It was just another regular day when one of my cousins happened to share a link on the public daily diary of so many of us - yes, I guess you got it already, Im talking about FaceBook - I clicked it and was mesmerised by what I heard.
You see, it had been many years that I had watched a Bangla movie, or heard a song from a bengali film or music album or band. So I had definitely missed the sudden taking-by-storm of Bengal by this amazing bomb of a talent. As I clicked on that link and saw a sepia-tinted story-line unfold in front of my eyes, what haunted me most was the soundtrack. Here, have a look:
The moment I heard the background score and that voice, I knew I was going to watch this movie. The credits said the singer was one 'Anupam Roy.' Soon after that I watched the movie, and got the songs on my phone, which stores all my favourite music. For many days after that, the songs played on loop mode and I was almost a 'paaka baangali', humming to the tunes and singing the lyrics along with Anupam. 'Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao' had almost become an anthem for me by then.
I began sharing these songs on FaceBook, wanting to share these amazing melodies and lyrics with other friends, and suddenly, I realised I was not the only one who was kept out of this sudden coming-of-age of Bangla music. There were many like me, living outside Bengal, who had not had as many opportunities to keep an update on the latest Bengali movies and songs. On the other hand, I realised that Anupam Roy was a very big name, not only in Bengal, but among those bengalis who live outside and were connected to Kolkata in some way or the other. Whatever the case, I soon realised that this voice, which was soon becoming a legend, had already invaded my home, my senses, and the somewhat singable chords that I possessed.
Of course once I had a taste of 'Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao' there was no going back. I began tracking Bengali movies and started keeping a track of the many albums and separate tracks that were being released. It also helps that my nephew happens to be a part of the Anupam Roy Band, so I do get the benefit of doubt. Whenever I lag behind in my homework, I get to know what these guys are up to. And hence get to experience many more wonderful tracks and melodies.
The Anupam Roy Band:
Vocals: Anupam Roy
Guitar: Subhodip Banerjee
Bass: Roheet Mukherjee
Keyboards: Nabarun Bose
Drums: Sandipan Parial
There are the regular favourites that I am already humming these days. The best part about Anupam's music is that you don't need to know the language, even if you don't understand the lyrics, the melody will take you to a different plane altogether. And if you happen to be a bengali and understand what he is talking about, you must consider yourself lucky that you got a chance to experience this yourself. For me, I'll be honest I don't understand each and every lyric, as my bengali is still a little imperfect. But I can sing along to almost all his songs, and I do first try and get a translation of his songs to understand them better or ask my bengali friends about it. And the best part is that my 05-year-old daughter, who is half-Bengali and half-North-Indian, also knows almost all of Anupam Roy's songs and loves to sing along. They are already on her 'fravrt' list! And as for my husband who is a North-Indian and understands a little of the normal Bangla and none of the Bengali lyrics, he is a die-hard fan and listens to these tracks even while driving!
So here are a few links to some of Anupam Roy's most amazing songs that we really really love and just cant stop singing along:
Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao (Movie Autograph)
Aami Aami Jaani Jaani (Live rendition by Anupam Roy)
Jaani Dekha Hobe Reprise
Ekbar Bol Nei Tor Keu Nei (Movie Baishe Shrabon)
Baariye Daao Tomar Haath (Movie Chalo Paltai)
Tomaar Shohore (Music Video)
Tistaan (from Anupam Roy's Album Durbine Chokh Rakhbo Na)
Gobheere Jaao (performed live by Anupam Roy)
Tomaar Bhetor Theke (album)
So what is so special about this voice that I suddenly became such a huge fan? I, of all people, who never ever listened to any Bangla music or watched any Bangla movies? The first thing that knocked the wind out of me when I heard Anupam Roy's voice was the level of yearning in it. And to imagine that this young man was actually working as an engineer in Bangalore for 07 years! Phew! He gave all that up and shifted base to Kolkata, India, where he was born and brought up, and has written and composed more than 150 Bengali songs. What a relief to the music industry indeed that he chose to do what his heart wanted. Thanks Anupam ;-)
Anupam Roy's voice immediately takes you to that faraway place, it touches you like a whiff of memories that lie hidden somewhere in the depth of your heart, it stirs up pictures and makes you nostalgic, reminiscing of the times that are gone, of places where you have been, of stories you once created and that now remain etched within the frame of your heart. Anupam Roy's voice has the magic to transport you to a different era, a different life altogether. It is that yearning in his voice that I find so amazing. Its not a sad voice, no, never will you feel sad when you listen to an Anupam Roy song. You may feel a longing, a yearning, a pull, but never that typical sadness. You may even be moved to tears on some occasions, but it's not that depressing sadness, it's a longing, something your heart feels but you just can't explain. Its the feeling of being alone, on your own, but not lonely.
I can't talk enough about Anupam Roy's songs. I am biased, really, and so will you be once you hear his voice and his compositions. I have been badgering my nephew to check if there are performances scheduled when I am visiting Kolkata. But looks like it isn't on the cards yet, as each time I visit Kolkata, either Anupam Roy has just performed, or is scheduled to perform right after I leave. I think I'm going to plan my trip around his performance now.
But in any case Anupam, Mumbai is really really really waiting for you now. We are really looking forward to see you perform here. And don't think you have no followers here. There are many many fans in Mumbai who are waiting for you to come to this city and perform once. You'll get plenty of love from your fans here, I can assure you that.
Thanks for making such amazing music, and for singing the way you do. We love you Anupam!
- Debolina Raja Gupta