Aami jhorer kachhe – আমি ঝড়ের কাছে রেখে গেলাম

This is one of my favourites. Why me only… people, especially the Bangla-speaking community, who love music to listen to, they all love this song. Err… sorry, I made a mistake again. I should have said, People who ‘used to’ love music to listen to, they all ‘used to’ love this song. Yes… used to, I mean ‘past’.

We are living in a weird world where no one listens to a song. [I swear, if they listen to anything properly!] At least what I see around me, I find music is non-existent in our daily life.

Better, I leave this kind of thoughts… in spite of that, after a long time, after so many of physical, mental, and external obstacles have passed(?), I have been able to record a few songs again.

This song composed by the one and only Salil Chowdhury. The man I admire the most as a composer. I learnt it from Saikat Da, Shri Saikat Mukherjee, when I was a child. If I ask myself that how many times I have played this song for me… well, there is no count to this. This is a beautiful song indeed. How well measured, well defined, amazingly smart, urban tune this is… And so is the orchestration. I must mention the performance by Hemanta Babu too. It was possible by him only… and no one else…

You know, I often think about Salil Chowdhury, and miss him around… Why can’t I see any organised initiative to commemorate the genius? How many music composers of that stature have we seen in this subcontinent? I doubt…

If one could take an initiative, where thousands of musicians could play his compositions sharing a common stage… the musical man could at least collectively be celebrated… and if the programme could be recorded and preserved for the forthcoming music lovers… it’s my wish. But do we have such a huge place to perform music? Who will take initiative for him? The Government? Are you mad! He was a Leftist!!! The government has so many other duties to perform. They have Rabindranath, Rabindranath, Rabindranath, Rabindranath, Rabindranath and Rabindranath. Just think, in a traffic signal, where nothing is moving, in a crowded bus you are going on sweating, becoming restless but listening to a Rabindrasangeet with a smile in your face… he he… what a perfect situation to listening to music! What a brilliant way to remember Tagore! And just think, this is an initiative by the Government to make people listen to Tagore! Well… what a mode of spending people’s money!

I remember I went to meet a client a few days ago. On my way back I had to stop at a traffic signal. I was waiting for the traffic police on duty, to turn the green lights on. Soon the light became green, my car started moving. While crossing the street junction, I heard the sweet voice of Hemanta Babu, singing from behind: “je poth diye chole eli, se poth akhon bhule geli re” [oh, you have forgotten the way you came across]. It sounded so hilarious to me that I had no other way but call my friend Avra to share the humour.

Anyway, let me tell you another story.

I remember the days after Nandigram genocide by the CPIM lead Left Front Government. Peasants of my country were being shot by the joint oppression of CPIM goons and the state force. Like many others, I too could not stay quiet any more. With some of our non political friends, as individuals, we used to visit the Metro Channel at the Esplanade every Saturday to show our protest. We were trying to voice that we do not want the CPIM government anymore. Amongst us, people who could sing a bit, used to sing from the stage. Well, we did not have any permanent stage but; we used to use a stationed Matador van as our stage. We used to sing so many songs there. Kabir Suman was composing his songs, and we used to sing them collectively with him. We used to sing “Shal bollar beray agun”, “Janan dichche ei muhurto” or even songs like “Protidin surjo othe”. We used to sing Salil Babu’s songs as well. I remember “Amar protibader bhasha”, “Hei samalo dhaan ho”…

I used to take my little harmonica on the stage. I remember one Saturday… I was so shattered emotionally for the incidents, those were taking place… that I forgot the tune in the midway… yes, this was the song I was trying to play; what I learnt and went on playing since my childhood… The song composed by ‘Leftist’ Salil Chowdhury; “Aami jhorer kaachhe rekhe gelam amar thikana…”

I really not being able to remember, whether any of us sung any Rabibdrasangeet there or not…

Hmm. Nandigram is over… the Left front Government is no more there in power. What’s the use of Salil Chowdhury now… It’s the time to celebrate Rabindranath’s ‘Birthday’ on ‘baaise shravan’…
We will sing: Je poth diye chole eli, se poth akhon bhule geli re…

Let Salil Chowdhury belongs to the storms like Nandigram…

Sumanta Basu
September 11, 2011
Dum Dum Cantonment

2 Responses to “Aami jhorer kachhe – আমি ঝড়ের কাছে রেখে গেলাম”
  1. PRADEEP NAG says:

    Harmonica brings out beautifully and clearly the sharp turns that Sali Chowdhury compositions usually contains.Ami Jhorer Kache Rekhe gelam is an wonderful composition that you have selected Sumanto and have brought out the essence of the song with clarity that is unsurpassed.I have never heard something like this.And the song and its rendering by kept haunting for few days.God bless you.Will wait for more in future…

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