Gems of Nazrul, an initiative to portray National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's musical genius in new light and popularise his spirited songs, has released its seventh music video - “Mrityu Nai” - yesterday, marking Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day. The song was aired on Channel i just prior to the first minutes of Probhat Feri, the tradition of laying floral wreathes at the Shaheed Minar Language Movement monument at the stroke of midnight on February 21.
The Gems of Nazrul project has been doing a commendable job of finding lesser-known songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam, and bringing them to light with a mix of acclaimed and young artistes singing in unison. “Mrityu Nai” is no different, a song that at its core symbolizes the brave sacrifice of our Language Martyrs 66 years ago to this day, paying the ultimate price of life to earn the right for their countrymen to be able to express themselves in their own language.
The opening verse – “Mrutyu Nai, Nai Dukkho, Achhe Shudhu Praan” is an apt description of the spirit that the language movement activists held in their hearts – fearless of peril, riding the spirit of life. The lyrics also speak of coming out of the shadows of darkness into the adventure of light, and calls out to wake up from the metaphorical sleep and the nightmares within, to bring on a new dawn.
Led by eminent Nazrul Sangeet exponent Sadya Afreen Mallick who has been masterminding the project for a year and a half, eminent and promising singers - including Shaheen Samad, Sumon Chowdhury Fatema Tuz Zohra, Sheikh Jasim, Shelu Barua, Nasima Shaheen, Shahid Kabir Palash, Tanveer Alam Shawjeeb, Tanjina Karim Sharalipi, Waqeel Ahad, and students of Government Music College and BRAC University lent their voices to the song.
Sheikh Jasim’s musical arrangement of the song also brings out the mood, combining the melancholic sounds of the esraj with the sonorous tabla and pakhawaj, and incorporating a marching-band like percussion with haunting synth in other parts to create a contrast. Sheikh Jasim also directed the music video, with Satya Basak as DOP.
BRAC University has an active extracurricular activity club, and their participation in the latest installment of the video is testament to that energy. The video has also been sponsored by BRAC University, as part of their commitment to promote the culture and music of Bangladesh. A special mention must also go to Gulshan Society for their generous cooperation in the making of the music video.
Gems of Nazrul, which began its journey in August 2016 marking the death anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam, have already made their mark among discerning music lovers of the country – with productions “Dao Shourjo Dao Dhoirjo”, “Joy Houk”, “Shongka Shunno Lokkho Kontthe”, “O Bhai Khati Sonar Cheye Khati”, “Bajre Beena Baj” and “Jhor Jhonjhaye Orre Nishan” prior to this. The unique, ambitious project aims to eventually release many more songs of the kind and introduce the new generation of listeners to the vast treasure-trove left behind by the musical genius of the Rebel Poet.