02 May, 2011

Songs of Protest: A forgotten tradition

जाने वाले  सिपाही  से  पूछो
वो  कहाँ  जा  रहा  है
जाने वाले सिपाही से पूछो
वो कहाँ जा रहा है

इश्क है कातिल -इ -ज़िन्दगानी
खून से तर है उस्की जवानी
हाय मासूम बचपन की यादें
हाय दो रोज़ की नौजवानी
जाने वाले ...

कैसे सहमे हुए हैं नज़ारे
कैसे डर डर के चलते हैं तारे
क्या जवानी का खून हो रहा है
सुर्ख है आंचलों के किनारे
जाने वाले ...

कौन दुखिया है जो गा रही है
भूखे बच्चों को बहला रही है
लाश जलने की बू आ रही है
ज़िन्दगी है की चिल्ला रही है
जाने वाले ...

-Makhdoom Mohinuddin, during the World War II, about the meaninglessness of war and violence.

A song I hadn't heard until I did listen to a different version, very recently.
This one has been rendered with a classical touch by the very talented Sumangala Damodaran.



"Songs of Protest" is the album, a rare one in today's chaotic music world dominated by noise, non-sense and anything but music. A compilation of some of the greatest protest songs, not just songs, but symbols of some of the epochal events in the Indian freedom struggle. The nine songs in Hindi, Malayalam and Bangla are more than just old songs being revisited, but like the album cover says it is a glimpse of The Forgotten tradition.

Although my Malayalam and Bangla are equally distant from making much sense to me, I have been relishing the quality of the songs, and at every opportunity have been asking for translations from relevant friends.

Here are the previews of three tracks, and to buy the audio you can flip the cart.

  Jaane Waale by SumangalaDamodaran 

  Aarkotokaal by SumangalaDamodaran

  Aarkotokaal by SumangalaDamodaran

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