I remember that till a few years back whenever my whole family used to glue up to the TV set to hear Rabindra Sangeet I reluctantly used to slip out of the room with the dejection of not being allowed to watch my Ben 10 or BeyBlade cartoons. I created a fuss. Got snapped many times for the reason being I hated those boring songs which sent me off to sleep every time those tune and lyrics hit my ears. Frankly I never realized the true meaning of the words and the songs were sung by people with lack lustre eyes with the tabla, sitar for company and basically the same tune used to go on and on.
My mother always said, “Avi you will not understand its meaning now but after a few years you will find how glorious our Bengali culture is and how these songs provide a balance in your life. Rabindranath is like God to us. He was an extraordinary genius. But now I only hope that one day you realize his importance.”
I simply took the advice from one ear and sent it out through the other.
Today 5 years later I have to say only this of my attitude. What a shit I was!
Now in the midst of tuitions, staring at girls, Pitbull, Enrique and studies my life has become hectic. I can find no time for time for myself. Every other minute I am busy in something else. The changeover came in 2009 when along with my mother I started to watch a serial by the name of Gaaner Opare (Beyond Music) on Star Jalsa. Earlier I took it to be a usual Wife vs Mother-in-law type. I was completely mistaken. It was the story of adjustment of New with the Old. How can a girl who has all through her life worshipped Rabindranath as God, followed his dictums, sang his songs as a mark of pride react to the growing popularity of a boy who was completely her opposite. With a guitar on his lap, jeans and T-Shirts for fashion he bended the same songs in a completely different way. It kept us hooked. . . those beautiful songs. . . sung in a most heart rendering manner. . . which touched my heart. . . made me realize of what I was missing all these years.
Some of the best songs like Tomar Khola Hawa (You Open Air), Baro Asha Kore (With A High Hope) are just some of my favourites. They keep me hooked. Whenever I feel that there is some kind of void inside me or whenever I am lonely, no one to listen to my heart’s cries these songs serve as soothing agent. Such powerful yet soft lyrics sung in a modern Indo-classical style are totally WOW.
I know that some of my friends will again say that what an atom bomb I dropped on their ears. Well let me satisfy them that these songs are not made for everyone. If you only try to realize the value of your culture if you only appreciate it then you will know what you are missing. For the time being I am proud to be a Bengali. Proud to be a Bong.
A Hundred Glowing Tributes to the Greatest of the Greatest.
Just a song from Gaaner Opare…
Tomar Khola Hawa by Shaan…