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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 131| August 9 , 2009|


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A Scintillating Musical Adda @Omni Music

To introduce our young generation to this region's traditional music genres, Star Campus in partnership with Omni Music has started a monthly Musical Adda session. Every month, we will bring one highly talented singer to perform in an informal get together of music enthusiasts.

Star Campus Desk



Saika Shahrin

ONE of our first nursery rhymes introduces us to the Bangla alphabet with the second Bangla letter Shwar-E-Aa as Aamti ami khabo perey (I'll eat the mango plucking it from the tree). The lyrics fail to teach us that we should ask the owner of the tree first if we can have the mango. By overlooking this courtesy in our childhood, in our latter life we may eat other people's mangoes without asking. When Pagla Bablu was saying this animatedly, I was amused, but I soon realized the mystique philosophy of the Bauls behind this statement.

Pagla Bablu joined us for the first musical adda jointly organized by Star Campus and Omni Music on 25 July. Within the very first minute, he created a magical atmosphere with his booming voice and out-of-this-world Baul songs. I have never experienced anything like this before. The atmosphere was simply electrifying. Every tune he played and every cord he touched was transporting the audience to another place, to a world of mysticism.

Until that day, Baul music never appealed much to me. Pagla Bablu made me realize what I had been missing all my life! For this reason I will not be able to compare his style of singing with other Bauls. However, having a bit of musical knowledge myself I was astonished when I realized Pagla Bablu had a classical training. The arohon-aborohon and the meers of his notes were almost perfect. His talim in music came from his mother that included a classical base. It was his mother who inspired him to devote his life to the cause of Baul music of Lalan Shah and music in general. While mentioning her, Guruji sang the song, Nighum Bicharey Shotto Tai Gelo Jana, Maye Voji Loy Baapero Thikana and explained that, a mother is the one who instills values in us but we often underestimate her by identifying ourselves with our father's name.

Born in Faridpur, Pagla Bablu's Father was a civil servant and his Mother was a housewife. It was his mother who is the inspiration behind his music and life. His Guruji is Khodabaksh Shainji. Bablu's first public performance was at the age of eight. He participated in the liberation war at the age of 15. Bablu has been devoted to Lalan's music from 1974 and is currently working with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as a trainer.

As the musical adda proceeded, Pagla Bablu gave an introduction and interpretation to each song and responded to queries from the audience. That day we learned that the government took a project called Action Plan For Safe Guiding Baul Songs with UNESCO and UNDP. The Caretaker Govt.

started the process and the current government took the rest of the initiatives to complete the project. Along with Karim Shah from Kushtia, Pagla Bablu won the title of Baul Guru. The project aims to collect all Baul songs and archive lyrics and notations and publish them as books and CDs. For this programme, the two Gurujis have been training 120 Baul singers for the past few months. They will be singing to make the records for the collection of Baul songs.

When tea was served and we took a short break, I looked at my watch. Two hours elapsed with 10 or more songs. I was so engrossed in the music that I failed to feel the minutes ticking by! I was amazed to find out how little I knew about Lalan Shah's music. The explanations and interpretations made me get a closer look on Lalan's philosophy towards life.

The songs Pagla Bablu sang were-
· Khapare Tui Na Jeney Tor Apon Khobor Jabi Kothay?
· Khujle Jonom Ghor Melena
· Jante Adam
· Akhon Ar Kadle Ki Hobey?
· Jat Gelo Jat Gelo Boley
· Manush Bujhley Shonar Manush Hobi
· Aan Kotha Niye Maan Kora Bhalo Na
· Je Ghore Shai Bash Kore
· Jana To Holo Na Ghorer Khobor Porer Khoborey
· Shotto Bol Shupothey Chol
· Teen Pagoley Holo Mela
· 'A'-onuman 'AA'- attar shone
· Bol Shorup Kothay Amat Shadhon Bari
· Tare Dhorte Parley Mon Beri Ditam Pakhir Paye, Khachar Bhitor Ochin Pakhi Kemney Ashe Jay.

Every good thing has to come to an end. The musical adda also soon came to an end. The power of Pagla Bablu's voice and its spiritual expression; Lalan's lyrics and their depth; and above all the power of music imprinted a lasting effect in my heart. I would like to thank Star Campus and Omnibooks for this wonderful initiative. It is a wonderful way to know and appreciate the people who are cultivating and preserving treasures of our rich cultural heritage for our generation.

Mohammad Ibrahim, Mohammad Rubel and Shri Arup Shil accompanied Pagla Bablu during the musical adda.

(Saika Shahrin is a student of Business Administration at Jahangirnagar University)


Les Entourages du la Musique

Fariha Ishrat Khandaker

IT's not that it rarely comes to mind when the entire Star Campus team sits to ponder for their next big advent, that there needs to be a touch of music to illuminate our souls. Well, that is precisely why Campus came up with the thematic concept of a 'Musical Adda', which would be a triad of finding the art, the artistes, and applauding the appreciators of each genre of music. To aid with this event, came forward Omni Music, with the first adda starting with probably the greatest form of music that our culture was fortunate enough to host; Lalon.

Fakir Lalon Shah was the spiritual embodiment of a norm defying philosophy (especially living in the Bengal dark ages of 1774 to 1890). His ideals were set forth through lyrically patented songs and poems that strove beyond all possible politics of identities. Leaving no trace of his origin, he pursued a life that was all too humble (with its signature lifestyle statements that his followers still try to blend into); a life that embraced the nothingness of it, without abandoning the set responsibilities and duties any social human is to carry out. However, the bourgeoisie of the Bengal society throughout the ages, have managed to marginalize Lalon as a 'Baul Shomrat'; which falsely marginalizes him to the form of a fatalistic outcast, which is clearly going against everything he has written down. A lot about his life and the predicament of the 'baul' or the Lalon community, was explained by the guest at the event. Pagla Bablu, as he is aptly called, with his booming powerhouse of vocal cords, sang many of the thought provoking songs of Lalon, and of others who were directly influenced by Lalon Shah himself.

Parvez Damania, India

The event became this entertaining pedagogy about Lalon, his music and philosophy, and what is presently being done to preserve this great art form. Lalon's poems and songs wholly explains his ideals and the message that he is trying to send. Anyone who is engrossed in his music, listening to khachar bhitor auchin pakhi, or jat gelo jat gelo bole, is able to, for a brief moment, delve into a realm that is beyond the reality of our day to day imagination. He sublimates the teachings of philosophers like Lord Chaitanya who coherently would have been best friends with the likes of Nietzsche, Durkheim and others, in

their quest to break out into the antonymous realism where the individual soul and the supersoul coexists. Lalon has thus, through his works, been able to reveal a level of literary minimalism that is probably second to none. So when Pagla Bablu came to the event to perform and enlighten, he only became an extension to a chain of a mysticism that is above politics, religion and society, and more in tune with ideals with the ideals of humanitarianism.

[references: internet]

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