Her vlog song Boroline went viral in 2016. Then came along others Machher Jhol and Kosha Mangsho, which many of us played (and sang) on loop while trying the musical recipes in our kitchens! Now Sawan Dutta is back after a five-month break with her latest vlog song Pet Pujo on her YouTube channel called The Metronome.
What ‘Pet Pujo’ do you enjoy?
Of all the things you’ve seen me make or eat in my vlogs, what I enjoyed the most was the Kakra Chingri Bhapa and the Gondhoraj Bhetki from Oh! Calcutta. Sadly, it’s been quite a while since I visited Kolkata but absolutely NOTHING can beat the food my Thakuma served at home. There was just something special in the simplest maachh bhajas and maachher jhols and jhals and kalias she made….and my Didima made the finest, most delicate luchis I have ever tasted.
I absolutely love bhog - all of it, in any pandal anywhere - the khichuri, labra, chutney, beguni, payesh, but sadly I haven’t had any in Kolkata - the last bhog I had was here in Mumbai, at my neighbourhood Yari Road pandal, before Covid, and it was amazing.
Oh! Calcutta and Sweet Bengal came on board as brand collaborators for the Pet Pujo vlog...
The pandemic has been particularly difficult for creative entrepreneurs in artistic fields and any support from brands and commercial entities is hugely appreciated! So a big thanks, and much gratitude to Anjan Chatterjee for having chosen to support The Metronome this year.
It’s been a long 5 months since your last vlog song, the Mask Wearing Song...
To be honest, back in April-May when the second wave of Covid was happening, I really couldn’t fathom how and what sort of a Pujo / Pet Pujo video I would be able to make this year. I’ve lost friends and classmates. I’ve lost some ardent fans with whom I used to really enjoy interacting. I decided that I wasn’t going to forcibly make any celebratory video if I didn’t feel like it - if Ma Durga willed it, it would happen.
The one thing that I was sure of, though, was that my Pujo vlog, if and when it happened, had to reflect the mood of the year. And therefore the somewhat unusual remembrance segment that this year’s main video starts with. There’s something sacred, elemental, eternal and powerful about the ocean, the sky, the setting sun (shot at the beach across from where I live) that gave this segment the atmosphere I wanted. I adapted the first lines of Mozart’s Requiem (Lacrimosa) and combined it with Birendra Bhadra’s Mahalaya opening lines, and wove those into my song, for this opening segment.
What’s your favourite part of the Pet Pujo video?
That moment of silence just after the Mozart segment where you’ll hear the sound of the waves retreating, the quiet sound of millions of foam bubbles bursting right after a breaker crashes on the sand. You need to be in a very quiet place to hear it. As a musician who works with audio all the time, silence is what sounds truly precious to me.
My favourite part of the visuals is where one of the neighbourhood crows photobombs the shoot and flies across the window quickly! These crows have almost become part of our family now - ever since lockdowns made restaurants shut down, they’ve been landing up at our kitchen window to get fed!
Your most viral video so far?
Your message to those celebrating Durga Puja...
Celebrate wisely. Keep your masks on, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated if you haven’t already! We do NOT want a repeat of the last Covid tragedy again. Is it really Ma Durga’s job to save people who do nothing to save themselves?
What else is The Metronome up to?
There will be a ‘Recipe Song’ uploaded on each day of Pujo (snippets from which you can see in the one that’s online). I’m a bit partial to the Beguni song and the Chutni song which will be uploaded on Saptami and Ashtami. So it’s going to be a big, long celebration - stay tuned :)