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Rahman sings the CWG theme song

Madhur Tankha

— Photo: S. Subramanium

Games Song released:Music composer A.R. Rahman with the Commonwealth Games mascot, ‘Shera,' at a news conference in New Delhi on Monday to announce the release of the theme song. With him are Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi (left) and film director Shyam Benegal. Mr. Rahman said the song, for which he was giving the final touches, would go beyond Shakira's soccer World Cup theme song ‘Waka Waka.'

NEW DELHI: Music maestro A.R. Rahman has lent voice to the Commonwealth Games theme song, ‘Swagatham', which exudes energy and talks about winning and not giving up.

Presenting the story of making the song, at a news conference here on Monday, Mr. Rahman said: “When you hear the song you feel like India is calling you. I want the crowd to sing along. We have put in a lot of hard work and we are all very excited to turn it into a memorable experience. I am still working on it and am curious to know how older, intelligent people, who have years of wisdom, will react to it.”

The song, essentially in Hindi with a sprinkling of English words, has been approved by the Group of Ministers. “I presented it to them last evening [Sunday] and they were excited....I am the lead singer. The song has an international appeal but it is not in the mould of ‘Waka Waka' (Shakira's FIFA World Cup song). It is all ready but wait for another 10 days. I feel that you should get the full feel of the song only at the event.” He added that the song was dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.

Mr. Rahman is still working on fine-tuning the song that will be a big part of the celebrations at the grand opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on October 3.

Creative Director Bharat Bala said the song would be the proudest aspect of India's cultural heritage.

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