Coke Studio Bangla: Arnob, Boga Taleb deliver an unforgettable bhawaiya experience
As "Chiltey Roud" headed towards its majestic outro, pairing Boga Taleb's resounding, celestial vocals with Shayan Chowdhury Arnob's calming delivery – the shehnai playing in the background almost brought me to tears.
It simultaneously bought me back to the days that I binge-listened to "Chaina Bhabish" for days, and proved my teen self wrong as I thought that nothing can eclipse that.
Arnob was already known and referred to as a musical 'scientist' as it was considered the peak of his career – but a veteran Arnob with worlds of experience behind him is a different beast altogether.
Coke Studio Bangla's fifth release was nothing short of ethereal, combining Arnob's "Chiltey Roud" to Abbasuddin Ahmed's Bhawaiya masterpiece "O Ki Ekbar Ashiya", sung by Ripon Kumar Sarkar, better known by his aforementioned stage name Boga Taleb.
Drawing parallels to Animes Roy from the first song, Boga is another talent that Arnob has brought to the limelight – capturing listeners instantly with his emotional delivery of the song.
Few performers can outdo Arnob in a duet, and yet that is exactly what he did, as Arnob stole glimpses of him with pride, like when a mentor sees his apprentice shine. It was as if the entire stage was set for the rising star to showcase his talent, which he has in spades.
Overlapping the obvious dichotomy between the urban setting of "Chiltey Roud" and the rural tone of "O Ki Ekbar Ashia", the fusion is made meaningful by the romantic yearning that both lyrics possess.
Every aspect of the performance, starting from Jalal Ahmed and Sayon Mansang's bansuri, Ashikul Islam's esraj to Hassan Haider Khan's shehnai was scintillating – with neither overpowering the vocal performances, which were meant to be the highlights.
With every release, Coke Studio Bangla proves that our local talent, only with a bit of nurturing, can create seismic waves in the international music industry, only if given proper guidance – and who better to provide that other than the 'mad scientist' of music, Shayan Chowdhury Arnob himself?