There are songs that you always remember, melodies that you associate with particular phases of your life. Syed Abdul Hadi once sang a rather spiritual number, doyal tor bhoroshae amar buuk baindha / ei maajh doriyar panthopaane nau bhashai. It is a song which reminds you of God, of the power of nature as symbolised by the river. Hadi sang other songs just as beautifully. Think here of achhen amar moktar achhen amar barrister and keu kono din amare to kotha dilo na.
The golden era of captivating songs, you might add, has passed. When Khurshid Alam and Runa Laila together sang pakhir bashar moto duti chokh tomar / theek jeno Natorer Bono Lata Sen, it was fresh, unadulterated youth you happened to be passing through. And you were of course in that great mood to be serenading the man or woman you desired in the secret recesses of your heart. Which reminds us of an early Bengali song by Runa Laila, in the late 1960s: aankhi tai to emon kore bolechhe / e mon ache tomari potho paan cheye sharakkhon. There was, in the early 1970s, Abdul Jabbar with his rather contented shotru tumi bondhu tumi / tumi amar shadhona. Earlier, in the latter 1960s, it was his tara bhora raate which simply made of many of us passionate men in love. Many were the moments we spent watching the stars in the village, hoping that the beloved would come dancing through the sounds of crickets and the light of the glow worms.
Many of us have grown from childhood to our fifties and early sixties listening to the enchanting songs that Ferdousi Rahman once sang. Of course, there is the absolutely stunning jar chhaya porhechhe monero aaena te. But how many of you have recalled the dignified passion which love in its sad moments can give voice to with such songs as ke amar ondho moner bondho duaar khullo fele / tumi jaante cheyo na? Mahmudunnabi will always be among the artistes we will recall on evenings of rejuvenating music. Nearly all his songs have affected us, in a variety of ways. Uninhibited romance is what you course through in ei shopno ghera din rakhbo dhore / shajabo bashor bodhu tomari tore. And here is another: bashonti kokilarey srabone deko na.
Anjuman Ara Begum died a good many years ago. Do you remember that beautiful song which speaks of love for a child, of the dreams being forged around him? Yes, it is khokon shona boli shono thakbe na aar dukkho kono / manush jodi hote paro we speak of.