My “now” song: D.K. Pattammal singing the Jana Gana Mana

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music—it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my “now’”song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

With August 15th just a couple of days away, desh bhakti of different types is in the air. Excited plans for an extended weekend vacation thanks to Independence Day and Id holiday in the bus; plastic and paper tricolour flags at traffic signals, shop windows dressed up in white, green and saffron; a sudden rise in the popularity of “desh bhakti geet” on TV and the radio… yes, its that time of the year. Even my customised YouTube page had Independence Day recommendations for me. One of them was D.K. Pattammal (1919-2009) singing the Jana Gana Mana:

D.K. Pattammal (DKP) would have been 28 when India attained Independence on in 1947. I wonder what it must have meant to her as a young, trailblazing musician. For someone who was well-known for her renditions of Mahakavi Bharatiyar’s nationalist songs, did she see the songs coming to life with India’s freedom

Maybe she did, for the joy and pride in singing the national anthem is so evident in the video that it would take a cynic or a real pessimist to not be moved by her expressions. For a change, I love the video more that the actual rendition of the song itself and it’s all because of DKP.

Happy Independence Day 🙂

29 thoughts on “My “now” song: D.K. Pattammal singing the Jana Gana Mana

  1. Played in the office with the speakers on mute. You are right, this rendering must be seen and not heard. Wonder how many of the chest thumping, flag waving millions can sing from the heart.


    1. Thank you, Panchali. I love Pattammal’s music and whenever I attended her concerts as a child, I remember coming away mesmerised as I loved (and still do) listening to women with a full, deep voice.


  2. Beautiful and moving. Thanks for uploading this; not being familiar with carnatic music, I would not be aware of this otherwise. On another note, here is the full anthem, sung by Swagatlakshmi Dasgupta. This was the first time I heard the entire song, written and the music composed by Gurudev Tagore. Enjoy!


  3. Jan gan man adhinayak jaya hai
    bharat bhagaya vidhata..

    beautifulllllllllll… made me stand up for sure


  4. Earthy, full-bodied, fillled with emotions — D.K.P.’s voice is a unique combination of all these. And when she sings the national anthem in that voice, you do feel like standing up and trying to wipe away those goose pimples.


  5. Thanks Sudhajee I would have liked to download and listen to the Song but do not seem to have the necessary means to do so in my computer. The blog however was very interesting to read, as all yours usually are. Ashraf


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