Palbasha Siddique is the girl with the beautiful voice from the soundtrack to the hugely successful Where the Hell is Matt 2008 – the video of Matt Harding dancing around the world (which I wrote about here).

The amazing thing about this music is that whenever I hear it I am filled with deep emotion – sometimes making me feel joyous, sometimes tearful. And while I do not understand the lyrics, it seems that there is a great deal of communication happening at a deeper level – sub-language. Part of this is to do with Palbasha’s spine-tingling performance; part is the way the music by Garry Schyman surges like a tide; but I always thought there must be something more. The lyrics for the song Praan are taken from the poem Stream of Life by Rabindranath Tagore (Asia’s first Nobel Laureate) – and as it turns out, the poem is about personal submission to the power of peace:

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

For her 18th birthday, Palbasha has decided to create a non-profit foundation – MinneBangla Foundation which is dedicated to raising funds for Bengali orphans. It sounds like it is very early stages, but you can contact Palbasha via email to join the foundation. In this video she speaks about her plans for the foundation and then sings Praan – and even though the sound is a little patchy, it still manages to send shivers up my spine.