SONG OF THE KOHINOORS

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The Song of the Kohinoors is a multilingual mixed genre ‘rap’ ode to the rocks of Hyderabad. It is produced by Uma Magal, Mahnoor Yar Khan, Zak Alladin and Murthovic. The lyrics in Telugu, English and Dakhani are written by Usha Raman & Uma Magal. They are a celebration of what the rocks mean to Hyderabad, despite having been sparked by grief at the massive loss of the rocks in the city. A positive spirit, registering the remarkable ways in which the cultural imagination of city embraces the rocky landscape, propels the beautiful, foot tapping energy of the song and lyrics.

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Age, gender, background was no bar for this diverse group of musicians who came together to create a meaningful & unique piece of music: Jaywant Naidu, Keith D’Rozario, George Hull, K Krishna Sravan, Khyati and Kshiteish of the Heytherabadi Rockstars and the Arabi Daff Troupe recorded a range of instruments, with enthusiasm and a shared love for the project, the rocks and the city.

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Murthovic, the skilled composer of the music, brings his well-known talent and nuanced musical judgement to bear in taking the song through its many twists of mood and tone: furiously pulsating, gentle, funny, anguished, hopeful and at all times with a rhythm and beat that knocks the ball out of the park / dance floor! He is supported all the way by his team at Nadabramha Records, Gopika Jairam and Abi Jacob.

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Last but not least, award winning Anuj Gurwara renders the male vocals in style, using not just his voice but also his acting talents. Gopika Jairam brings talent, classical training and a young cool vibe to her rendition of the female vocals.

Together everyone brings the song home.

Gopika conducting the Marfa
Faez jamming to the beat
Goerge Hull saxing it up
Kshiteishh drumming up support
Khyati's fluid flute
Khyati rocking the keyboard
Murthovic at work
Its a wrap. Or is it rap?
 

FOLKLORE IN THE SONG

The film has curated a large selection of stories and lore. Starting with the story of the Kohinoor diamond itself, which is from the Krishna basin and the Golconda mines, the other world-famous gems like the Jacobs diamond, Dariya e Noor, Taj e Mah etc. Dariya e Noor is referenced in the Song of the Kohinoors. The Song also references other city lore that includes rocks as an integral part of the telling:

Purana Pul

The story goes that once young lover Prince Mohammed Qutb Shah rode his horse into the Musi River during floods to visit his love Bhagmati who lived across the river. The Sultan built the bridge to avoid such foolishness again! It was the first stone bridge in Hyderabad.

Naya Pul

During the Telangana student rebellion another young man, Burgula Narsing Rao who was the then President of the powerful student’s union, waited with a 20,000 strong crowd on the banks of the Musi for the government to show up and fulfil promises made to the students. Unfortunately firing broke out and the students ran under another stone bridge: Naya Pul, and the stone protected them from the bullets being fired.

Vattepally

A young woman lost her family in the Musi flood. She followed a priest to a temple up a rocky hill nearby and stayed there and together they served the temple deity and shrine. One Karthik Purnima day the Lord visited the temple and asked them what they wanted from him. The priest requested that the Lord stay back with them and so the God’s figure got inscribed on the rock inside the temple. When the young woman was asked what she wanted she apparently replied: ‘I would like this whole area to be named after me’ and so till today the temple and the rocky hill neighbourhood is called after her: Vattepalli!

Donga Mallanna

City lore holds that once a thief Donga Mallanna stole something and was being chased by people. He managed to escape by hiding amongst some huge rocks in the area. When he emerged, it was as if the rocks had cleansed his spirit and he vowed never to steal again. A temple was built there, and, it is called Donga Mallanna gudi / temple.

FOLKLORE ANIMATIONS IN THE FILM

 

There are so many stories tied to our rocks. The film showcases them in animations in different local styles.

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There is the story of Biryani Shah Tekdi done in Bidri style

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The lore of Yellamma-Renukamma told in Cheriyal style animation

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The story of the Kagazi Burj / Paper Bastion of Golconda done using Dakhani miniatures

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The story of Amir Ali in Shadow puppetry or Tholu-bommalata style

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The story of Amir Ali in Shadow puppetry or Tholu-bommalata style