Star Showbiz: 'Joler Gaan' has now touched the milestone of 12 glorious years. How do you evaluate the journey so far?
Rahul Ananda: The name Joler Gaan came to be established on the year 2006, but my relation with Kanak Aditya goes even further back to the days when we studied together in Charukola. We both shared the similar passions for music and musical instruments. So it is sort of a 'musical-friendship', that we fostered amongst ourselves. We would express ourselves to each other through our songs, sitting in Charukola's bakultola, balcony, playing on fields and where not! We would make the tables our percussions, and sing our hearts open, all day and all night. The two of us had a dream of making our own musical band. That is how Joler Gaan was born. I came up with the name.
Showbiz: Did you have any specific reason for choosing the name?
Rahul: We were introduced to an organizer from the Edinburgh Festival back in the days of our singing together in Charukola. Later we received an invitation from him via email. He mentioned we would require a title for our troupe in order to follow the invitation. But we said we did not yet have one. It was then we also felt the need to have a title. Since we belong to a land of rivers, we reckoned our name shall also carry the impression. The water here is diverse, and hence we are Joler Gaan. Our fetus develops within the water of mother's womb, and hence we are Joler Gaan. Water accumulates the shape of its carrier, and hence we are Joler Gaan. Water has a wide range of names and forms; it is in seas, rivers, ponds, clouds, rains... it has such a vast diversity! We love the amazing diversity, and hence – Joler Gaan!
Showbiz: Have you written the major portion of 'Joler Gaan''s songs?
Rahul: To this date, yes. Shawon Akhand has also contributed significantly. He used to write most of the songs in our primary days. Our beloved friend Sanjeeb, who unfortunately has passed away too early, wrote a couple of our songs.
Showbiz: Your songs yield the aura of our nature and our natives. Was it a part of your initial plan while forming the band?
Rahul: Our innate affection for mother nature may have reflected on to the totality. Perhaps our root in Charukola is also a reason behind that. The course in Charukola naturally constructs a bridge between the cosmos and the innocence of minds. Only those who can see with the mind's eyes, come to Charukola. We wanted to play with harmony the way we played with colors and brushes. When I initiated Joler Gaan with my friend Kanak, we were certain that whether or not we succeed, our goal would be to portray the landscape of Bangladesh through our songs. I would often go to Baul Akhras with my friend Shawon, reside there, and learn from their lifestyles. I can doubtlessly say that my love for my land and my people is genuine.
Showbiz: How do you view band music in general?
Rahul: When one person sings, we call it solo; when two does, we call it duet and when there are three, we name it trio. But after that, we do not have any tag anymore, and so we call it a band. But this cannot be an ideal description. We have seen band-parties playing as a part of our festivities. We have seen group of bauls performing together as well. Those who did palagaans also had different sorts of teams and troupes. So what would be our reason for not calling them bands, too? We have to have a clear conception of the term before everything. Then we can discuss the rest.
Showbiz: What is your philosophy regarding music?
Rahul: My years of studying in Charukola and working in the theaters have enabled me to realize that music is a path through which we attempt to discover our lives in this universe. We seek to find the divine, the unknown through whatever is known. We wish to touch what is beyond our reach through the harmony. Songs are only a part of the supreme quintessence of music.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain
Transcribed by Tasbir Iftekhar