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Bangladesh-based Shama Rahman gave culture aficionados a rare treat with her accomplished rendition of Rabindrasangeet on February 27 in Ranchi. Organised by the Union Club and Library at Plaza Hall, Rahman’s distinctive voice texture, diction and selection of some of Tagore’s most powerful compositions endeared her to her audience


Nine of Rahman’s Rabindrasangeet albums have been released by UNESCO in Paris — five to commemorate the 150th year of Tagore’s birth and four to commemorate 100 years of publication of the Nobel-prize winning Gitanjali

Those who keep track of contemporary Rabindrasangeet know that Rahman has performed widely in India, the US, Canada and Europe. Trained in classical music under Ustad Fazlul Haq and in Rabindrasangeet at famous institutions in her home country — Chhayanat and Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA), both in Dhaka, and the last under the late Atiqul Islam.


It was Rahman’s debut in Ranchi. Accompanied by Partha Mukherjee on percussion instruments khol and tabla, Anjan Bose on the stringed esraj and Rana Dutta on keyboard, Rahman played the harmonium while rendering Tagore songs of various genres such as prem (love), puja (devotion) and bichitra (diversity), including those based on tappa and classical ragas. Her evening’s picks include Mone ki dwidha rekhe, Je chhilo amar swapancharini, Ami tomar sange bendhechhi, Sudhu tomar bani noy go, Aji jyotsna rate sobai gechhe bone, Bhalobese sakhi, Krishnakali ami tarei boli, and more.


Most recently, everyone heard Amitabh Bachchan sing Tagore’s Jadi tor dak shune keu na ase for the Vidya Balan blockbuster Kahaani (2012). Rahman sung it in her stirring style. Incidentally, Tagore had composed the number in our very own Giridih


Rahman, on how she liked her Ranchi audience, said: “Though I performed in Ranchi for the first time, I was very impressed by an attentive and knowledgeable audience. Thank you for coming.”

A member of the audience, Amitava Chatterjee, said: “Listening to her has been an experience to remember. The nuances of Rabindrasangeet, which is poetry set to music, came out so well from her renderings”

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