| Lady Chatterjee: The new boudi
Mumbai, May 6: Move over Buladi, Lady Chatterjee is here. She is slightly “boudi”, but mostly trendy.
Buladi ' the plump “boudi” of the happy countenance who dishes out free advice on HIV and other matters from billboards and television ' may now be the most potent image of the Bengali woman in cartoon or animation, but she is merely 2D and goody-goody.
Lady Chatterjee is young, hip, wears strapless tube tops with really low-slung jeans ' combining them with a dynamic red bindi and red-and-white bangles as concession to her Bengaliness ' and lives, dances and chats in Calcutta.
She is also the first fully animated 3D character to appear in any Indian music video.
Next week, the music company Saregama will release the video that is part of an album on that crucial aspect of contemporary life: “online relatio-nships”.
The album will feature songs on the various preoccupations of online existence ' the chatroom, the identity of the person at the other end, virtual romance. But the honour of the title song falls to Lady Chatterjee of Calcutta, who symbolises “CyberCalcutta”.
The lady, naughty and cute ' her name echoes D.H. Lawrence’s bold heroine Lady Chatterley and her marriage to Mr Chatterjee ended because she chatted through the night, God knows with whom ' also gives Calcutta a much-needed whiff of wickedness. She hints at the city being a zone of nocturnal pleasures, while singing in elementary Bengali that will be understood by all.
“We called her Lady Chatterjee because she likes to chat,” says Atul Churamani, vice-president, artistes and repertoire, Saregama.
“She is a young, friendly, fun-loving person who loves to chat on the Net. Being Lady Chatterjee, she sings in Bengali.”
So the lady goes “Amar naam Lady Chatterjee, aami sara raat chat kori (My name is Lady Chatterjee, I chat through the night)” as she does her little number against Howrah Bridge and the second Hooghly Bridge, camouflaged into a futuristic landscape.
“She is sexy, but cute,” says C.B. Arun Kumar of the New Delhi-based Sonic Images. “She is bright. She is a gizmo freak -- she carries two cell phones in her holsters.”
She won’t be out of place among the glorious set of “Bong/Calcutta babes” in Bollywood ' Sushmita, Bipasha, Koena, Celina, Tanushree, Riya, Raima ' and could do all of them proud.
Kumar says she had to be located in Calcutta because the city -- which he is currently visiting -- “is rocking”.
“It is a city of the future. So we show a futuristic version of Calcutta.”
Lady Chatterjee is seen cruising through flyovers of the future, ones Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is perhaps yet to sanction.
Churamani says Lady Chatterjee’s journey may not stop with the video ' it will be possible to download her from Yahoo! and the song and video will be available as various kinds of mobile content.
“If she clicks, more music may come out of her. She may act in a Bollywood film,” he says. “There may be Lady Chatterjee merchandise. She may be turned into a game.”
The album is composed, written and mostly sung by newcomer Sawan Datta, though Lady Chatterjee is sung by her sister Shabbi.
Pyaar Aur Dosti, a number in the album in which Lady Chatterjee makes an appearance, is about “where friendship ends and love begins” -- another online concern, says Churamani.
Kaun Ho Tum, he says, is a question about the other person’s identity. Which perhaps is a graver concern.