Mahatma Gandhi – A Spontaneous Tribute

Certain things become so much a part of us that we forget to acknowledge them. Vaishnav Jan To, which I had grown up listening to, resonated deeply, but lay dormant within me.

It was reignited recently at The India Music Summit in Jaipur. I was fortunate enough to take the stage in Jaipur at the India Music Summit, with the likes of gifted musicians and artists of exceptional stature like Aruna Sairam, Ajay Prasanna, Amit Choubey, Ambi Subramaniam, Prasanna and Indraneel Hariharan.

It was a beautiful interlude in a musical journey. Without much planning, we artists got together one morning and within a matter of less than an hour jammed, collaborated and put our hearts into our interpretation of the iconic Vaishnav Jan To. It was the Summit’s tribute to the Mahatma on the 150th year of his birth anniversary.

I took the original line and kept writing my emotions and it all started flowing out. We were delighted because it all culminated in Saccha Sur – A True Note, which is also the theme line for the India Music Summit. As they say, when there are true notes everything falls in place.

The most inspiring and memorable part for me was the extempore improvisation and creation of this song on stage. I don’t think there are many such moments in the history of music.

I forgot that we were on the stage with arc lights and there was a hall full of people who were witness to the magic of not just the performance but that of music creation. This was musical energy being exchanged on the spot – a moment of true joy.

A magical, musical experience that enriched the soul and filled it with sounds and emotions that I will cherish for a long, long time.

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