Thursday, June 08, 2017

Anthem blues

Today, on the drive to and from work, I listened exclusively to India's national Anthem, more than two dozen versions - all different, yet all the same. The cream of India's musicians and singers performed "Jana Gana Mana" in their own inimitable styles to A R Rahman's arrangement, with their own twists on it at times...and yet each and every version was the Anthem, and every version had me in tears. It has always been that way. I've never been able to sing "Jana Gana Mana" without getting all emotional and dissolving in tears. I've never managed to finish singing it with a steady voice. I can't give you any conscious reason for it. I guess the simple melody of it touches some deep chord inside me, twanging it relentlessly. Suffice it to say that I did a lot of sniffling today. 

The Anthem may no longer be mine because I'm not a citizen of India, any more. But I can't give it up. It's in my heart and mind as one of the most beautiful songs I know. 

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