“She has remarkable potential and high musical intelligence,” said Suchitra Mitra, when friends wanted to know why she was putting in an extra effort to teach Rabindrasangeet to Isheeta Ganguly, a New York-based teenager who spoke Bengali with an American accent.
Mitra’s disciple has, since then, taken a bachelor’s course in biomedical ethics from Brown University, picked up a management degree from Columbia University and is currently a senior manager in the healthcare wing of a US pharmaceutical firm. All this, after having struck a chord with the Calcutta audience with her debut album, Tomari Naam Bolbo, at age 15.
On Wednesday morning, Isheeta squeezed time out of her busy schedule and dropped in to see Mitra at her Gariahat Road residence. The reunion with the woman, who has honed her vocal skills, style and diction, was an “emotional” one.
“Isheeta has imbibed the boldness and individuality that listeners discern in my voice. I have never had a student like her,” said Mitra, asking Isheeta to sing a couple of Tagore songs for her. “I am sure she will perform brilliantly,” said Mitra, about the April 18 GD Birla Sabhagar concert that Isheeta has organised as a tribute to her mentor.
“I have prepared a fusion recital weaving Rabindrasangeet and western jazz. I will sing Jodi tor daak shune keu… and its western rendition, Walk alone,” said the 29-year-old, who is currently being tutored by Pramita Mullick. In May, Isheeta will join danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and vocalist Sharmila Bose in a New York concert.