The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Beat feat in Bollywood
- Flop film with hit music sets composer on track

Bharat Bhagyavidhata was buried by Devdas; Jaya Prada-Chandrachud Singh-Puru Rajkumar were no match for Shah Rukh-Madhuri-Aishwarya. But for a boy from Bangur Avenue, what mattered was that the music for Bharat Bhagyavidhata sent Universal’s cash registers ringing loud and clear, selling seven lakh copies before the film’s release.

Taking the bow for this musical feat is young composer Hriju Roy. The student of Hindi High School (now Birla High School) and Scottish Church College started doing the rounds of music studios in Calcutta pretty early — with father and music director Chandan Roychoudhury— and received formal training from Ustad Sagiruddin Khan.

It wasn’t long before the economics graduate started stringing together his own career in music. “Being a violinist, I thought I could make it big in Mumbai and so I shifted base,” he recounts, back in his hometown to shoot a music video for a pop album. In his bid to be noticed as a solo violinist, Roy managed to draw the attention of Ashok Tyagi and Osho Raja. The two Bollywood film-makers promptly signed him up for Bharat Bhagyavidhata.

The film flopped, but Hriju’s compositions hit the right note, paving the path for a promising musical trail. He will score the track for a Naseeruddin Shah-Rahul Khanna starrer called Ankahee and also Ashutosh Rana’s Shabnam Mausi (based on the eunuch MLA), plus two other films.

But a rocky road lies ahead. “Ever since film-makers have started fitting in two or even more music directors in one film, the struggle has really intensified… But at least I am getting work every week,” says Hriju.

Prior to his tryst with Bollywood, the Grade V musician from Royal College of London was busy scoring music for documentaries (A viewfinder on Goutam Ghosh) and serials (Chena Mukh, Mera Naam Tera Nambari and Titlian). But the silver screen is where he wants to belong.

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