-16 °C (feels like), extreme chill, harsh and cold winter, I needed to prepare myself to be barefooted and with the bare upper body for a music video in the snow for 2 days. It was not an easy task, it was tough-adventurous-ambitious, it was challenging and something I have never done before. My friend Rakesh and I thought of using a green screen but then we found it meaningless considering the song and its theme. With a lot of preparations, with some winter tips, and extreme support from my family and friends (especially, my wife - Sonika, and my friends Kedar, Rakesh, Karunakar & Mydhili), we were able to pull it. We did it!
It was also tough for the crew to move in the dense snow with a camera and its gears. It was an inexplicable-unexplainable journey. The cherry on the cake was the singing by Om, composition, and music by Bhagyashree and Sunil Mhatre from Anushka Recording Studio. At the same time, I wanted to arrange Shiva's divine symbol Trishul (Trident) in USA for video shoot. And I am thankful to Upendra who created perfect wooden Trishul for the song. Perfecto!
Now when I look back and try to think about the making of the Shivoham song, one thing that I really cherish is the lyrics phase. The story of the song revolves around a Himalayan Mountaineer who lost his way to basecamp. I wanted to make sure the song has appropriate Hindi words as the concept is deep and it’s not at all easy to explain.
When I was writing “Shivoham” song, I was in desperate need of an opinion and needed a lot of confidence to finish it. I called my friend Rhishikesh who is very knowledgeable and well informed in this area.
During the interaction, Rhishi came up with unique thoughts. He started imaging the conversation that might have happened between the mountaineer and the mighty Himalaya before his self-realization. I am calling this blog the prequel to the song Shivoham.
SHIVOHAM – The Prequel
There was “I”, full of ego & arrogance, intoxicated to conquer the summit.
The only target, the peak of the mountain challenging me to come & get it.
Teasing me “If you can...”, my days & nights, in my dreams, in my vision.
Obsessed with proving my metal, to prove my point: “I’m Invincible”.
I set out with my gear, staring the dark bluish-black mammoth in the eye, not batting my eyelid.
And there was “He”- bare rock, clad with thick cashmere of thick fluffy white, looking back at me with eternal peace. He’s not concerned, not at all!
Not acknowledging my mere presence even! Stoic attitude!!
Watching him not reciprocating, fueled my rage- blood in my eyes, adrenalin rushes thro’ my veins. I raise my ice-axe & kick my crampons in his thick cashmere. 1st base camp in sight, I thought to myself “I’ll show him who is he dealing with…”
Confidence sky high (ego in the stratosphere!) I hear the adrenaline say: “it’s just a pile of rock & dirt”
At base camp # 2, He realized that I’m an arrogant brat using him to prove my (nonsense) point. He decided to teach me a lesson.
At basecamp # 3, temperature plummets, windsock swirling like a racecar tire, snow showering like cats & dogs.
“You can’t push me back like that” I roared at him, but alas, even I can’t hear myself in the Tandav!
I set out to base camp 4 as scheduled. As fate would have it. GPS failed right in the middle of a snowstorm, now the wind is racing like a German car & every snowflake is like a bullet fired at me. I lost my way, I’m lost in the sea of white, looking helplessly for a cue…clueless! The emotions were clueless, helpless, furious, broken down in tears, Scared for life. The fear to lose life sends a chill down my spine. I’m wet in a cold sweat.
Arrogance & Ego shattered by the rage of mother nature; I kneel down with my head hanging down. Tears froze instantly as they rolled out. Now begging for help, hell, life, I muttered SOS in my dead radio. I felt basecamp 4 a zillion miles away, & every tick of watch an eternity, I started wondering to whom should I call for help? The eruption of emotions fuses my bulb, I faint & drop like a lifeless stone.
My entire life played like a fast-forward movie before my eyes: a nauseating mix of “I” “Me” “Myself” with rich garnishing of anger, lust, greed, arrogance, jealousy.
The very feeling of extreme defeat & worthlessness of the sum of all my worldly possessions- crushing & churning me under them. I let loose myself, I surrendered to the vast emptiness, lying flat on my face- wondering.
The eternal question pops: “Who Am I”
“Why Am I?”
“What’s My Purpose?”
Is it in my head? Why the hell do I feel like I am being questioned from all the directions possible? Is this an echo? Why are the pitch, volume & tempo of these questions going up, thick & fast?
I lost my consciousness. Again.
Seeing me alone, helpless, exhausted, defeated & unconscious, the great mountain had pity on me.
He tapped on my cheek to wake me up to THE reality.
I could sense the assuring warmth & existence of a reliable Friend, Philosopher & Guide- I lift my head. The storm’s long gone; the summit lit in brilliant gold. I look around in search of my savior. A streak of bright light, a beacon- invites me to follow & I obey.
The aura engulfs me within & boom! It explodes as bright as thousand Suns but as cozy as my mum’s hug!
“Who ARE YOU?” I ask & the question echoes back.
“SHIVOHAM” answers my Soul….” I AM SHIV”
Song English subtitles by Ashish Bhojane...