In school days we used to read about Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore, one of the greatest luminaries of our land. Almost everywhere he has left his indelible mark. Earlier when there was no option for us to know what is happening in other part of India or world, we used to read books, news papers, or often who belonged to little well to do family used to listen RADIO, transistor. If they were little more wealthy they used to listen TAPE RECORDER.
In our school- KV IIT Kanpur there was a TV placed in library, Mrs Banerjee was the librarian. On the cricket test match days we used to get chance to see it. for whole day it kept working, telecasting the cricket match. one day i got to see Runa Laila. She sang her famous song. I heard the word “Bondhu re” these words remained in my memory. From then on i became a fan of Runa Laila. Dama dum mast kalandar etc She sang it all, Rabindra Geeti, Nuzrul geeti or Lalan fakir and all. Her’s was a powerful and soul-full voice that time.
Later DOORDARSHAN came in our life, Though Black and white but it did brought COLORS to our life. We got to see many programs on the Birthday celebration of Guru RabindraNath Tagore and on his aniversary. I remember once there was a LIVE program from Kolkata. That day i heard my fav artists the Mohar di and Suchitra Mitra. Mohar di was a name given to her, but she was Kanika Bandopadhyay. That was also not her original name. Kanika name was given to her by Guru himself. He called her Kanika. her original name was Anima(if i am correct?) I was lucky to hear Smt Kanika ji, popularly known as Mohar Di, and you know she was known as Ashram Kanya, the sound of this word tells a story and meaning attached to this word. She was truly a ashram kanya for people in Shanti Niketan. Shanti niketan was a true ashram. Guru himself had taught her, guided her. She was the luckiest. She was the most respected name in Rabindra Sangeet.
years later I bought few cassettes of Rabindra Sangeet. Her voice was superb. On TV i saw Smt Suchitra Mitra singing Tagore songs, Rabindra Sangeet. She had a full throat voice much powerfull. How to compare these leading voices, it is not proper for me or us to compare. I am nowhere and nobody to say anything on their Sadhana. Yes, they were the people who took their art with great devotion, they had devotion for their Guru and our rich culture traditions. Thus they are and will always remain in our memory. Suchitra Mitra was made Sheriff of Kolkata….
Then i bough a cassette “Aaj ke (or ei) Aanando o Sandhya” sung by both the stars, Kanika Bandopadhyaya and Suchitra Mitra. The unbelievable happened when two of the powerful voices sang together. When you listen to that song, it spells magic on you. The Taal beats the tempo is so powerful it takes over my body. Since i am a dancer thus i cannot stop myself from dancing on this song. Though i am unable to understand Most of the words. Since it is in bengali.
I had Bengali word in me since childhood. I came to know that my mother had a subject as third language in her school and that was Bengali. Thus i have this bengali connection in me, i think from previous birth. Then at IIT Kanpur campus, there were many factions of Bengali Gaan. I came to know Mrs Snigdha, Mrs Chaterjee, Mrs Mukherjee, Mrs Chakraverty and all participated in musical programs in a big way. Later in life I also got chance to participate in Dance Ballet of Guru Rabindra Nath. I had seen Chitrangda, Shyama, Chandalika and many more. I got chance to act as Kotal (the Kotwal) in shyama and “Attana”.which is pronounced as “atano” literally meaning “without a body” that is “Kama” Kamraj. what a true word in Bengali they have for “Kam”. i liked the song “Mohini maya elo…” there are many more.
Mera inko sat sat naman