The 80-year-old is regarded as one of the most dignified and thinking painters belonging to the Bengal School and who set a standard for his work that he has scrupulously maintained over the years. He has delved into the essential features of life and myth in Bengal that were easy to recognise and enjoy.
If there are few surprises that he has sprung on canvas because of the beauty and wisdom that became part of his artistic personality, Ramananda Bandopadhyay has indeed taken even those who have watched him closely by surprise by announcing that he has discovered a passion for singing. “It was normal for everyone in Kala Bhavan where I studied to get associated with the musical environment”, he says while talking about his first album of ten Tagore songs that was released by veteran actor Soumitra Chattopadhyay last week.
There was no indication as a student that he would take up singing as seriously as he took to painting. But when Ramananda returned to Kolkata, he discovered that Rabindrasangeet was the balm that could be applied in the most difficult situations. The album produced by Bhavna is called Surur Anubhav and it has ten songs that have been chosen at random from his personal favourites. If there is leaning towards the puja compositions, he claims that is purely an accident. The real point is that the musical adventure will not end with the first effort.
Ramananda proposes to apply his mind more closely to his future selections based on the kind of specific themes that often result in the exhibitions of his work that draw an enthusiastic response. Whether or not the professionalism that has marked his work over the years will raise a fresh wave with his singing, it is clear that the musical encounters are here to stay.