(Left) The album cover; and Siliguri town
What does Siliguri have in common with Ranchi, Hyderabad and Delhi?
A theme song, North Bengal University teacher Subrata Ray will tell you.
The song, Spirit of Siliguri, is written in Bengali, Nepali and Hindi. It was launched on November 1 by north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb. A day later, a website (www. song. spiritofsiliguri.com) was also launched to promote the number.
“I am a music lover but not among those who sing, compose tunes or write lyrics. For the past few years, I had been mulling the idea of creating a theme song for Siliguri, my hometown. But there were few persons who were willing to help with the music and the lyrics. So, I took it upon myself to write the lyrics along with Samipan Das, a friend from Howrah who is a software engineer but likes writing poems,” said Ray, an assistant professor at NBU’s management department.
Eventually, he met like-minded people willing to compose music for the song and sing it. “We started composing November last year and it took a year to complete the song,” said Ray.
The need for creating a theme song, Ray said, is to reach out to the younger generation to love the place where they were born and brought up.
“From the marketing point of view, there is nothing more instrumental than a song to grab the attention of youngsters. The aim of creating Spirit of Siliguri is to make the younger generation feel proud of and love their city. Moreover, it’s high time that a rising city like Siliguri has its own theme song,” said Ray who teaches marketing as a part of the business management course in NBU.
The theme song trend was started way back in the 1960s when numbers like Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan were created, he said.
“Currently, cities like Ranchi, Hyderabad and Delhi have theme songs. So, I felt Siliguri should also have one,” Ray said.
While Rajat Biswas, another Siliguri resident, composed the tune, Ashutosh Singh, a Mumbai-based music director, arranged the music and the duo sang along with Banika Pradhan and Abhishek Sarkar.
“Ashutosh Singh is originally from Siliguri and an upcoming music director in Mumbai. His company GaReSaLa Records has produced the song. All the others involved in the song, except Samipan, are from Siliguri,” said Ray.
“Siliguri has a cosmopolitan culture because of its mixed population. So, we came up with the idea of verses in Nepali and Hindi to appeal to a larger audience. The music is peppy but traditional and it has rap also. It speaks about the beauty of the city, its enthusiastic spirit and fun-loving people,” Ray said.
It also talks about how people love to snack on momos.
“The will definitely strike a chord with Siliguri residents and also those who are from here but residing outside the city,” music director Singh told The Telegraph over the phone from Mumbai.
“We have used budding talents such as Rajat to compose the music. He belongs to a Siliguri-based band. Banika is a young girl from a tea garden near Siliguri and she had won a local singing contest. Abhishek is also a member of a local band. In a way, this is a platform for these talented youngsters,” Singh said.
The song producers are planning to distribute 1,000 CDs of the song for free from different shopping centres and institutions.
“Apart from the CD, we have also created an option to download the song as a ringtone from the website,” Ray said.