Monday, October 27, 2008

National Anthem and the theatres

Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaye He Bharata Bhagya Vidhaata.....lines that make the hair on my wrists stand straight, every time I listen to it. The national anthem - a sign of immense pride of being an Indian. I have sung it in school, college, valedictory functions, inter-school, inter-college cultural competitions, what have you.

But, never did I imagine the same spirit of nationalism run through my system at the start of a movie, inside a theatre. That's been the trend in Bangalore theatres for a few years now. And I see a transformation happening in the manner in which one regales being an Indian - the theatre owners have secured a fantastic music album consisting of very seasoned vocalists to sing the national anthem with a renewed vigour and spirit. SPB, Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh, Balamurali Krishna, Asha Bhonsle, Pandit Jasraj etc - names that have stood the test of time in Indian classical music; names that have shaped Indian music worldwide. It was a terrific experience to be witness to the national anthem sung with such passion and national spirit by these legends.

As I listened to the national anthem over the last weekend at Lido theatre, just before the movie Road Romeo began, I felt so nice. And I began to appreciate (for the zillionth time!), what a beautiful composion and tune our national anthem has. Terrific lyrics, just add to the fantastic spell that this great attribute of Indian-ness has, covering various states, rivers, regions, religions etc. Pretty much, the diversity of India, enconsced in this terrific form of Indian spirit!

I also think that it is actually not such a bad idea to play the national anthem in such an interesting manner at the start of a movie. We see it on TV when India takes on different countries in various sports. We see it on Republic Day and Independence Day every year. But, given that all of us are so caught up with our busy lives at all other times, it is good once-in-a-while, to recall our Indian-ness, by listening to one of the greatest assertions of Indian nationality, the national anthem.

Jai Hind!

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