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Anjan’s Ranjana
Unveiling of the music album at the Mayfair Hotel
Anjan on song as Amyt Datta strums along
Parno Mittra and Abir with his wife Nandini

The dreamy hill town of Darjeeling came alive to the music of Anjan Dutt’s film Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona (RAAA) on Monday.

Why Darj? “This film is very close to my heart because it tells the story of an ageing musician where I play the protagonist. Although the film has no Darjeeling connection, Darj makes me the person I am today so launching my film’s music there is very special to me,” Dutt had told t2 before setting out for the hills that come alive with the sound of music.

Producer Rana Sarkar was more than happy to usher the cast, crew and a host of guests from Calcutta to the cloudy climes of Darjeeling where they camped, trekked and feasted to unveil the music at the swank Mayfair Hotel last Monday. “This is my first trip to Darjeeling although I’ve always felt the place through Anjanda’s music,” said Sarkar whose DC Media debuts in film production with Ranjana.

Anjan with best friend Puran Gongba
Lew Hilt
Nondon Bagchi

With psychedelic Ranjana badges pinned to their shirts and scarves, Anjan and his music folk son Neel and old friends Amyt Datta on guitar, Lew Hilt on bass and Nondon Bagchi on drums took centre stage at the banquet hall to kickstart the evening. First up was the film’s title track, also a cult hit from the Dutt stable, Ranjana ami ar ashbona.

The musical trio who also happen to be the stars of Dutt’s film slated for a June 24 release were up for a two-fold introduction as their director described them as “the most steadfast musicians of Calcutta” before introducing their movie avatars A-might (Amyt), Rono (Nondon) and Hiltu (Lew).

Geared with a mixed bag of songs and musicians, Dutt invited on stage one of his “ten best friends in the world” Puran Gongba, also owner of the quaint Joey’s Pub, to share some of his songs with.

Drifting back to their younger days, the duo jammed on Elvis Presley’s It’s Now Or Never and Bobby Darin’s Thinkin’ Of Things, with some local ladies in silks, jackets and pearls letting their greying hair down to hoot and cheer. “The day I started shooting for RAAA, Puran was going through a nine-hour heart surgery and here he is today playing with us,” said Dutt before inviting his friend to unveil the music album.

The soundtrack directed by Neel with a blend of vintage Anjan flavours and fresh melodies is a bolder and more evolved piece of work featuring Anjan, Kabir Suman and Ranjana’s voice Somlata.

Somlata belted out some of her tracks from the film like Ondhokarer pore and Tagore songs like Jagoroney jay bibhabori done the Ranjana way while Anjan strummed and sang Shobaai, another song from the film before coursing the Robert Zimmerman and Cliff Richard way.

The 100-odd faces in the gathering that included Abir Chatterjee, Parno Mittra, Ushasie, Arijit Dutta, Kaushik Ganguly, Mainak Bhaumik and Shibaji Panja clapped and tapped and listened attentively as Anjan indulged in some storytelling from his Paulite days.

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