On PM Modi's request, AIR scrambles to record compilation of 'navadurgastotra'
Minutes after PM Modi's request, AIR production teams pulled out Sanskrit mantras, while artistes spent the next few hours in feverish rehearsals and recording sessions.
The usual inertia and monotony of Akashwani Bhawan saw a dramatic turn last week as vocal artistes, musicians, production teams and senior officials went into a tizzy to record a compilation of 'navadurgastotra' on a special request from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Minutes after the request was made, the All India Radio's recording rooms were abuzz with activity on 'a war footing'. Production teams pulled out Sanskrit mantras and stotras while artistes spent the next few hours in feverish rehearsals and recording sessions.
The post production team swung into action to patch the sections together and put the compilation on a DVD. That night, the lights went out at 4 am in Akashwani Bhawan. A copy reached Modi just in time. Officials said Modi, who wakes up early and practices yoga every morning, also chants during navratra and the recording was compiled in a special format of brief three to four minute sections to help him chant along.
Since the first day of navratri, the PM has also been tweeting on the nine forms of Goddess Durga, tagging a link to the special compilation of 'stutis' on AIR's Youtube channel. "Prayers are offered to the navarupas (nine forms) of the Goddess and for each day, our compilation has four parts - mantra, prarthana, dhyana and stotra.
There are other portions such as stuti and kavach, which were left out as we tried to keep the compilation brief," said a senior AIR official. Artistes K Vageesh, Radhika Chopra, Jitendra Singh, Naresh Malhotra and Vidhi Sharma were roped in to record the nine different pieces. "I have sung devotional songs earlier, but this is a different experience. In these pieces, the diction is important and we needed to rehearse before recording. But with little time in hand, we had to rush with the recording. However, technology has advanced so much... unlike previous times, if we went wrong on some note, we just needed to re-record that bit instead of starting right from the beginning," one of the artistes said.
Since the first day of navratri, Modi has been tweeting about the different forms of the Goddess, such as Maa Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta and Kushmanda, seeking blessings.
On Sunday, he tweeted, "We pray to Maa Kushmanda for happiness. On the 4th day of Navratri, here is a stuti devoted to her." The PM's regular tweets linking the AIR Youtube channel has provided a fillip to the decaying body and much encouragement to the staff. "It feels great that the PM reached out to AIR and that we were able to deliver. His regular tweets have drawn much traction to our Youtube channel. There is a dominant feeling that such compilations hardly have any audience, but with the PM himself tweeting, it gives us hope," said another AIR official. AIR D-G F Shehryar could not be reached for a comment despite repeated calls and messages by Mail Today.