Sunday, March 16, 2008

Songs of a lifetime - 9

"Amar Janla" (My window)

A song in Bengali, by Anjan Dutta. It talks of 'The windows of our minds'. We all have our windows through which we look at the world. He urges us to stop looking at the world through windows of caste, creed and religion. Keeping our minds open to everything and everyone serves us much better in today's globalised world, where hate and mistrust are common enemies. Boundaries may well exist on maps, but Dutta urges us not to replicate them in our minds, in our outlook, in our sensibilites. A simple acoustic number, it sources its setting and inspiration firmly from middle class, urban Kolkata, but is decidedly universal in message.

"Amar janla diye,
Amar janla diye ektu khani akash dekha jai
Ektu borsha ektu grissho ektu khani sheet
Shei ektu khani choukho chobi akre dhore rakhi
Amar janla diye amar prithibi

Shei prithibi te bikeler rong hemonte holud
Shei prithibi te pasher barir kanna shona jai
Prithibita boroi choto amar janalai
Amar janla diye amar prithibi.

Shei prithibi tei bachbo bolei juddho kori roj
Ektu khani bachar jonno hajar aposh
Shei prithibir naam Kolkata ki Bharot jani na
Tumi tomar prithibir naam ta jano ki?

Tumi bolbe amar,
Tumi bolbo amar Beniyapukur tomar Behala
Tumi gondi kete dekhiye debe poshchim bangla
Hoito Kerela'r akash ar ektu beshi neel
Tobu sheta'o ki noi amar prithibi?

Amar janla diye jaina dekha Islamabaad
Shudhu dekhi roj ami amar pasher barir chaad
Ekta holde shari shukochche aaj moja'r rong ta neel
Aaj prithibi ta boroi rongin

Keu janla khule Alabamae bangla gan gai
Keu porche Koran boshe tar Japani janlai
Tumi hisheb kore bolte paro Paris er shomoy
Kintu kar janlai ke ki dekhe hisheb kora jai ki bolo

Moner janla ache,
Moner janla diye tumi beriye porte paro
Mexico te boshe bajano jai guitar
Kothai tumi tanbe bolo desher shimarekha
Amar janla diye gota prithibi.

Tai janla amar mane na aaj dhormer bibhedh
Janla jatiyotabaad er porowa kore na
Janla amar purb na poshchim er dike khola
Janla shey to nijei jane na

Janla amar shokal belai shonai bhoirobi
Aar shondhe belai shonai(shudhu) Johny Coltrane
Gaan er shure reshareshi deshadeshi nei
Amar gaan er janla gota prithibi."

PS - Heres a link to the song being performed by Kolkata lad Ankan Basu on Youtube:


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Civilised Man

Found this in an old rotten notebook in my Calcutta home during my visit there last year. Written in the year 2000, it was intended as a dig at corporate life in general... I had just joined work and didn't really enjoy the culture there. There could also have been something specific that had happened, but its too far back to remember...Originally written as a song, it found no takers when I showed it around to some of the bands which performed at a city it ended up as poem. So there... Anyone interested in picking it up? I'll halve my royalties rate, I swear...:-)

Morning comes and so do I,
Dressed in a three piece, hat and tie,
Looking better than anybody else can,
Because me, I am a civilised man.

At work, I set fires all around,
Poison ears till I get people to frown,
Can't let them promote him above the ceiling fan,
Because me, I am a civilised man.

United we stand, unbound we crack,
You squeal on me and I'll stab you in the back,
Dollars in the bank fuels this caravan,
Because me, I am a civilised man.

I wear the mask so you won't see,
The other thing that lives inside of me,
Deception seems to be my only plan,
Because me, I am a civilised man.