The phrase, Abar bachhor kuri pore, has a nostalgic ring for the new generation of Bengali music lovers. It formed the name of a path-breaking album by the group, Mohiner Ghoraguli. Its release changed the history of Bengali modern songs. Pallab Kirtaniya is the voice of this transformation, when the craftsmanship of Bengali songs was strengthened by its language, expression, arrangement and also the stage performance. Kirtaniya came up with all his compositions of 20 years at Rabindra Sadan last week. The programme tried to cover the journey of Kirtaniya with all its creative nuances.
He started with the Rabindrasangeet, Esho go jele diye jao, and created the mood for the evening. Apart from another Rabindrasangeet, Maatir buker majhe bondi je jol, Kirtaniya sang his older songs. The hidden voice of social conscience in them made the songs interesting and enjoyable. For example, the song, Rabindranath katota Bharatbasi, was written after the experimental nuclear explosion in Pokhran that is strongly relevant even in todays socio-economic situation. The song, Brishti pore, one of Kirtaniyas creations, was very enchanting, and Swarna Ghosh Patras generous and well-trained voice added a new dimension to it. The programme was enriched by the songs, Amader lajja nei, Toke khunji ei abelay, Bhorbela te megh korechhe, Abantir janya gaan, and so on. Although the sound arrangement was a little disturbing, the chemistry between Kirtaniya and his co-artists helped them give a smooth performance. Kirtaniya was excellent in reading and reciting from his own writings indeed, his voice seemed more attractive when he did so. The young girl, Hasnu, captured attention through her script reading and singing. The programme was followed by a star-studded music release of Kirtaniyas upcoming film, Megher Meye. The song, Tomar bhetor amar uthon sheetalpati, made for a perfect ending.
The solo presentation of Rabindrasangeet by Ananya Das at Rabindra Okakura Bhavan, organized by Gandhar, created a mood of tranquillity. She presented those songs of Rabindranath that have inspired her to explore the shades of life. After an inspirational speech by Debesh Roy and narration by Chaiti Mitra, Das presented almost 17 songs, mostly from Puja and Prem porjay. She beautifully rendered, Ohe Sundor, mamo grihe, Prabhu toma lagi, Ekmone tor ektarate. The voice clarity of the artist was praiseworthy. In spite of being a little sluggish at certain moments, her way of presentation brought out the soul of the songs.
A short break was a sweet surprise for the audience when Shiuli Basu played an enjoyable tune. In the second half, songs like Gaye amar pulak lage, Tomra ja bolo tai bolo, Ami kon sure bandhibo were sung. The presentation of the song, Ganer jhornatolay, without any accompaniment was interesting. The perfect accompaniment by Shiuli Basu on esraj, Gautam Roy on tabla, Panchanan Boral on mandira and Devika Dutta on harmonium made this musical journey memorable.