Song celebrates UAE and India’s connection
DUBAI // A song produced by Indian and Emirati artists forges a musical connection between both countries on the anniversary of India’s Republic Day.
Released to celebrate the visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on India’s 68th Republic Day, the producers describe the song, “Mile Sur (Merging Melodies)” as a tribute to the friendship between the two nations.
“The song crosses boundaries and that was the whole intention of doing it, to stir emotion and connect people,” said singer Nishita Charles, a marketing manager with a retail company.
Work on the project began late last year after the announcement that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, would be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.
“We wanted to create something to bring two cultures together because we have spent such a large chunk of our lives here. I often listen to Arabic songs. As musicians we touch and feel others music and each of us has put our soul into this.
“Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to India is an important step in showing that both countries care for each other’s people, it is a hand of friendship.”
■ When my melody meets yours: listen to the song here
To the beat of the darbuka, a Arab percussion instrument, well-known Emirati singer Adel Ebrahim sings the Khaleeji version of the Hindi lyrics that mean: “The fragrance of this earth, how can we forget it, wherever you go, you will always return This country that is yours, is your homeland, it is calling us, this is a bond that can never be broken/ When my melody meets yours, it becomes our song.”
It unites a Bollywood song ‘Yeh Joh Des Hai Tera (This is your Country) composed by famous Indian musician AR Rahman for the 2004 movie Swades (Country) and the 1988 ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara (When my melody meets yours)’ with lyrics written by advertising guru Piyush Pandey.
Adel said the toughest part was translating the Hindi lyrics.
“We wanted Arabs to understand this too, so it’s not heard only by Indians. We wanted to send a message to all through music,” he said.
“I sang in Khaleeji but I just did not want a simple translation. I wanted to get the lyrics right so people would completely understand it.”
A fan of Indian music and movies, Adel has collaborated with Indian musicians before but described this as unique.
“This is not like other romantic or movie songs. I’m really happy to be part of this because this is special. The team really worked hard to release this in time for Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit because as an Emirati too, this is an important visit.”
Blending Arab and Indian music was not easy, said music producer Mahesh Raghvan.
“Both forms are extremely complicated and versatile, so we had to make sure it brought together the flavour so each was represented,” said Mr Raghvan, who recreated the sounds of the Indian string instrument ‘veena’ via an iPad application ‘geoshred.’
“I try to play with new instruments, introduce fusion and electronic sound,” said Mr Raghvan who teaches at the SAE Institute in Dubai and runs a website of contemporary versions of classic Carnatic music.
“This was the perfect opportunity to collaborate with musicians and link two countries together.”
The song is drawing thousands of hits online with enthusiastic comments from listeners.
“We had planned to do a version on UAE national day and another on Republic Day but could not co-ordinate resources for it,” said Jogiraj Sikidar, who trained Ms Charles in Hindustani classical vocals and is founder of the Malhaar ensemble that teaches classical Indian music, dance and performing arts.
“We just want people to connect with music because this is our common ground. Music is the metaphor in our tribute to both our countries.”