We spent our time thinking of what we already know,
And forgetting all that we’ve never known.
Let’s spend some time between rocky megalithic stones,
Watching the sunrise between the rocks and feel its glow…
Moments are temporary, but their memories are forever. A Class XI student of Ranchi has taken cue from this universal truth to highlight the importance of Hazaribagh’s Pankri Barwadih megaliths — which was both an astronomical calendar and served sepulchral purpose in ancient times — in a modern YouTube song.
Sixteen-year-old Rajat Chandra’s ode to the two V-shaped menhirs (a tall vertical stone), which make sunrise on the two Equinoxes as well as the Summer Solstice, a memorable experience is indubitably music of the moment for historian and conservationists with already 112 hits since the song was uploaded on October 2.
Speaking to The Telegraph from Ranchi, Rajat, who completed his matriculation from DAV Public School in Hazaribagh before joining Taurian World School in the capital, said he was against the NTPC-Thiess Punkri Barwadih Coal Project, which threatened to ruin history, and hence decided to garner popular support through music.
“You cannot be a mute spectator when man makes the blunder of destroying his own past. You need to fight back. I had started composing songs since I was in Class VII. Then, my parents got me a guitar and I was on a roll. So far, I have composed 35 songs, but dedicated my Moments & Memories to the remarkable Pankri Barwadih megaliths, which is a reminder of our glorious past,” he said.
Rajat, who has never been to Pankri Barwadih — some 17km from Hazaribagh town — has learnt about its Equinox elegance from newspapers, his mother, who is an avid follower of the past, and from a former schoolmate whose poetry revolved around the menhir marvels and earned “rave reviews” at the DAV school’s literature club.
Articles of conservationist Subhashis Das, who discovered the astronomical importance of the site some 12 years ago, is also among his role models.
“We are originally from Godda, though I did part of my schooling in Hazaribagh. But, my father, who is a government official, got recently transferred to Ranchi. So, I have never had had the chance to visit the megalithic site. The awareness campaigns of Das inspired me and I hope to help him in his cause,” the teenager said, adding that some day he would definitely witness an Equinox from Punkri Barwadih.
Das expressed his happiness over the song becoming popular on YouTube. “I am glad that GenY is understanding the significance of the neglected past. Let there be more research, more stories, more poetry and more music on the megaliths. Rajat’s work is really appreciable,” the conservationist said.