Watch the Words of Faiz and Tagore Merge in Sonam Kalra’s ‘Hum Dekhenge – Where the Mind is Without Fear’
Featuring spoken word by dastango Sunil Mehra and instrumentals by Manish Sahriya, Kalra’s latest release is a call for freedom, dialogue and peace
Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s famous poem of defiance “Hum Dekhenge” has been occupying minds across the country for many weeks now as part of the ongoing anti-CAA protests since the time IIT- Kanpur controversially decided to set up a panel to decide whether it is anti-Hindu. For Sufi singer and composer Sonam Kalra, the verse reminded her of another iconic poem, Rabindranath Tagore’s “Where the Mind is Without Fear.” She viewed them as a resonance of each other, of something that felt right and needed to be said. “These were two such powerful poems, such powerful words of the most inspiring poets of the subcontinent that when I heard them in my head, I just knew that I wanted one flowing into the other,” she says. Ergo, was born “Hum Dekhenge – Where the Mind is Without Fear,” Kalra’s response to what she views as going on in the country. “It wasn’t a direct response to the anti-CAA protest, that was perhaps the thing that sparked it,” she tells Rolling Stone India.
Kalra’s composition “Hum Dekhenge – Where the Mind is Without Fear” featuring her friends dastango Sunil Mehra and instrumentalist Manish Sahriya, blend the worlds of Faiz and Tagore, to put forth the message of universal freedom, dialogue and peace: “Hum dekhenge (We will see) / Where the mind is led forward by thee/ Into ever-widening thought and action/ Laazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge (Inevitably, we shall also see the day)/ Hum dekhenge/ Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.” It was the sharing of the same ideologies that led to the synergy on the project with even photographer turned cinematographer Inni Singh coming on board to steer the visuals in the music video directed and conceptualized by Kalra, in gratis.
“I wanted [‘Hum Dekhenge – Where the Mind is Without Fear’] to have a longer stay. Governments come and go, but it’s the people of India, who have to remain constant together in the ideal of India, in the dream, hope and picture that they have for India. We can’t be so quick to be swayed. If we are a strong nation then the governments that come won’t be able to shake us — if we’re strong in our belief,” says the singer-composer.
Kalra’s soulful voice invokes reflection on “Hum Dekhenge – Where the Mind is Without Fear” while Mehra’s spoken word lend moments of melodic stillness to the track that is driven home by poignant piano notes over a quaint string arrangement by Sahriya.
Watch the video below: