Rabindra sangeet is one form of music that has been so conventionalized as to read to its widespread use as well as abuse several times. Rabindranath has gifted songs which were practically written about a century ago and are yet appropriately relevant in our times. Here are a handful of such instances where rabindra sangeet has been unconventionally used to bring out its appeal in a newer form.
1. Aaj dhaaner khete
For generations after generations, this song has been typified as a children’s song, with an apparent mood of merry making. Such a mood would prompt a festive setting, with little kids celebrating the spirit of nature. However, Rituparno Ghosh in Gaaner Opare transcends all such preconceived notions and treats the song from an altogether different level of understanding. Here, a father meets his daughter on her deathbed and to keep her last request, sings her favourite song. What might have made her dance as a child, now takes on a completely different meaning as she is standing on the precipice of death. Both the acting and the setting contribute to create an impactful scene wherein an otherwise common and over used song is made to speak about life and death, and how they define and re define our relationships.
2. Emono dine tare
Rabindra sangeet has always been so strictly supervised and understood within fixed limits that in the process, its very essence is often lost. Presented by Tagore and We, the following is a beautiful semi classical – Rabindra sangeet blend that has a unique completeness to it; one that can be attained through sharing. The re-make doesn’t sound like desperation to incorporate a new form into the song. Rather it renders a composition that would leave one drenched in its melody. An example of how Tagore can be made over again and again, in a myriad ways.
3. Majhe majhe tobo dekha pai.
Through ages Tagore has been casted through rigid patterns. This song is usually considered as a song of offering, (pujo porbo) but here, it is comprehended in new angle of romance re establishing the fact that Tagore’s music can be rediscovered and realized severally in one’s own times and situations.
4. Ekla Chalo Reh
For over a century Rabindranath has been a universal figure reaching out to people beyond the regional barriers. He has been received and interpreted in various new ways in various corners of the world. Bollywood presented an adaptation of this song in Amitabh Bacchan’s broken Bengali, with an added paragraph in Hindi which has surpassed the realms of rigidity while granting its exposure to a much larger audience.