Kazi Nazrul Islam enriched almost all genres of Bangla songs. His compositions are based on the foundation of Indian classical music. Chhayanaut, one of the leading cultural organisations of the country, observed the Bard's 38th death anniversary, paying a rich musical homage to Gaan-er Bulbul at its main auditorium on August 30.
Artistes of Chhayanaut set of the soiree with a dance performance on the song “Hey Partha Sarathi”, set on Raga Shivranjani. The artistes offered an array of raga-based classics inspired by both North Indian and South Indian (Carnatic) ragas.
Chhayanaut general secretary Khairul Anam Shakil emceed the programme, highlighting the connotations of ragas in the featured performances.
“The authority of Nazrul in composing Bangla song using South Indian ragas is immense. He set his songs free, encapsulating many subtle and formulated southern ragas in northern styles. Nazrul presented us an absolutely new trend of Bangla songs, amalgamating his very own musical styles in coherence with the Carnatic traits. He used the names of the ragas in almost all his songs,” said Khairul Anam Shakil.
A choral song “Rumjhum Rumjhum Nupur Bol-e”, set on raga Nat Behag, followed. The performance seemingly soothed many hearts. The distinctive feature of northern ragas revolves around exquisite melody – one of the reasons for their popularity. Nazrul was a legendary practitioner of North Indian ragas.
Mahua Manjory Sunanda captivated the audience with her solo treat to a romantic northern raga (Shyam Kalyan)-based song, “Rashoghano Shyam Kalyan Sundor”. Abhijit Kundu was immaculate too in his rendition of a devotional song “Ogo Ontorjami Bhokter Tobo”, set on raga Chhayanaut.
Amongst the performed solo songs inspired by both Carnatic and northern ragas were “Mohua Bon-e Bon Papia” (Kalabati); “Nishi Raat-e Rimjhimjhim” (Pratapbarali); “Kaberi Nadi Jol-e Ke Go Balika” (Carnatic Samanta); “Chaitali Chandi Raat-e” (Madhumadhobi); “Porodeshi Megh Jao Rey Phirey” (Signhendramadhyam in South and Samanta Kalyan in North); “Rohi Rohi Keno Shei Mukh Pore Mone” (Narayani); “Abar Bhalobashar Sadh Jagey” (Nag Sarabali); “Basanta Mukhar Aji” (Basant Mukhari); Tanvir Ahmed, Sushmita Debnath Shuchi, Nabanita Chakraborty, Mohit Khan, Afroza Khan Mita, Suman Majumdar, Nasima Shaheen Fancy and Kalpana Anam performed the numbers respectively.
Nazrul developed 19 distinct ragas; composed khayal, thumri and tappa-styled Bangla songs; kavyageeti, bhajan, kirttan, ghazal, shyama sangeet, Islamic songs and more. Nazrul is, in a word, a musical institution.
At the soiree, Bizon Chandra Mistry performed the song “Nilambori Shari Pori”, set on a Nazrul-created Raga Nilambori, while dancer Warda Rehab -- accompanied by two artistes -- beautifully danced to a choral song “Khele Nander Anginaye”, set on raga Debgandhar.
The programme also featured presentation of two other choral songs “Hangshomithun Ogo Jao Koye”, set on raga Borohangsa Sarang and “Megh Bihin Kharo Boishakh-e”, based on raga Samanta Sarang.
The subtle game of raga-ragini used in Nazrul Sangeet appears to be an amusing flow of a musical river. The ragas developed by Nazrul are not confined to his books only. Several artistes and organisations like Chhayanaut and The Daily Star are regularly carrying forward the opulent musical legacy of Nazrul, who mingled the essences of several ragas and developed his own, some of which are often very difficult to master.