Stories of good Samaritans have emerged as rays of hope and positivity in these grim times. Spotlighting a number of these real-life superheroes through his narration is Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao, who has recited a moving Hindi poem written by lyricist Swanand Kirkire as part of an eight-episode Spotify series. Titled ‘Ruk Jaana Nahi’, the limited edition original audio and video series highlights the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things – from frontline workers to doctors. It launched the first episode’s teaser last week, and will be followed by an original podcast on similar lines.
“Of course, there are some great organisations that are doing some brilliant work towards COVID relief, but I was so touched by the strong will and the kindness of a common man. Having noticed stories of people helping others in need without any motive and from the sheer kindness of their heart on an almost daily basis on social media, I knew that these were stories that had to be told so that we remember their strength and sacrifices and that we are not alone in this fight against the pandemic. Spotify reached out to me to help share these stories of hope with a larger audience and I was very impressed with the initiative,” Rao said.
Asked about his favourite line from the two-minute-long recital of Kirkire’s poem, Rao says candidly: “You know honestly, I can’t pick one line, when I first read Swanand sir’s poem, I was so moved by the words, every line resonated with me, I knew I just had to be on board. Swanand Sir’s words are so beautiful, I feel honoured to recite them on screen for everyone.”
The series puts the spotlight on young India and the sacrifices they are making to help other people in need.
Over the next few weeks, heartwarming videos and audio features will give listeners a glimpse into the lives of local heroes, including doctors who chose duty over their personal losses; Stories of those who have cooked meals for those in need; Individuals who are going out of their way to distribute masks (and smiles); Those with limited resources, but still delivering aid at their personal expense; and young Indians who’ve used their technology to connect patients with medical facilities.
According to Spotify, there has been loss, despair, and heartbreaking scenes at our own homes, and across the country. But amidst the chaos, if there is one thing that has grown faster than the pandemic, it is humanity. We’ve been faceless strangers who’ve tried to help those who needed resources; we’ve also been at the receiving end of that kindness when our own loved ones were suffering.
The audio streaming giant says these selfless acts of kindness will be shared through this limited video and audio series.
Finally, asked about his thoughts on empathy during the pandemic, Rao shares: “It’s important to help and support those around us and coming together as a community is the best way to deal with our shared difficult situation. The smallest act of kindness becomes the biggest hope for humanity.
“It’s testing times like these that require us all to stand together in solidarity. These are difficult times we are in, but it’s only through hope, resilience and perseverance that we can overcome this.”