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Bangla beats beyond borders

Come New Year and the Baranday roddur rage will hit Kuwait. After enthralling the United Nations (picture below at the Dag Hammarskjold auditorium at the UN), it’s time for Bhoomi to raid West Asia.

This is another first for the Bangla band. The Bengali Cultural Society of Kuwait (Bangio Sanskritik Somiti Kuwait) has invited Bhoomi to perform in the “fortress city” on January 4 in an effort to “infuse cultural values and glories of Bengal and Bengalis in the younger generation”.

“This is our first opportunity to spread Bengali culture in West Asia and we are lucky to follow up this Kuwait performance with a show in Doha some time in May,” says lead vocalist Surojit Chatterjee.

“We are going with an open mind because we don’t know what to expect from that part of the world.”

Bhoomi hopes that just like it happened at the UN five months back, the music will transcend language barriers in Kuwait, where the audience is expected to be more than just Bengalis.

“We have realised that outside India, people’s perception about our music is that we only play and sing classical music,” adds Surojit.

“So when they see us walking out on the stage with guitars and drums in dhoti-kurta and playing the kashor ghonta and making bird sounds, they are stunned initially. Then they start enjoying our music.”

What makes Surojit and Co. happier is the fact that they haven’t compromised on their music on any stage. “Everyone advised us to cut a Hindi album to reach out further than we had,” he reveals.

“But we wanted to take Bengali music first to a national stage and now to an international platform. If a man singing tara-rara (Daler Mehendi) can create waves across the world, what wrong has Nazaum nazaum done'”

Apart from the much-loved stage shows, Bhoomi is also venturing into film music with Sudeshna Roy-Abhijit Guha’s Teen Yaari Katha.

“It was screened at the Calcutta Film Festival and our music was received well,” says Surojit.

“But we would much rather wait for the film to release at the theatres and then celebrate. The general mass should love the music rather than a handful of people.”

In between shows, Bhoomi is also working on the next album, which should have a Poila Baishakh release.

Surojit elaborates: “Apart from a new line-up of songs we plan to insert the English song we created especially for the UN show, For a better day. There have been lots of requests to release the song on a CD and we plan to do that.”

For now, it’s Kuwait calling, to be followed up by Kalyani back home.

But then that’s exactly what the Bhoomi magic is all about — Kuwait to Kalyani, Boston to Bongaon!

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