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News |  27 Feb 2018 18:51 |  By Tanmaya Vyas

Kaushal Inamdar on making the historic song 'Labhale Amahas Bhagya Bolato Marathi'

MUMBAI: 27 February is celebrated as Marathi Bhasha Din all across the Marathi loving community and what could be a better expression of love than experience it in music. Exactly eight years ago, music composer and director, Kaushal Inamdar, thought of making a song that represents the pride and joy of speaking in one of the richest languages, Marathi. For anyone who has been an avid literature lover, would know the richness of the language and sheer magnitude of content available in this language. However, there was a negative sentiment in certain segments, about the language being downmarket, which had to be changed.

“The seed of this song was sown in 2008, when there was an influx of radio channels in the market. I was invited by one such radio channel to compose a jingle for them. During a casual conversation with one of the management members there, I asked him why they don’t play Marathi songs on the channel. The reply was, ‘If we play Marathi songs, our channel would be considered downmarket’. This was enough for me to think about doing something about the perception. I thought what would it require to make it “upmarket”, so I composed a song and recorded in the best studios with best singers and best technicians available. I am not an activist, so if there is a problem in front of me, I would give it the shape of art. So, when this happened, I made a song to express the pride and blessing it is to be speaking Marathi,” says Kaushal.

Thereon Kaushal relentlessly worked for over one year to make a song, that would not only change the perception but also make history. He composed the song Labhale Amahas Bhagya Bolato Marathi, literally meaning, “We are blessed to speak in Marathi.” The lyrics were penned by legendary Marathi poet Suresh Bhat years ago. The song, also known as Marathi Abhiman Geet, has over 400 singers, including 112 established singers. The list of singers includes renowned classical vocalists like Dr Ashiwini Bhide Deshpande, Pandit Raja Kale, to the most respected names in Marathi music fraternity like Ashok Patki, Suresh Wadkar, Ravindra Sathe.  What makes the song even more interesting is that there are singers whose first language is not Marathi.

 “I am so glad that the song has voices like Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan, Mahalaxmi Iyer. Shankar ji was so happy being a part of it, that he helped me approach Hariharan ji, whom I didn’t know at that time. They are as much Marathi as I am, only that technically their first language isn’t Marathi. Without the co-operation of every of 400 odd artistes, this song wouldn’t have been possible,” shares the composer.

Continuing he says, “The song also has some of my peers, but everyone came for their love for Marathi language and the legendary poet Suresh Bhat.”

The crew also includes non-Marathi technicians and lot of its work was done in A R Rahman’s studio in Chennai, to which he says, “Everyone who valued their own mother tongue, realised the importance of this project and contributed thereon.”

Currently, he is working on a project to bring back classical Marathi poetry into foray, “The current generation knows of A R Rahman but not Kusumagraj. His work includes a poem on Earth’s love story. Imagine if a poet from west had penned it, the west would have glorified the work and the poets to no end. We also need to honour the work done by these legends.”

On Marathi Bhasha Din, the composer shares an observation, “There has always been a conflict that Mumbai is not just for Marathi people, it’s for everyone. Agreed, but then it is a package deal, if you want Mumbai, you have to accept and honour the Marathi language too. You can’t look down the local language.”

The song Labhala Amhas Bhagya Bolato Marathi, became a massive hit, at a time when “viral culture” was at its advent. Deservingly so, for the song has the best talent in the industry, with the youngest singer to the senior most talent at that time.

Listen to the grand song and celebrate the language.