Spring in its steps, clicking its heels together, so unbelievably alive, I often wonder why Pani Da Rang – essentially a song about longing – feels so much like a celebration of love. Why, despite the unmistakable melancholy in its words, never misses the bounce in its voice.
But then, as I pay more attention, I finally begin to understand. This song is just as much about what it is today as it is about what it used to be.
A shattered heart always follows a pattern. At first numbed, then in denial, when it finally turns accepting, does its pain truly find an expression. So for it to sound this way today, Pani Da Rang, too, has once been a battered heart that learned to love and then had to learn to grieve.
Yet, it sticks up for itself. It doesn’t engage in self-pity when it is the easiest to, particularly in the immediate aftermath of heartbreak. Pani Da Rang really is a generational anomaly. For it is not for a generation that has made giving up on beliefs, fashionable. It finds love because it never undermines self-worth in the first place.
It is never disillusioned or delusional. That is why it is a fest where everybody wants to raise a toast. It is a carnival not to mark a forever but to underline the present. It is a tale of escalated heartbeats as their fingers touch and they let them linger on for a while. A tale of long aimless Sunday afternoon drives to the countryside, a hundred first kisses put together. It is both reassured and reassuring.
Pani Da Rang is not just a love song, or one for longing. Or for that matter may not even be the one that saves you. But it surely is a keeper for nights you are both lonely and in love.