Just back from a felicitation today ( 22.10.2017) where Milon Mancha honoured multifaceted singer, writer, poet , Music Director Sri Jatileswar Mukhopadhay. The event started at 6.30 pm and continued till 10.00 pm in the make-shift private auditorium of Milon Mancha. The background of the stage was prepared by two renowned artists, one of them is Aurobinda samanta ( at this young age, his paintings are displayed in the museums of many European countries ).
It was a wonderful evening altogether. It will be cherished for the whole life by me and wife. On our request Amalendu Sil photographed us with Jatileswar, and the photograph will be preserved by us for our whole life as an asset, a memento indeed. My wife, Tripti Chakraborty, although not a singer at a professional level, loves singing from her school days, and is dedicated to it in her small way. She loves and lives music, With her song she keeps all of us in high spirits at home, and dispels any bad mood. Being influenced by her, our only son Anirban Chakraborty, took to singing as a profession. Jatileswar is her hero from childhood, never could imagine that she ever could make an access to this multifaceted legendary personality.
As to her, she was not lucky enough to learn music direct from Jatileswar as two young and talented artists Tamasru chanda and Mahuya Bose of Milan Mancha, learnt it from his beloved student Anit Das, in our home town, Konnagar. She is emotionally attatched to the words of his song , tunes and meaning. It is only yesterday, that her long cherished dream to go near her cherished Guru, and also being photographed with the Guru, was realised. Without Milon Mancha, it could not be thought of , a thousand thanks to Milon Mancha and Rudra Monadal and Sharmista.
The singer appeared at the right time in our place. He was looking smart for his age at 85 ( her daughter corrected to 84), and was in great mood. About 60 members of Milon Mancha, none of them was ordinary, those present are famous from different fields. It is simply a treat to be there and , believe me , we were there really !!!. We were elated!!. The poet and singer was in a great mood to speak. He was accompanied by his worthy daughter, Shubhaa Mukherjee, and grandson, Anurag. Shubhaa looks to have inherited all the musical qualities of his illustrious father, she lives in Mumbai with her family, and formed her musical group ‘ TIN KANYA’ which has the blessings of her father. She sang many songs of her father and we were enthralled. His talented students –singers Tamosree and Mahua, supported by the table player, Basudev Saha, prepared the right beginning for what all followed in this Jatileswar-evening.
As I told already, the poet was in a great mood, and luckily, we got Sri Tapas Maity, a well established anchor in Mumbai ( a disciple of Devdulal Bandyopadhaya!!! ), to aid the singer to go through the memoirs of his life during this event. Singer himself was in the best of mood, narrated us how he was initiated into music in his home town Chinsurah, and moved through his course of musical journey from one guru to another, from one milestone to next. He considers himself lucky that he was loved by all –by his teachers, friends and of course, his worldwide audience. His simplicity is noticeable when he breaks into childlike smile in between his words and phrases. Who can afford to dislike such a loving man ? His wife who was sitting with us also is very simple.
Tapas Maity, our anchor, successfully conducted the event to make the most of it. The singer In his reminiscences, narrated how he got his Talim from eminent singer Satinath Mukhopadhay for ten years, learnt Classical singing from Chinmoy Lahiri and Sudhin Dasgupta. ‘Badhua Aamar Chokhe’ was the first hit song which he wrote , tuned and sang in 1968. His first recorded song was “Ekti Rangin Phool” in 1963. He worked with many eminent music personalities like, Sudhin Dasgupta, Salil Dasgupta, Dilip Mukherjee, Subhas Mukherjee, Shanti Chatterjee. From mid-seventy he became an eminent music director and singer.
E kone sakal rater cheyeo andhakar, Keu bole falgun, Tomar songee dekha na hole, amar sapan kinte pare- were hit songs which he sang and tuned. Many eminent singers sang under his tunes like Banasree Sengupta, Pintu Bhattacharya, Sreeradha Bandopadhay, Sandhya Mukherjee, Ajoy Chakraborty. Near about 1300 songs he tuned and directed. He also composed shyama sangit, bhajan, and folk songs.
He received best music director award for the film Damu, Nilkantha, Nati Binodini. He has many promising students, among those one is Anit Das who taught my wife-Tripti Chakraborty, at this moment he is visiting Canada in connection with his programs for his fans. I hope he reads this article.
In his jolly mood and full of humour—he cut jokes on himself and others, he narrated the funs which he often made with his friend while staying in a lodge in Mahatma Gandhi Road. He lodged in a non-spacious room with only bare necessities of life. Once Devdulal Bandopadhaya, another fellow singer, a tall and healthy man could not be accommodated in his wooden cot, his leg hit the only earthen pot of water while sleeping and broke it . He and his friends, would be immersed in music so much so that, living even in this environment did not deter them singing full throated, till the dead of night , oblivious of the fact that, this would disturb his neighbours. When neighbours objected, they would not shrink from playing mischiefs to them by throwing water, of course ultimately making peace.
He told us how much observant and live he is when he moves about in the society. A simple word/ phrase he heard on the way which has no use for others, pushed him to compose new songs, and new tunes, one was ‘ jeta bazi herechi’. He composed and sang some songs which carry a streak of sadness. On being asked about this, the great artist replied that it is not necessary that artists should suffer the sadness personally, it is sufficient that he understands others’ sadness and pain intensely, and as I remember Bertrand Russel called this an abstract feeling. It is very much understandable. In this connection, I remember an incident from the life of Sri Ramkrishna, once he was filling water in the ‘ghara’ for Kalipuja in Dakshineswar bathing ghat, then he saw two boatmen quarreling in the mid-Ganges, and one slapped the other and the mark of slap landed on Ramakrishna’s cheek. This exactly, is the abstract feeling.
He was candid to admit that he borrowed tune from others, one was Mehdi Hassan. But what he borrowed and was added to his own, to create another original which charmed us, as the end-product was another original or better than the original . It needs a huge amount of courage to admit openly in public that a tune was borrowed. The poet in the course of his talk reminded us not to be impulsive to make a show of our all learning in one-go, and not to overdo anything, and also advised to sing a song in a manner as if you are talking to your audience. Both are educative to our young artists.
He is the idol of all, he is simple, honest and frank, wants to be a man of the masses, He does not want to live in an ivory tower. When anchor asked his comment on the fact that singers of today earns much more than yester years, that too by singing his own songs, Jatileswar did not have any consternation. Here, I want to have my own observation, we are living in a society full of egos and jealousy; as soon as we master a little wealth and fame, our ego goes through the roof, totally devoid of any humility. We have an obvious lesson to learn. Milon Mancha prays a long and healthy life for this living legend!!!!