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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Tripura: A music video in Kokborok and Malayalam asks people to ‘break the chain’, with a bit of swag

Break the Chain, a single track music video sung in a melody of the state’s indigenous Kokborok language and Malayalam from Kerala in down South. 

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Published: June 23, 2020 6:55:17 pm
coronavirus tripura, tripura music video coronavirus, tripura band covid, Break the Chain MP Rebati Tripura launches Break the Chain. Govind Debbarma (second from right) and Anghuman Debbarma (left) look on. (Express Photo by Govind Debbarma)

In a bid to spread awareness about Covid-19, a group of videographers and film enthusiasts of Tripura has come up with a music track that encourages people to ‘break the chain’, with a bit of swag.

Break the Chain, is a single track music video sung in a melody of the state’s indigenous Kokborok language and Malayalam from Kerala in down South.

The music video, roughly over 7 minutes long, is the first production of its kind in Tripura to grow awareness and sensitise people of the novel coronavirus. It cites plague, Cholera, Spanish flu and other pandemics of the past and asks people to be brave and alert to tide over the crisis. The production includes audio and video shot in Tripura and Kerala while it was mixed at a studio in Bangalore.

The artistes associated ‘Break the Chain’ are from a Tripuri music band called Jaduni Khorang, meaning ‘in the voice of the beloved’ in Kokborok. Most of them are associated with location television channels as video editors, newscasters and had produced couple of gigs in the past.

Even as government keeps spreading awareness through audio, audio-visual and print appeals almost every day, Govind Debbarma, one of the band’s lead singers felt interior villages and tribal hamlets are still far from the initiatives on the ground.

“They (Govt) appeal every day to wash hands, use masks or cover the face, stay at home or maintain social distancing while going out. But people in the villages are still severely lacking in their awareness. I work in a television channel. I watch it everyday on my screen while editing stuff in the way they carry themselves. I felt something had to be done”, Govind told indianexpress.com.

He added that the video would be featured in local television channels of Tripura and Kerala, besides social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Another artist who contributed as much to the production is Rajive Thomas, a musician from Kerala, who lent his voice to sing a double track of the same song in Malyalam. The double track was introduced alongwith English subtitles to add some universality to the production instead of restricting it to a region, Govind said.

Angshuman Debbarma, a film and graphics designer of Tripura in his own right, is a special guest in the production. Speaking to the indianexpress.com, Angshuman said he hopes the music video will successfully transgress the boundaries of entertainment and motivate people for a change. Break the Chain is entirely a non-profit production, where everyone worked voluntarily, he said.

East Tripura Lok Sabha MP Rebati Tripura inaugurated the music video and said it is a positive initiative to fight against COVID-19 pandemic. “Youths from different villages can benefit from this initiative”, he said.

Music videos have been popular in Tripura sine 1990s. However, the state’s own filmmaking flourished later in its own might, spawning national award winning production like Mathia and Yarwng.

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