With Shubh’s guitar and Smiti’s voice sprung to life what may be considered the most celebratory song on Dhanak Dhin. With the girls from “Khushi” Home this story of the joy of spring resonates. While “Saawan Kabhi Jaana Nahi” makes you tap your feet and hum along. The children’s voices create a world where a trilling nightingale heralds the descending rain droplets, streaks of lightning decorate the sky, cool winds blow that you can lift off and fly with, and flowers dance into bloom with the butterflies and peacocks.
Written and composed with the girls of Khushi Home (located in Okhla Industrial Area, of the Dil Se Campaign, Delhi) through the pouring summer-monsoon season of 2011, Shubh and Smiti with the team at Music Basti worked together with the girls to create an ode to the monsoon.
Recorded at PlugNPlay Studios, the girls shared that “Saawan Kabhi Jaana Nahi” was one of the most enjoyable projects they have participated in, and the opportunity to share the song with the world through their recording in the studio was something they never imagined being able to do.
Additional Keyboards: Anindo Bose
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Photo by Akanksha Sharma
Smiti Malik | The song-recording project with Music Basti was an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding process. Being with the girls in the studio and hearing them record the song we had all tireless worked on together was a surreal and overwhelming experience. In that moment it didn’t matter to anyone if they were singing in tune or whether they were keeping beat and following dynamic. None of it seemed important because every note they sang was so unadulterated and beautiful. It is rare to be able to walk away from a process with some so tangible to boast of what you learnt and did. I have, however, managed to walk away with a song which represents the perseverance of a team of people over a period of months, the enthusiasm and hard work of a group of young girls at the Khushi Home and the unwavering support and guidance of a wonderful leader, all of which has culminated in four odd minutes of pure magic!”
Shubh Saran | I remember the rollercoaster of a car journey while trying to get to Khushi for our workshops, dodging animals, humans, and trucks. But the minute we entered the Home, all of it was worth it. The girls would assemble in one room, sit down in a circle and immediately be ready to sing and participate in all the crazy activities we had planned for them. During the first few workshops, they would form little groups where two or three friends would sit glued together, refusing to change their seating plans. By the time we had finished the project however, the group had transformed into one big musical family, each girl as crucial to the song as the next. They steered the direction of the song, bringing in ideas, and becoming better musicians every week. When Smiti and I would practice the song without the girls, it sounded completely different, lacking that unique sense of joy and innocence. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the girls, who remind us how important music and expression really is.