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My son and my husband are die hard cricket fans and last evening our chests swelled with pride, yet again for the nth time after watching the recorded match of the World Cup Final when India lifted the coveted trophy. And when we stood up for the national anthem my 9 year old boy recited it like a smart fellow by lip syncing in between to let his errors go unnoticed and sometimes just mumbling words in a flow like he used to do as a toddler with “Ello Meno P Q” in the alphabet song. He wanted to quickly recite it so that he could sing his favourite closing lines of “Jaya Hey” by hitting the highest notes. The patriotism in me fell flat and who reigned was an angry mother, all charged up to ensure the son learns the national anthem well.
I sat down to teach him the anthem and ended up learning more about it than before (all thanks to Dr. Google). Jana Gana Mana is a five-stanza Brahmo hymn composed and scored in highly Sanskritized Bengali by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in early 1900s. The first stanza of this song has been adopted as the National Anthem of India on 24 January 1950.
Since the language of our Anthem is not what our so called modern English speaking children are too well versed with, I was intrigued to ask my son if he could understand any part of the National Anthem. He would never give NO as an answer and prompt came the reply , “ Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha, Dravid Uthkal Banga- means Sidhu is from Punjab and Dravid is from Bengal”. Cricket has surely become the national game of India and Navjot Siddhu and Rahul Dravid our national heroes according to him.
After much research I sat down with my son to explain each word of the anthem in a fun creative way since that was the only way to capture his interest. Both of us crafted a book together to understand the meaning of our national anthem. I am sharing the link of our proud creation for you all to see.
Jan-Gan-Man-Adhinayak, Jaya Hey
O Supreme Leader of people (and their hearts), victory to you!
O Controller of India’s Destiny
All of Punjab, Sindh(part of undivided India, now in Pakistan) , Gujarat, Maharashtra, Dravid (Tamil regions), Orissa (utkala) and Bengal
and all of Vindhya (Mountain ranges of Western India), Himachal (Himalayan ranges), and Yamuna / Ganga (Rivers)…
…Rise and Bounce. And so do the ocean waves.
Tava Subha Name Jage
They all echo/chant your auspicious name
Tava Subha Aashish Mange
They all seek your blessings
Gahe Tava Jaya Gatha
while singing your victory anthem
Jana-Gana-Mangala Dayaka, Jaya Hey
O provider of people, victory to you!
O Controller of India’s Destiny
Jaya Hey, Jaya Hey, Jaya He, Jaya, Jaya, Jaya, Jaya Hey
Victory to you!
The craft book helped him(and also me) understand every word of our National Anthem. We watched the recorded World Cup Cricket Final n+1th time. At the time of the anthem he sprang out from the blanket he was cozying in to almost break my bone by stepping on it and stood up straight to recite it. And this time absolutely correct!!! I snubbed him why he stood up like that to almost break my bone, prompt came the reply, “ To pay respect to our beautiful nation who gave us place to live. I am standing because our nation stands for us.”
Jaya Hey, Jaya Hey, Jaya Hey, Jaya, Jaya, Jaya, Jaya Hey
I achieved victory and my chest swelled with pride yet again but this time for different reasons.