En­cap­su­lat­ing Kalam

With ‘Burn Like The Sun’, Pur­ple­hed Pro­duc­tions pays a trib­ute to one of In­dia’s great­est sci­en­tists and philoso­phers


reat dreams of great dream­ers are al­ways tran­scended,” said APJ Ab­dul Kalam. One of the coun­try’s most in­spir­ing scientist-philoso­phers, Kalam’s words of wis­dom con­tinue to in­spire and ignite the minds of young In­di­ans. And it is to keep this fire burn­ing that the Upad­hyay brothers from Mum­bai re­leased ‘Burn Like The Sun’ in late Jan­uary, as a trib­ute to the for­mer Pres­i­dent of In­dia.

“His vision is our mu­sic,” says Ashutosh, the brain be­hind the mu­sic. “We came up with the idea in July, soon af­ter Dr. Kalam’s death. We be­gan work­ing on it by Oc­to­ber last year. While creat­ing the mu­sic, the prime fo­cus was on his phi­los­o­phy. If you look care­fully, you will re­alise that the lyrics are based on his quotes. We re­searched a bit and found a way to in­cor­po­rate his quotes into the lyrics — “Dreams tran­scend” or “Dream, Dream, Dream,” or even when he quoted Hitler say­ing “If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like the sun”.”

The brothers de­cided to stick to English lyrics, be­cause they be­lieve that Kalam’s mes­sage has a global con­nect. In the two months that the song has been re­leased on YouTube, it has al­ready gar­nered over a 100,000 hits. The song fo­cuses on many of Dr Kalam’s teach­ings, but mainly on the need for ed­u­ca­tion, re­gard­less of an in­di­vid­ual’s so­cial or eco­nomic sta­tus. “It also re­flects his life story in a way; which is why we had a school stu­dent sell­ing news­pa­pers in the video,” ex­plains Ashutosh. The video also urges peo­ple to break free of their shack­les and rise to re­alise their dreams.

For his brother Anurag, Kalam was an in­spi­ra­tion since his col­lege days. “I was do­ing my en­gi­neer­ing when he came to our col­lege for a Re­pub­lic Day func­tion. He ad­vised us to dream big; his speech was so in­spir­ing and stayed with me. I went on to work as a con­sul­tant with an IT com­pany, but I knew there was some­thing mis- sing in my life. Dance had been a pas­sion, but I’d never ac­tu­ally pur­sued it. But Dr Kalam taught me to dream big, and that is when I de­cided to give up my ca­reer and pur­sue one in dance in­stead.” In­ci­den­tally, the video for the song was con­cep­tu­alised by him and he also stars in it.

Ac­cord­ing to Anurag, it was Ashutosh who en­cour­aged and backed his de­ci­sion to pur­sue dance pro­fes­sion­ally. “Most of the mu­sic for my dance pro­duc­tions are com­posed by him,” says An- urag. Ashutosh con­tin­ues to work as a free­lance tech con­sul­tant and says he takes up “as much work as it al­lows me to pur­sue my pas­sion.” He adds, “I like the bal­ance be­tween my tech projects and mu­sic. It’s also how we fund Pur­ple­hed Pro­duc­tions’ projects.”

While the duo agrees that any­body can re­lease mu­sic on­line these days, qual­ity re­mains their pri­or­ity. “Our mu­sic al­ways has a story to tell; there’s al­ways a mes­sage. It is not just en­ter­tain­ment,” says Anurag.

While creat­ing the mu­sic, the prime fo­cus was on his phi­los­o­phy

A still from 'Burn Like the Sun'

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