Hours before the scheduled lunar landing of Chandrayaan 2, India’s Second Moon Mission, the Shillong Chamber Choir brought their soulful music to Republic TV. They performed various renditions of patriotic songs, and Neil Nongkynrih, the founder, director and conductor of the Shillong Chamber Choir spoke exclusively to Arnab Goswami.
Nongkynrih mentioned that it was a proud moment for the entire Choir that their song will echo when India will create history with the landing. He stated that he was proud to be an Indian, which was also the reason for writing the song.
“Although the title says ‘Vande Mataram’, the lyrics have nothing to do with the poem. It has been my own lyrics from my heart and from my own experience of this lovely country. Of course, every country has its own problems and challenges. But I said to somebody today- First, we must be thankful for what we have. Then only, we can proceed to the challenges. If we are not thankful for what we have, we have no right to criticize,” he said.
The director of the Shillong Chamber Choir opined that he was a very simple man. According to him, he was still in shock that his music was being associated with the Chandrayaan 2 Mission. He also revealed the secret behind his name. Nongkynrih categorically mentioned the fact that he was born when the American astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon, leading to his mother choosing the name 'Neil'.
When asked about the conception of the song, he remarked that it was not as difficult. He reckoned that it did not take him long to write it. However, he admitted that it took a long time to execute the song. Nongkynrih specially thanked sound designer Resul Pookutty, who showed belief in the song. The journey of the song commenced from two studios in Mumbai to another two studios in the United States of America, after which it was mixed. The segment ended with the Choir performing a beautiful medley of Sare Jahan Se Achcha, Rang de Basanti, Aashayein as well as Rabindranath Tagore’s Geetanjali.