Another video, Milkar ladhna hai hamein, is out on YouTube — https://youtu.be/ yILFvL9lX2w — and is raking up good views. What’s special about this one? First, it pays tribute to COVID-19 warriors. Secondly applauding their spirit and commitment are no celebrities, but fellow warriors – doctors, police, media professionals, farmers and so on. In fact, it is headlined by Sagar Ghorpade, who is serving in the crime branch of Pune Police.
Aviraj Jayshankar, who has directed the video, tells us how they came up with this concept. “On April 25, I got a call from Aditi Trivedi, daughter of my producer Jagdish Trivedi. Her idea was to shoot a video on a song and dedicate it to Covid frontline workers. I asked her why don’t we have a special song for those who are fighting coronavirus, instead of copying a song? She agreed and soon after I called my friend, Amol Nashikkar, who did the lyrics and music,” says Jayshankar, who is a writer-actor-director.
When he got a call from Jayshankar, Nashikkar was just about to start work from his home-studio. “I got this call suddenly from Aviraj sir and at that time I didn’t have any lyrics or tracks ready, but I took up the challenge and by midnight, sent him a demo track. Next day by 7 am, the complete track was ready. We then took Ajay Yadav’s help for improving the lyrics, changing a few words here and there,” says Nashikkar. What followed was an uphill task to find singers, recording, shooting and so on.
Jayshankar says, “The challenge was where and how to shoot it, because all the recording studios were shut. How to approach singers, whom to approach were the other questions. Then, it struck me that we could approach Sagar Ghorpade, whom I had met earlier. I had heard his voice. He is serving in the police force. That was another plus point because I wanted to shoot this video with frontline workers.”
Jayshankar, who is currently in Latur, collaborated with the team on the phone, directing them on how to shoot the video, how to shoot against the right background and so on. “Once the music was done, I sent it to Sagar. We wanted a female voice too. I got the contact number of Amita Ghugari, who agreed to be a part of this. Then Sagar contacted more professionals from the police force, and doctors. They all got on board. I contacted a few farmers, doctors and media professionals. We requested them to shoot the videos while they were on duty. I told them to use a good quality phone, choose a good background. I told them that they would have to hold the phone horizontally while shooting. On one mobile, they could play the song and on another phone, they had to lip sync to the lines that were chosen for them. Those were 30 seconds long. And, I edited the videos back home. Sagar rendered his vocals at Amol’s home-studio,” explains Jayshankar, whose film is ready for release.
Nashikkar, who has worked with Jayshankar on his project, says, “My work got done in almost two days. Usually, this takes time. But this situation is so horrible, everyone has been affected by it and I guess that’s why the words and music flowed easily. It all boils down to something simple — we have to be responsible for ourselves and others. Why step out when we have a roof over our heads? Why can’t we make lives of the police on duty a little easier?”
Ghorpade, who used to sing bhajan-keertan as his family has a spiritual bent of mind, was already toying with the concept of coming out with a song to boost the morale of the police force. He says, “I had contacted a friend for lyrics. That was the time Aviraj approached. I liked the concept, especially shooting with real life heroes. I then started contacting my seniors and fellow police officers, who sent their videos. The song released on May 16 and it has been uploaded to YouTube and my YouTube channel as well.”
Ghorpade, who came into the limelight with his covers of Kabir Singh film's songs, will soon be collaborating with another song dedicated to the armed forces. “My friend Mayur has composed it. The lyrics are such that they will spur you to do your best. The policemen are working without respite, we need to energise them. That’s how the song has turned out to be,” says the policeman, who follows videos and FB Live of Rahul Deshpande and Mahesh Kale. “I don’t have time to take regular singing lessons now. But I do want to continue singing,” he says.
“The revenue from the video will be donated to CM and PM’s relief funds,” mentions Jayshankar and adds, "and that’s why we have not tied up with any entity.”