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Sound of Music – I

October 8, 2011

While completing the recent Ten day You Challenge, I came across many topics where I wanted to write more and more but could not due to the nature of the Challenge. So, here I come with the complete list of favourites πŸ™‚ This is part one of my posts on my favourite music.

BENGALI

Rabindrasangeet

When you grow up hearing your mother hum Tagore’s songs all the time at home, you cannot but become involved with it. The first songs to which I learnt my dance steps were "Phool-e Phool-e Dhole Dhole" (the one that was translated into Hindi in the movie Parineeta) and "Momo Chitte Niti Nritye". As I grew up, I began to appreciate the Bard’s music more. Whether it is "Prem" (Love), "Puja" (Worship), "Prakriti" (Nature) or "Bichitra" (Miscellaneous), there is a Tagore Song for every emotion, every moment and every event in a Bengali’s life.

It’s very difficult to pick just one or two favourite from this genre. More than one songs have touched my life in one way or the other and it would be a crime to mention just a few.

Dark women in India have always been ignored. But it was Tagore who wrote and composed a song solely dedicated to dark women, emphasising their black eyes rather than their black skin. The song is brought alive by the magical voice of Suchitra Mitra in this video.

This beautiful song, sung by Hemanta Mukhopadhyay in thi video is one of my all-time favourites. Whenever I listen to this song, I feel that I need more than a lifetime to fully appreciate Tagore’s creations. 

This is a video of a modern rendition of the song "Jagorone Jai Bhibabori" from a recent Bengali movie "Ranjana Ami Ar Asbona", which was my teenage anthem πŸ˜‰

 

Modern Bengali Songs

Or in other words, Bangla Band music, which was a phenomenon that swept us during our teenage days. Suddenly, listening to Mohiner Ghoraguli, Parash Pathar and Cactus became as fashionable as listening to Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys and Abba. Latest cassettes became the preferred birthday gift for all of us. Heated debate about who is better – Fossils or Chandrabindoo used to be the usual topic of discussion during the tiffin break. The boyfriend’s idea of taking his girlfriend out on a date used to be the concert of any of the Bangla Bands, preferably the girl’s favourite one’s. It was a very strong cultural revolution in Bengali music at that point of time. Add to them, the standalone singers who brewed a storm with their songs like Suman, Nachiketa and Anjan Dutta and we had a whole new genre of Bengali music, which seemed to scream out loud that Bengali music could be more than Rabindrasangeet.  

I am sharing some of the iconic Bengali songs, which are my all-time favourite:

When an unemployed youth gets a job with a monthly salary of 1100/-, the first thing he does is to call up his girlfriend and tell her not to go ahead with her arranged marriage. Does she break off her engagement to be with her poor lover? Anjan Dutta sings to the memory of the eternal romantic Bong guy.

 

When a man says "I always want you", a woman can’t help but reciprocate such intense feelings! Hear Suman sing it to you.

 

We all say that we love our City of Joy. But no one says it better than Chandrabindoo.

 

When a group of Bengali men in the 1970s decide to do more than just while away time in adda, an iconic song and India’s first Band "Mohiner Ghoraguli" are born. Later, Pritam got ‘inspired’ by the same song to popularise it in Hindi as "Bheegi Bheegi". But never for us, can a James do what Gautam Chattopadhyay did then.

Bengali Film Songs

For me, this should be the end of every romantic heart’s quest for the perfect expression of love. Combined with Manna Dey and Soumitra Chattopadhyay, this song from the movie "Teen Bhubaner Pare" is one of my all-time favourites.

 

One of my most favourite songs sung by Kishore Kumar, from the movie "Lukochuri."

The eternal fight between man and woman has been best described in this song from the movie "Mouchak."

A rainy day, memories of fairy tales from childhood and lazy times give birth to this beautiful song from the movie "Antaheen."

Last year, Bengali film music received a song written, composed and sung by a newbie called Anupam Roy which reflected the innermost desire of all of us. I searched for a video with English subtitles, so that everyone can understand the lyrics. It is the perfect song to listen to, sitting alone in your favourite corner with a steaming cup of tea.

Well, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Scratch the surface and you will be serenaded by more beautiful, melodious Bengali music. If you are a Bengali, feel blessed that you can understand these and other songs; if you are not, then let me inspire you to learn the subject, just to be able to enjoy Rabindrasangeet, if not anything else, in original.

Let the music flow in your life and accompany in your solitude.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. swayambhu mukherjee permalink
    October 8, 2011 10:50 pm

    Well, there is a Tagore song for every man’s life, not just a Bengali’s. If anything, his songs should be celebrated for their universalism.

    Does Steve Jobs not echo Tagore when he says “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”?

    And the 2 Suman numbers, Tomake Chai and Jagorone, are seriously awesome….great compilation, and am sure most Bengalis would love this post of yours. πŸ™‚

  2. October 8, 2011 11:12 pm

    waiting for sound of music -II now..!!

  3. October 8, 2011 11:51 pm

    Reading yours, i feel one issue where kavi guru’s contribution to the cultivation and growth of society has gone totally unnoticed and often stated as a foot note – is what you discussed in the context of black skinned woman – I have heard from many women who got the measure of self dignity through the writings and songs of Tagore. on His 150th anniv, we feel the necessity of Tagore’s presence much more in this polluted environment of greed, death, blood and jealousy. Thanks for the read.

  4. October 16, 2011 2:15 pm

    Tomake chai waswas written about a smoker’s attitude and feelings towards a smoke…. I am not joking…. seriously…..

  5. Soumyadeep Banerjee permalink
    October 19, 2011 11:16 am

    tomar ei blog ta porlam and gaan gulo sune apurbo laglo…….thanks

  6. October 23, 2011 8:28 pm

    I like Tagore too. Much of me is shaped by him. Here’s hoping more poetry from you, like you once used o write.
    Never heard Rabindrasangeet – but always felt something of Tagore in many tunes of S.D. Burman.

  7. October 28, 2011 7:35 pm

    Fantastic collection! And a nice start to my Friday morning. πŸ™‚

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