Every time rock and roll legend, Ayub Bachchu, gets up on stage, he sweeps the audience off their feet with his hugely popular songs. Ever wondered what or who inspired these songs? In this interview, AB exposes the secrets to Sadia Khalid.
‘Shei Tumi'- who was this song about?
This song has a background that I'll never reveal; ever... It is everyone's story, not only mine. Listeners from both East and West Bengal- all love this song. They have the lyrics memorized and they sing it for their partners, their loved ones. Maybe I sang this for someone I loved. Let the rest of the story remain a secret…
Why I asked for forgiveness, why I said 'cholo bodle jai' (let's change)- let's keep these undisclosed. When you marry your loved one, things change a great deal. You sometimes can't help but feel like going back to being lovers again after marriage. Life would've been better if you could just stay lovers.
Do you think it is possible?
It's hardly possible. Once your lover is your wife and you become a husband from a lover, you've got too many duties to go back to being lovey-dovey.
So it's better not to marry that person (?)
I would suggest as long as you can stay alone, stay out of trouble. I see people getting married at age 19. Why would someone want to get married so young? Marriage should be considered after 40 (laughs). After you are 40, then you marry somebody who will understand you. You can't expect your family to understand it all on your behalf.
‘Mon Chaile Mon Pabe, Deho Chaile Deho'- is this a part of the rockstar lifestyle?
Not at all. It is a spiritual song. Some people take it otherwise and try to make a different meaning out of it.
How is this song spiritual?
When we enter its 2nd verse, the song becomes clear. 'Bhetorete thakle kalo, upore jol jotoi dhalo'- if you are not clean in your heart, no external force can cleanse your soul. We first have to make our hearts beautiful by surrendering our body and soul to the highest power. We won't get the real meaning of this song if we don't open up our minds.
Did you face any criticism regarding this song?
I had to explain to some artist friends of mine what this song is really about. They found it quite interesting. It's about your body, your mind and your soul. If anyone wants to make a negative meaning out of it, then I don't think they can go very far with it. I didn't ask 'Khairun' to brush her hair (Khairun lo tor lomba mathar kesh). I am singing about 'Ibadat'(prayer).
But we always got a different reaction from the audience...
I don't believe they take it in another sense. But they have fun with the song, just like my other song 'Ural dibo akashe'. Those who enjoy these songs, they enjoy it knowing the real meaning of the songs. And I should take the liberty to say here that we shouldn't underestimate the Bangladeshi audience. They are very much in touch with the world music, specially the upcoming stars, the new listeners, school-going and university-going students. It's not like before that listening to only Manna Dey makes you aware of your heritage. This generation listens to all kinds of songs, whatever they like. Some listen to Lamb of God, some listen to Deep Purple, Jazz, Blues, Lalon, Bhawaia, Folk, Nazrul, Tagore- you can't stop them. The whole world is open for them because the internet is in your hand.
Which album gave you the highest sense of accomplishment?
I don't think I could yet give my all to any particular album. I have released a lot of albums. They're all fine. Somewhere down the road, I made a few mistakes. Since music is my profession. I'm not doing music for it's a fashionable thing to do. This is my only living. So maybe I had to sing some songs that I didn't like at all. I sometimes regret it and think that I could've avoided doing those 4-5 songs. Other than those, all my songs are like my children- those that I composed, LRB songs, Aiyub Bachchu solo album songs, these are my favourite songs- all of them. But I don't think I have yet been able to make that song, the song I may have dreamt of all my life, a song that will make the listeners know Bangladesh. The world will know Bangladesh through that song.