Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our national anthem

Our national anthem is in Bengali. No one remembers this, because in multi lingual India, people are free to speak in their own languages and while they tolerate other languages, most of them have no curiosity whatsoever about the other languages.
The point is, every Indian sings this song in the style of his or her state, but is not aware that he is doing so. For instance, in some schools in Tamilnadu, the music teacher picks up the harmonium. and sings it with gamakams (shaking the notes) and pauses that are typical of carnatic music. The pronunciation of the words is 'oh so tamilian', by which I mean that every syllable is pronounced sharply, as an orator of tamil would, in a tamil speech. It's comical for someone used to listening to some other version of the song. There is ofcourse the standard version of the band, which is anglicized and is sung in 54 seconds.Many have heard this, as it is a recorded version, like all things western.
It is a however, a treat to watch Bengalis sing this song. With emotional fervour,  a slow rhythm and the unique pronunciation of the language which does not have the vowel sound /a/ , it sounds different, but endearing and goes like this....jono gono mono athi noyoko joyo he... tamilians have to listen to it to believe it!

No comments: