15 August 2011

Jana Gana Mana

I like India's national anthem. The anthems of many countries have a military-march sound to them and are about conquests and victories. Jana Gana Mana is melodious, soulful and stirring, and was penned by the great poet Rabindranath Tagore, who also wrote the music.

The lyrics are in Sankritized Bengali. Here's the meaning:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India's destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindhu,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

This is the version of Jana Gana Mana played in cinemas just before the film starts. It features many of India's greatest classical singers like Late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, and Dr Balamuralikrishna, as well as popular 'playback' singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, D.K. Pattammal, Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and of the course the famous film music composer A.R. Rahman.

Today marks India's 64th year of independence.


Balaji Venugopal said...

When I was in school, which was soon after India got its independence, we were all taught to sing the national anthem properly. Apart from the lyrics and the melody, we were taught to sing it at a precise pace so that it took us exactly 52 seconds to sing the anthem.

I find the present version jarring and I am grateful that they have at least not meddled with the lyrics.

Shubha said...

"Gaahe Tava Jaya Gaatha"...just that one line by Pt.Jasraj gives me goosebumps..He sings with his soul..