VIDEO: Shankar Mahadevan Lends His Voice to this Beautiful Musical Tribute to River Ganga

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India’s largest river, Ganga, has been India’s lifeline for ages, as it courses through the Western Himalayas in Uttarakhand towards the east and into Bay of Bengal. A sacred river, it not just provides for the millions of people who live along its banks, but also is home to 140 species of fish, the endangered Ganges River Dolphin, and 90 species of amphibians. However, in recent years, its over-usage has led to its pollution, which poses a serious threat to the aquatic lives and human population dependent on it. With a sustainable view and an increased awareness, many action plans to revive Ganga’s purity and cleanliness had been initiated.

In a tribute to the beauty and magnificence of the river, Ricky Kej, an Indo-American music composer, released a song, featuring the soothing voice of Shankar Mahadevan.

Part of the album called Shanti Samsara – Music for Environmental Consciousness by Ricky Kej, the music video depicts the innumerable ways in which people are dependent on the river. The lyrics of the song are entirely in Sanskrit.

With an eye on raising awareness about the beauty of nature marred by human destruction, the songs in this album are tuned to perfection.

Samsara, a multi-lingual song about how every species on Earth is dependent on each other, even features a spoken-word Sanskrit poem by Amitabh Bachchan.

The album was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2015. Ricky Kej is popular for his environment-oriented music, a refreshing change from commercial pop and songs dedicated to love.

In February 2015, he won a Grammy Award for Winds of Samsara, a collection of songs with a South African flutist, Wouter Kellerman.

Ricky Kej with Wouter

Ricky Kej with Wouter Kellerman

Kej was born in North Carolina, but moved to Bengaluru as a child and finished his school and college. Despite a degree in dentistry, he chose music as his profession, after being part of a progressive rock band called Angel Dust, even composing music for a few Kannada films.

Featured image source: Wikimedia Commons, YouTube

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