as a “Performing Art” and its members as artists.
- To make musical whistling a recognized performing art.
- Social obligations: Charity, NO-SMOKING Campaigns, Entertainment for Special Homes for Aged, Widows, Orphanages & Physically Challenged
- To host a Whistling Reality Show in India
- To host an International Whistling Festival in India.
- To enter the Guinness Book of Records with 1000+ Whistlers under record- “Most People Whistling Together” .
- Re-created a Whistling Cover of the iconic song “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” which went viral and garnered over 1Lakh views on Youtube in January, 2020.
- Celebrated 15th Anniversary in partnership with Nesco Exhibitions for their Hobby & Lifestyle Expo at Mumbai in October, 2019.
- Participated and won 3 -1st prizes at World Whistlers Convention- Japan in May 2018 yet again.
- Created a National Record of 150 whistlers, whistling in unison, at Kochi in Jan 2018, published in Limca Book, Asia Book, India Book & Best of India Record.
- Participated and won 3 -1st prizes at World Whistlers Convention- Japan in July 2016.
- Conducted workshops at Mood Indigo Festival-IIT, Mumbai in 2007 & 2013.
- Participated and won at International Whistling Convention- China in May 2010.
- Entered LIMCA Book of Records in 2009.
- Reached finals of “Entertainment Ke Liye Kuchh Bhi Karega” on Sony Channel, June, 2009.
- Created a National Record of 48 whistlers, whistling in unison, at Chennai in June 2008, published in Limca Book of Record.
- Conducted a Whistling Workshop at IIT Mumbai’s “Mood Indigo” festival in August 2007.
- Conducted India’s 1st whistling show at Chennai in June 2006.
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Rigveda Deshpandey is a multi-talented media professional- a Sound Engineer, Dubbing Director, Writer, Quality Controller & Lecturer. He is presently a Vice President in a corporate studio. He loves teaching Sound Engineering and sharing his industry experiences with students, making concepts very simple to understand and involving them in his projects for hands on experience.
He has been whistling musically since the age of 6, looking up to his dad and founded the Indian Whistlers’ Association at a young age of 18 with a utopic dream of changing the ‘taboo’ perception of musical whistling in India and spreading it as a serious performing art among the people of India. His mother Meeinal is his biggest supporter and critique and he believes that this art specially needs an extraordinary amount of family support to hone and prosper. He aims to bring out all the “bathroom whistlers” on to the stage.
His pioneering work has been a Whistling Syllabus-first and only one of its kind in India and he teaches from the basics- “Man is the instrument” and all about the anatomy and origins of whistling to how one should prepare to perform at international platforms.
It was under his leadership and vision that Indian Whistlers’ Association made a Limca Book Record of 48 whistlers whistling “Saare Jahan Se Achha” together at one place in July 2008 (published in 2009), a 4 member team competed at the International Whistling Convention, 2010 China doing a skit called “Bollywood Love Story” along with whistling and won the 3rd prize-first for anyone from India. In 2016, a 8 member team traveled to World Whistlers Convention, 2016 Japan and won 3 -1st prizes and became World Champions. Also for the first time in the world he attempted Salsa dance and whistling with his dance partner Dr. Farzana Lakdavala. In 2018, a 150 whistlers National Record was created under his leadership and in 2020 he directed and produced a viral music video of “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” involving 50 whistlers, from India and abroad, mostly shot on mobile.
CAPT. CHETAN BAPAT
Chetan Bapat is from Thane, Maharashtra and a sailor by profession. He is sailing as Master (Captain) with Seaspan Ship Management Ltd, a Canadian shipping company.
Chetan always had affinity for music but due to his profession was unable to pursue music as a career. But music comes back, once you have an ear for it, can be said about him, as he started learning Hindustani classical after 40 years and has already completed Level 3 in Hindustani classical music for keyboard and Level 5 Trinity piano exams in Western music and even at a young age of 45, has the zest to complete all the exams in Hindustani and Western music. He also sings and has won several accolades in school and college for singing in stage shows.
Chetan is a ‘blow in / out’ and palatal whistler and has been whistling since an early age of 3. His first brush with whistling was with the title track in Hindi film ‘Sholay’, which he picked up and took to whistling. He has been whistling ever since changing styles, as per the requirement of the song.
He has been a member of IWA since September 2016 and has been actively involved with IWA activities, whenever he is on shore.
NATIONAL TREASURER & SPOKESPERSON
MRS. LAKSHMY IYER
Lakshmy Iyer is a Malaysian born Indian, married and settled in Mumbai since 2001. She is a Microbiologist by qualification and was serving as a Research Officer in Malaysia for 8 years prior to migrating to Mumbai. She has been a devoted homemaker ever since.
Right from the tender age of 5, Lakshmy has been exposed to and trained in Carnatic Classical Vocals and the Saraswathi Veena under the tutelage of several renowned gurus in Malaysia. She also learnt to play the South Indian percussion instrument-Mridangam, for a brief period. Suffice to say music is an integral component of her being.
In addition to this is her musical-whistling ability which she only indulged in a serious manner since joining IWA in September 2017. She reminisces that she was always a subtle and casual whistler during her teens, never really indulging with conscious thought or effort due to the gender bias and taboos surrounding it. Whatever the genre, it was always a natural impulse for her to whistle any song or tune that caught her fancy, rather than hum or sing it like most people do. She is very happy to be a part of IWA as it has now given her a good guidance and platform to consciously develop that hidden talent of all these years. In consequence, she is happy to have had several opportunities beginning from 2018, to demonstrate her prowess on stage. Due to her strong musical background she is desirous of helping/guiding upcoming whistlers to hone their skills better and has been able to partially fulfill this through her guidance to IWA WhatsApp members pan India.
ZONAL COORDINATOR (BENGALURU)
MR. MOHAN KUMAR
Mohan Kumar is a retired professional from the electronics & communication industry. He had served as an Assistant Engineer for 31 years at the ITI Ltd., Bengaluru- a public sector company famous for its landline telephone instrument, prior to taking voluntary retirement in 2016.
He was inclined towards music right from his childhood, but was not fortunate enough to pursue any formal music classes. However, during his teens, his fondness for music, led him to discover that he had a natural flair for musical whistling and he continued enjoying the artform in a casual manner until he came across IWA years later in 2016.
He found IWA to be a wonderful platform which helped him develop his skills further and imbibe confidence to perform on stage. Then on, there was no looking back, as he got several performance opportunities in Chennai and Bengaluru over the years. One such memorable event of his initial period that he passionately recollects is when he performed in Chennai with a Live Orchestra which motivated him to indulge further in this unique artform. Subsequently, this led him to be approached for performances by several associations in and around Bengaluru. Another memorable occasion which won him overwhelming response and accolades was his performance in 2017 at the Palace grounds in Bengaluru for a lavish wedding function. Now, he features regularly in various musical events staged in Bengaluru.
Currently Mohan Kumar coordinates with IWAs Karnataka Zone members and handles all incoming member queries and spends considerable amount of time in advising and training upcoming whistlers. His dream is to organize A Mega Whistling Event involving the best whistlers of India.
ZONAL COORDINATOR (CHENNAI)
MR. KAPIL BANSAL
Kapil Bansal is an HR professional currently working for well-known logistics firm at Chennai. He has also worked in the administration and finance departments of an educational institution on research projects in collaboration between international institutions and universities of health and welfare.
He hails from the northern part of India but has been a resident of Pondicherry since 1995. He had a fondness for music right from his childhood but unfortunately could not pursue it formally. However, his attachment to music helped him to identify that he had a natural flair for whistling and so he started enjoying it and indulging further, and this fondness led him to discover IWA in 2008.
“IWA has been a great platform in helping me understand and develop the artform”, he says. He adds that it is IWA that helped him in enhancing his whistling skills and gaining confidence to perform in public. He has since, performed on stage several times where he has always left a mark in the hearts of the audience.
His best performances, he reminisces were during the event “Tribute to Living Legend Dr. S P Balasubrahmanyam” where he had performed the famous song ‘Chinamani Kuyile’ and at the event “Tribute to Chevalier Kamal Hassan” where he performed the song ‘Vaazhve Maayam’, which won him overwhelming response from an audience of 700-800 people.
He has showcased his expertise and knowledge in people management and event coordination too, on many occasions. Currently he handles IWA’s Chennai chapter along with other states as the Zonal Coordinator. He is desirous of organising a whistling event in his home town Pondicherry and assisting in organising bigger events so that this artform gets its due recognition worldwide.
ZONAL COORDINATOR (KOCHI)
DR. VRINDA B. NAIR
Dr. Vrinda B. Nair is an ENT Surgeon from Ernakulam, Kerala. Around the age of 7, she was introduced to the world of whistling by her uncle. Ever since, with parental support and a great spirit, she persevered and trained herself to whistle any piece of music that she heard. While in medical school, her bestie Dr.Ann, a good singer herself, trained her to ‘listen’ to music’, polished her skills and encouraged her to participate in intercollegiate whistling competitions. It was her husband who then insisted that she join the IWA. She says, ‘joining this fraternity, was like meeting fellow ‘mutants’ (lol) and it was a great feeling to acquaint with people who took the art so seriously and to know that there are sooo many too..!’