One of the most wonderful childhood memories that I am emotionally attached to, is religiously listening to the song Mile Sur Mera Tumhara and watching it with immense pride on our black and white television. Oh, how proud I would feel back then, of my India, my country! I still love this song!
The magnanimous composition on the unity of India instilled pride and patriotism in every Indian.
This song was telecast for the first time on Independence Day 1988, after the telecast of the Prime Minister’s speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Highlighting ‘Unity in Diversity’, it is a perfect ode to the different linguistic communities and the varied cultures of India that stand together despite the cultural nuances. It shows how we become one heart beating with the same rhythm, especially when it comes to our motherland.
Twenty-seven years back, late Suresh Mullick conceived and directed this legendary song. The concept was developed in the same year it was telecast, by Lok Seva Sanchar Parishad, and promoted by Doordarshan and India’s Ministry of Information. It was composed by Ashok Patki.
The challenge was to bring together a potpourri of music – Hindustani, Carnatic classical and thirteen popular, both traditional and modern, languages and regions into one single piece that was harmonious to the ear as well as appealing to the eye. Raga Bharavi, a sampoorna raga (one that has all seven notes in its scale), was chosen as the base for the music.
After trying his luck with some Hindi geniuses, the director convinced a young account manager to have a go at it, so he could see if he could bring some innocence to the lyrics. At his eighteenth attempt, the young lad got it right and so emerged the now famous line Mile Sur Mera Tumhara. The young account manager is none other than Piyush Pandey. To get the right fusion of music, Mullick obtained the help of two geniuses from two different streams of music – Louis Banks and the late P. Vaidyanathan, a classically trained musician. Together, they created the magical score, rendered by three prominent singers – Bhimsen Joshi, Balamurli Krishna and Lata Mangeshkar.
This magnanimous composition on the unity of India not only instilled pride and patriotism in every Indian but also carried forward the legacy of Jana Gana Mana composed by Rabindranath Tagore and was proclaimed as the unofficial National Anthem of India.
The concept was so inspiring and the cause so noble that many celebrities joined hands to make it a success. It featured national icons of the time, including the main vocalists, sports stars such as Srikanth, Kirmani, Prakash Padukone, well-known film personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Hassan, Shabana Azmi, Hema Malini, Waheeda Rehman, Sharmila Tagore, Javed Akhtar, Tanuja, Mithun Chakraborty, Jeetendra, sitar maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar, tabla maestros Alla Rakha and Zakir Hussain, artist Mario Miranda, dancer Mallika Sarabhai and many others.
The cinematography of the video is just amazing, as it not only shows the incredible beauty that India possesses but also touches upon the progress and the futuristic infrastructure of the country. I vividly recall the opening lines sung by Bharat Ratna award winner Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and how I would run to our TV room so as not to miss even a single word. I would not understand what was being said in other languages but would definitely sing along. My favourite part was towards the end when a hand is seen playing the keyboard and kids wearing jerseys of each colour from our Triband come running to form the Indian flag. The aerial view of the Taj Mahal and the Bong boatman slowly rowing boat on the Hooghly River were enough to weave the magic that transcended across the length and breadth of the country. It still echoes in my heart and is just enough to sweep me off my feet, to give me goosebumps, to moist my eyes, to make me stand up and salute to the tapestry of natural beauty, my country, my India. Jai Hind!
(Information source reference: Wikipedia)
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