“It may seem that the timing of the release is very appropriate. But that was not on our mind when we started making it.
Ode to the Motherland
Love for one’s motherland can make people do wonders. A beautiful rendition of the Indian National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana on piano is currently creating a sensation on YouTube with 36.2 million views, becoming the most viewed online video of any country’s national anthem ever!
Rabindranath Tagore’s ode to India has even overtaken the video of the French National Anthem, which has 36 million views. Until #IWOULDSTANDFORTHIS, the record for the Indian Anthem was under nine million views.
Shayan Italia, the Hyderabad-born pianist-songwriter and entrepreneur, currently settled in Mumbai, made #IWOULDSTANDFORTHIS which honours the Indian National Anthem in 8K resolution on the limited edition Steinway D-274 concert grand piano, to pay homage to his mother and to befit the Anthem’s majesty and stature. #IWOULDSTANDFORTHIS brings together cross-cultural music and within a few days of its listing, has caught the world’s interest.
Reminiscing about how it all began, the man behind the composition, Shayan Italia says, “The video is my way of paying tribute to my mother who I lost to cancer as well as to my mother country. My mother was a very jovial person and before she succumbed to cancer, she gave me a simple piano as a parting gift as she knew that I loved music. Another motivating factor was my uncle who used to work with the Indian National Army. He had always imbibed patriotism in all of us cousins.”
Coming from a huge middle-class Parsi family, familial bonds keep Shayan going and the zest for doing something for his native country after he came back from the UK was apparently the catalyst behind the video.
“It may seem that the timing of the release is very appropriate. But that was not on our mind when we started making it. Our preparation began last August and we shot the video amidst many challenges. The final cut was ready by February this year,” shares the director of the video, Farhad Vijay Arora.
Along the way, the team faced a lot of technical challenges — from the availability of the limited edition Steinway D-274 concert grand piano to getting technicians to shoot amidst the sudden Mumbai film industry strike.
“India deserves the very best. Shayan wanted to use the limited edition piano for this rendition. But it was only available for a single day and we didn’t have the time to look into its operations,” says Farhad, adding, “But the actual challenge was shooting the video in 8k with VFX. This is the first time that any video from India has been shot with these specifications.”
Not just Indians, but people across the globe are appreciating the instrumental rendition. But Shayan and the team want more. “This strong foundation is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for showcasing India’s unity. We have now set up the #71for71challenge to garner 71 million views in time for independent India turning 71 years old on August 15. I have done my bit and now it’s for all of India to stand as one to beat the #71for71challenge,” he says.