The legacy of a song

The popularity of a song is not necessarily its legacy. While the popularity does help it reach the masses and may probably contribute to it going to places and the people that it is meant to touch. Yet, it is not a measure of its impact and cannot predict its longevity.

Writing or composing often happens in a state of chaotic isolation. The initial spark that ignites a piece of writing or a composition is mostly a spontaneous creative burst. The craftsmanship follows later.

A couple of years back, Director Danish was thinking about creating an original Hindi-Kashmiri song. A song that celebrates the beauty of Kashmir, its people, culture, and diversity. We also wanted to talk about solo women travelers, people who are on a journey of self-discovery. Basically about people finding missing pieces of the puzzle called Life. I met composer/singer Yawar a few times and a few sessions later the melody was ready.

Writing the Hindi/Urdu part was easy. It was the Kashmiri part that I dreaded writing. I was very tempted to use the lines of other Kashmiri poets. However, I didn’t give in.

After the initial tough days of creative drought, words came trickling down to me. Like talking to an old friend after a long time.  Going back to our roots, the sounds that are embedded into our DNA, the mind may forget but the cells in your body do not. Writing Kashmiri poetry wasn’t that hard after all. It never is.

Out of this journey of reflection and discovery, Yumbarzaloo was born and was released by Zee Music Company.

At some point we have to cut the umbilical chord and move on to the next song with a hope that it will probably make its way into the next generation. Our intent of keeping the language relevant and alive will manifest into something. Over the years, its popularity has grown, we often get cover videos of this song. It is being played at the weddings, get togethers, etc. When it crossed a Million mark organically, I was ecstatic. Popularity was there, impact I wasn’t so sure.

Until, I got this video sent by Anshoo, a fellow Kashmiri artist, of her daughter humming this song while doodling something on her notebook. Her daughter, Ariana doesn’t know Kashmiri, she is not singing for performance, this is not scripted and most importantly she doesn’t know me.

This is probably a song that she hums to relax or a song that she sings to the self. Hopefully, someday when this fine young lady goes out looking for the pieces of her own puzzle as she is trying to discover her roots. She may sing this song..or write her own

Here to Yumburzaloo….To Ariana