Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hori Mon Maujaye - teaser of a Kirtan

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Kirtan, also known as sankirtan, is the call-and-response chanting inspired and popularized by the great saint Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The roots of kirtan go back over 500 years to Renaissance India. During this period the influence and style of kirtan became the focal point for the upsurge in religious expression in Bengal led by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This joyful mood quickly spread throughout India, where today kirtan is accepted as one of the surest paths to enlightenment. The singing is accompanied by the ancient musical raga musical tradition with a rhythmic drumming style that transports the chanters to profound spiritual realms. In its religious fervor, it has been likened to modern American Gospel music, and in its heartfelt expression it compares to profound states of deep meditation.

This kirtan is an extract from Girish Chandra Ghosh-authored play 'Noti Binodini'.

Girish Chandra Ghosh (February 28, 1844 - 8 February 1912) was a famous Bengali musician, poet, playwright, novelist, actor and Sri Ramakrishna's celebrated disciple.His lifelong association with the theatre at its nascent stage greatly helped the development of Bengali theatre, transforming what had been amateur theatre into a professional one. Author of the largest number of Bangla plays, Girish Ghosh was probably the greatest actor of his time.

'Hari Mon Maujaye' is a devotional song in which Noti Binodini calls out in search of Hari (Sri Krishna), pleading him to come out of his playful hiding and relieve her awaiting soul. This edited version is my short tribute to two stalwarts of Bengali Theatre - Late Shri Girish Chandra Ghosh and 'the queen of Bengali folk theatre', Late Smt. Bina Dasgupta who famously portrayed the title role of 'Noti Binodini'.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Shokatorey Oi Kandichhe Shokoley

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Can you hear that Father?
They are crying, distressed, weak.
Can you hear them?
Speak into their ears
Talk to their souls
Give them the Word of Prosperity.

Living with tiny expectations
Living with anxiety
Losing whatever they get
...Beyond all consolation

Happiness calls from various directions
Like a mirage on the desert plains
...The thirsty is left to wander piteously

The day ends.
The game ends.
Evening falls.
The troubled soul then cries aloud
...Trembling with fear.

Oh Father of the world,
What does Destiny have in store?
Where does Peace reside?

Give yourself, Father,
They need you!
Fulfill their hopes,
Come close to them.

Oh listen to them, Father.
They are crying...sad... distressed...

Karnati bhajan
Composed by Rabindranath Tagore when he was twenty-two years of age.

Dedicated to the deceased and wounded of Nandigram
P.S: I've sung this song in the middle of highfever and sinusitis. So, please overlook any singing errors. Thanks!


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ami bandhinu tomar teerey taroni amar

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This holi, I decided to sing an Atulprasadi song. "Ami bandhinu" created by Atulprasad Sen, happens to be one of my all-time favourites. One can just not miss the way "he enriched Bangla songs through his experiments with lyrics, tune, measure, pathos". Here's an approximate translation :

I tie my boat at thy shore,
Unable to row, alone, anymore...

Encouraged by the waves of dawn, I had set sail,
Not guessing that darkness would fall so capriciously.

My sails are frayed by the storm-winds.
Forlorn and confused, I run to thee...
Drifting silently, seeking respite at thy coast.

Whatever now remains with me
I offer thee, oh, please accept it,
And keep thy feet on my broken boat.

I rest my boat at thy shore,
Unable to sail, alone, anymore...

...My homage to the great composer, Atulprasad Sen (1871-1934)


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mor Shondhyay Tumi Sundar Beshe

(This evening you've come to me...)
Genre : Puja/Shundar (Worship/Beauty)

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Composed by Rabindranath Tagore when he was fifty-three(17th June, 1914).

"Mor Shondhyay" is one of Tagore's 'romantic' songs from the Puja genre.
Translations are due because I simply COULD not get the right feeling! If anyone has a good translation, drop it into my email/comment box.

Till then,
Happy Valentines Day


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Five Hundred Miles - Jab Koi Baat

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'Five Hundred Miles', a famous ballad about a man who is painfully far away from home became a folk staple through Peter, Paul and Mary's version on their No. 1 debut album, 'Peter, Paul and Mary' (1962), and country-singer Bobby Bare's crossover album 'Top 10 hits' (1963). In 1989, "500 Miles" was returned to the charts by The Hooters, a Philadelphia rock quintet, in an entirely new treatment. However, most believe that quieter renditions like The Kingston Trio's are closer to the true spirit of the song.
In 1990, the rendition by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs inspired Rajesh Roshan's Hindi version 'Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye' which he used in the film 'Jurm' (Kumar Sanu, Sadhana Sargam). 'Jab Koi' comes as an excellent adaptation with some great lyrics!
Here, I've made a humble effort to combine these two masterpieces; a tribute to the essence of the two songs. Hope you like it!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This Moonlit Night - Aaj Jyotsna Raate

Genre: Puja/ Biroho (Worship/ separation of lovers)

Composed by Rabindranath Tagore.

Director(video): Ratan Maitro. Arrangement: Debashish
Album: Dinanto Belay (Raga Music)

This moonlit night,
All have gone to the woods.
Oh the intoxicating winds of spring.

I won't go with them.
Let me lie here in my own room.
Alone in my quiet little corner.

I'll have to remain in this little home of mine.
I'll have to wash it, wipe it with care.
I'll have to keep awake,
Lest he comes.
(I wish I knew when he will come).

Oh! If he remembers me...
In these intoxicating winds of spring...

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bhenge Mor Gharer Chaabi

Genre : Puja/Bondhu (Worship/Friend)
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Composed by Rabindranath Tagore
when he was fifty-six
Poush 20, 1324/ 4th January 1918
Probahini 67.
taken from the play Daakghar

originally inspired from Baul song 'Dekhechhi Roopshagorey moner manush..'
Arrangement : Bodhi-Bappa

Who will break my lock?
Who will take me out of my room, o friend?
No longer can I bear this lonely day without u!

The day may have dawned
The sun may be peeping from the horizon.

I see a road before me
Won't your chariot arrive at my doorstep?

All the stars in the sky stare.
Waiting by the road of night-and-dawn...

Early morning the merry pedestrians may come and go,
singing in groups.

The flowers may be blooming,
The strings of 'Arunveena' may be creating some more wondrous music...

(Another approximate translation of Tagore. )
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