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“Teri Mitti” Gets A Corona Twist, Manoj Muntashir Speaks



Manoj Muntashir’s fabulous  poetry of patriotism  for the song Teri mitti   in  the Akshay Kumar starrer  Kesari has now been converted into  a  song celebrating the bravery  of the doctors across India fighting  the  Corona  virus.

Explaining this  transcreation  Manoj says to me  in an exclusive  chat, “Soldiers are not only those  who  fight at the border. Whenever our country  is in a state  of crisis  the common  people of  the country  should show uncommon solidarity and  behave  like soldiers .Come what may they should not leave their  battlefront. Hum apne morche pe danttey rahenge.”

Manoj who has  in  the past penned  beautiful songs for films  such as  Akira, MD Dhoni, Naam Shabana and Baby says  the  country is  fighting an invisible enemy.  “And we see  the soldier’s character in  many essential  professions, be  it  doctors, the sanitizers, the police officers or the small grocers who  are  determined  to keep their shops open…all of  these have become soldiers  now.”

Speaking on how the song happened Manoj says, “One day  I got a  call  from Akshay Sir(Kumar)  about turning  the Kesari song on patriotism to a  tribute to doctors fighting the Coronavirus. He    just kept repeating, ‘They are  Gods.We can’t  repay the  debt we owe them  but at least we can acknowledge their  contribution.’  I  thought that was a great idea .I asked Akshay sir  to give me two days. But as soon as we disconnected the  phonecall and I went out for a walk, all the lyrics for  the song came  to me and I handed  them  over to Akshay Sir. He even  commented , ‘Tu toh do din baad dene wala  ttha.’.”

Manoj says it’s the  beauty of  the original composition  that inspired him. “The beauty  of  the  original  composition by Arko and the singing by  B Praak is  such that I was inspired.Let  me tell you, this  was the simplest song to  write. I just had to hold the emotions  in my hand, and the song wrote  itself out.When I  saw the sacrifices of the doctors, how  they have been  away from home for weeks and now months  combating the  virus, how they  haven’t picked  up their  children in  their arms for ages for fear of infecting them…these are heart-melting incidents.”

Manoj feels we  can never  repay  the medical profession for their sacrifices. “No, this song is not even trying to repay them for their sacrifices. Nothing in the  world can repay  them. We  don’t have the currency to  pay them  back. But in this  song we’ve shown our love  and  gratitude for  the  soldiers  in white:  Beemar hai jo  kis dharm ka hai humse na kabhi yeh  bhed hua/ sarhad pe jo  vardi khaki tthi ab usska rang safed hua. We just hope the doctors will embrace our song  just as the soldiers at  the  border had  embraced the  original song.”

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