BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Keeping aside friendly ribbing regarding East Bengal-Mohun Bagan and ilish versus chingri, what emotions does a Bengali really feel when asked to ponder upon the bifurcation of Bengal into present day West Bengal and Bangladesh?
On February 21, International Mother Language Day, a Bengali song — Amra Je Ek Bangla Bhashay — celebrating the unity of a race through its language, culture and heritage, was released at Spring Club. The song talks about how people are united through language even though divided by borders and how nature – including the waters of the Ganga and Padma, sky and wind – does not obey demarcations set by any barbed wire.
The song brings together 18 artistes from both India and Bangladesh. Composer Maahirii Bose did not imagine that the song would turn out to include so many singers. “We dream in our mother tongue. When we fall down, the cry of pain is also in our mother tongue. That comes naturally,” she told Bulletin Hours.
Her brother and bandmate of Rohen-Maahirii Classical Fusion Band, Rohen Bose learnt more on what Bengali means to him, especially after being groomed at an English medium school. “Bengali was always a language earlier. It became a heritage later. The journey which we have gone through while creating this song has brought us closer to the heritage,” he said.
Artistes from India include Subhamita Banerjee, Jayati Chakraborty, Iman Chakraborty, Malabika Sen, Shampa Kundu, Srikanta Acharya, Monomay Bhattacharya and Soumya Bose. From Bangladesh, the bandwagon has been filled by Rezwana Choudhury Bannya, Bappa Mazumder, Abanti Sinthi, Prithwi Raj, Priyanka Gope, Gazu Sharmeen Ahmed, Shawjeeb Alam Tanvir and Ritu Raj.
Unfortunately, Prithwi Raj, who was responsible for handling the Bangladesh side of the operations, passed away while recording the song. So the song is dedicated to his memory.
Talking about how the song made her feel, Jayati said, “Tears came to my eyes while watching the video. It is so heart touching.” Kharaj Mukherjee and Debolina Dutta were also present at the release. “It is a beautiful song. Such a project of this magnitude, involving so many artistes, is really exemplary,” were Kharaj’s thoughts.
Highlighting the sentiment of camaraderie and unity which the song and Bhasha Diwas signifies, Soumya’s words perfectly ties it up, “Bhalo bhasha, bhalo basha, Bangla bhasha.” (Good language, love, Bengali language)