Soulful Singing | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 18, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 18, 2017

Soulful Singing

Her father said, `So many people get admitted to the university every year, they complete their degrees, they take up positions as academics and others. How many people get scholarships to study in Shantiniketan? This is a calling, you must pursue that'.

Thus started a new journey for Adity Mohsin, who came from a family who did not have any cultural associations to boast about. Having said that, her mother had a beautiful singing voice, from lullabies to self-learned Tagore songs, all entered the persona of Adity even before she was in grade five. Her father encouraged her too and she had joined Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA), where she met the renowned music composer, singer, Mr. Abdul Ahad who himself had trained in Shantiniketan and Mr. Fazle Nizami and completed her diploma in Rabindra Sangeet in 1988. She was selected to perform on behalf of BAFA and as a child her singing drew the praise from music lovers, giving her profuse encouragement. She completed her IA from Holy Cross College and in 1992 , with a scholarship from the Indian government  she got selected for studying music in Visva Bharati, Shantiniketan.

There she learned from the great stalwarts Kanika Banerjee, and Nilima Sen, Santideb Ghosh, Swastika Mukherjee and the entire atmosphere, the simplicity of the abode created by the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, brought her closer to Kabiguru and her urge to learn multiplied to infinity. She stood first class first in both her bachelors and masters at Shantiniketan, topping the Indian students who were die hard contestants of Rabindra Sangeet. As a Bangladeshi, it was a proud moment.

I met Adity around 2005 as we travelled to Kolkata for a performance in the same concert by Tara Muzik. There, I learned that she had been judged one of the two top singers (favourite) by the viewers of Tara for that year. I closely followed her career, I watched her renditions and how the audience of the Tara Muzik Club reacted to her renditions, singing along as she came live of stage. It was indeed an honour.

Her first Bangladeshi CD was released from Bengal music and songs like `Ami Kan Pete Roi,' Ami Tokhono Chilemo, ‘Maran Re Tuhu Momo Shyam Saman' forced me to listen to her again and again. Her singing is a class in itself, her soprano voice lent to Tagore songs makes her a very unique exponent. Bengal has released six of her solo albums and Saregama (HMV) company released three and Bhavna records released two. In the song by Atul Prasad , `Mor Aji Gantha Holona', the first introduction of alaap in Bhairaviis to die for.  Coupled with her intellect, good diction and good presentation, Adity has distinguished herself as an outstanding exponent of Tagore songs.

 In 2009 she performed in Kolkata with the legendary artist Asha Bhosle as one of the `Panchakannya', along with Lopa Mudra, Shubhomita and Sraboni Sen.

In 2016, she performed in the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in UK.

In 2013,I had a rare opportunity of performing in Bongomela in Washington DC. I rushed to see her performance as it had clashed with mine and caught the last bit, the hall was packed to the brim, with viewers standing along the walls, infront of the dais, almost occupying the stage,if that was possible! For me, the second song was the last song of her performance. It was a very sunny day in the month of July in Washington DC when Adity sang, `Emono dine tare bola jay, emono ghono ghore borishay' and brought rain all our around, in the eyes and almost in the sky. The audience stood still in pin drop silence, she sang without her instruments and as a highly trained musician uplifted the audience to a moment of trance when it seemed like there was heavy rain, two people were sitting with each other, baring their souls and not a care in the world.

Du kotha boli jodi kache tar

Tahate ashey jabe ki ba kar?

It was not about listening to songs, like listening to the flute of Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia or soulful singing of Haveli Sangeet of Pandit Jasraj, it was an experience!

Dr. Nashid Kamal is an Academic, Nazrul exponent and translator.

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