Hum Dekhenge: We’ll See

This marvelous poem is making the rounds in the wake of the protests sweeping across India. Its powerful, evocative words speak across time and cultures as a clarion call to resist oppression, and that the power to rise up to fight, to persist, and to resist oppressive systems lies within all of us.

There are lots of translations of Hum Dekhenge, but I like this one best:

And here is the inimitable Iqbal Bano performing it. The thunderous applause that greets the songs and serves as almost a percussive accompaniment, adds to the alchemy of music and verse:


Thinking back

I was looking through old photographs today and found this pic from 2007. In 2005, the Araiyars at Alvar Tirunagari entrusted me with the manuscript that recorded the Araiyar Sevai. They requested my help in cleaning, restoring, digitizing and printing the text for them. With the help of the French Institute of Pondicherry, I finally accomplished this in 2008 and returned the manuscript to them. This photo captures the terror that I felt at the responsibility.

So much has happened in the intervening 15 years…but 2005 marked my first full immersion in the Adhyayanotsavam. 

Tiruvaymoli in Music

On Vaikuntha Ekadasi, the eleventh day of the Adhyayanotsavam and the first day of the Tiruvaymoli Festival, it is an honor and privilege to share my collaborative project with Sikkil Gurucharan. We have worked together to set verses from the Tiruvaymoli to music. This set is from the First Hundred, and over the next ten months, we will release verses from each Hundred of the Tiruvaymoli.

While there is the Koyil Tiruvaymoli, a set of 143 verses, curated by the acaryas of the Srivaishnava tradition, in this project, we have chosen verses that spoke to us, that were unusual, or those that would be best suited for a musical interpretation. There is obviously some overlap with the Koyil Tiruvaymoli, our project is distinct from those verses.