Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unity in Diversity

I listened to this song once. And then I listened to it again. And again. And again. It reminded me of what Independence Day has meant to me. And should mean to me. 

Of course, there is no shortage of cynics in India who complain about everything ranging from bad governance and rampant corruption, to inexcusable flaws in Rahman's Bengali pronunciation. I don't understand Bengali, but I did feel happiness ripple through me when I heard him sing the words that Tagore put down decades ago. 

This composition is a beautiful and rich tapestry of hope and inspiration. It is the epitome of how Tagore co-exists with rap, how a powerful, traditional Hindustani sargam can co-exist with super funky bass guitar. 

It epitomizes how we have co-existed as this diverse group of idiosyncratic people who collectively define what I know as "India". On this Independence Day, I hope for us to awake in that heaven of freedom that Tagore had envisioned.


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