Open letter to Suman Chatterjee aka Kabir Suman

I was sixteen when I first heard your song. It was, ironically in a CPIM’s meeting at Brigade Parade Ground. I have always been politically conscious, but never involved in active politics. The only reason me and my friend went to the Brigade, was to watch Utpal Dutt’s play (most probably ‘Tiner Taloar’). It was getting late, and as usual, the play was delayed. We decided to abandon the plan and go home. We had to pass through the front of the podium to go out. Then suddenly one guy with a guitar, started a song – ‘Haal cherona bondhu…” (don’t give up my friend…). We stopped…and keep on listening to your songs, one after another…for another hour.

I am still standing there.

Correction, I was still standing there, until recently, when you decided to run for the election as a Trinamul candidate!

I have all the songs sung by you. From ‘92 to 98, I went to at least 50 of your live performances. Anywhere you performed, from Kalamandir to Girish Mancha, I was there. In fact, one of the main reason I started this blog, bigbangbong, is to translate your songs for one of my non-bengali friends.

I never judged you by the context of your personal life, only formed your image in my mind by your songs. Turmoils in your personal life never touched me. Neither I was surprised when CPIM (and their nasty sidekicks) tried to run the dirty character assassination campaign against you. Given their track record, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I never met you personally either. There were many opportunities, I never wanted to. Near Asuthosh college, we were returning from tuition – I saw you at the sweet shop. All my friends rushed to get your autograph. I didn’t. Years later, you were waiting at Dumdum Airport, for a Biman Bangadesh flight to Dhaka, I was waiting there for my flight to Singapore. I felt like going in front of you and say ‘do you know that, whatever I am today, my sense, my soul, you have a huge contribution to that’. I couldn’t. I was scared, what if Suman in person change my perspective of of Suman the singer and one of the building blocks of my life?

And now, you are running for a political chair, as a Trinamul Congress candidate, shoulder to shoulder with Mamta Banerjee! With one statement, with one news – you just massacred one part of my identity. Your political viewpoint and actions are not a matter of your personal choice only, they are the foundations of your songs.

Don’t get me wrong here, I would’ve been same way disappointed, if you decided to run for CPIM. Also, I strongly believe that mass de-politicalization of youth is one big reason of the political downfall of India. But, Trinamul Congress? Why Sumon, why? ‘Enemy of my enemy is my friend’ – is such a medieval sentiment!

I am deleting all your songs from my music library. Thank goodness I don’t have the disks and cassettes here with me – I would’ve shattered them in thousand pieces by now. Thanks for destroying one huge portion of my identity. One thing at least I learned in my 33 years of lifeform – everything changes, still somehow having problems internalizing this!

Dekhte dekhte shaab palte jai

Advertisements

Shopno Dekhbo Bole (‘Cause I want to dream) by Mousumi Bhowmik [Bengali Song]

During the wild wild era of urban-folk-songs in Calcutta (90’s), apart from Sumon and Anjan, few other singers grabbed my attention. One of them is Mousumi Bhowmik. I really liked her album ‘Tumio Chil Hou’ (You become an eagle too). That’s a long time back. I left Calcutta, living in Singapore for last 8 years. Bengali song trend also changed from urban-folk songs to band music, but I still carry on the nostalgia in my iPod. Few days back I found this new (at least new to me) song by Mousumi – ‘Shopno Dekhbo Bole’ (‘Cause I want to dream) and got mesmerized by it!

“Shopno Dekhbo Bole” (‘Cause I want to dream)

by Mousumi Bhowmik

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/19197183/view]

Here goes a real crappy, quick (almost literal) translation [please don’t hate me]

I’ve heard…that day, you went to touch the blue horizon
riding the waves

I’ve heard…that day, you walked alongside the salty shoreline
for miles after miles

I’ve never went to sea
never glided on blues
never glanced at the wings of a seagull

Next time, when you’ll go to the sea
will you take me along?

Will you?

I’ve heard…that day you, you and you
in an ensemble, discussed many complex conundrums
and unspoken words

Why this eternal rat-race?
Why endless series of monologues?

Living on, this self centered life
if there is no love
only empty loneliness

Where can I get a dollop of peace?

Where can I?

I’ve heard…that you still get dreams
still write stories
chant music from bottom of your soul

Saga of human existence
still makes you think

Your love blossom like a rose

Today I am here at your doorstep
with this faithless soul, open arms
and bending knees…

Only emptiness in deep of my eyes,
there are no dreams in my nights

To dream I opened my eyes
to dream I opened my arms
towards you

Bengali Lyrics:

Ami shunechhi shedin tumi shagorer dheu-e chepe
Neel jol digonto chhuye eshechho
Ami shunechhi shedin naki nona bali teer dhore bohudur bohudur hete eshechho ..
Ami kokhono jaini jol-e
kokhono bhashini neel-e
Kokhono rakhini chokh dana mela gangchil-e
Abar jedin tumi shomudrosnan-e jaabe,
Amakeo shathe niyo … nebe to amay?
bolo … nebe to amay?
Ami shunechhi shedin naki tumi, tumi, tumi mile
Tomra shodolbole shobha korechhile –
Ar shedin tomra naki onek jotil dhadha,
Na bola onek kotha, kotha tulechhile
Kano shudhu chhute chhute chola,
Ak-i ak-i kotha bola,
Nijer jonno bacha nijeke niye?
Jodi bhalobasha naai thake,
Shudhu aka aka laage,
Kothay shanti pabo … kothay giye?
bolo … kothay giye?

Ami shunechhi tomra naki akhono shopno dekho,
Akhono golpo lekho,
Gaan gaao pran bhore
Manusher bachamora akhono bhabiye tole,
tomader bhalobasha akhono golap-e phote
Astha harano ei mon niye ami aaj
Tomader kachhe eshe du haat petechhi
Ami du chokher gohbor-e shunnota dekhi shudhu
Raat ghum-e ami kono shopne dekhi na …
Tai shopno dekhbo bole .. ami du chokh petechhi
Tai tomader kachhe eshe .. ami du haat petechhi
Tai shopno dekhbo bole .. ami du chokh petechhi