The nostalgia invoked by the intonations in the voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra while reciting the ‘chandipath’ for Mahalaya, has continued as the symbol of Bengal’s culture for generations without fail despite the rapid globalization.
Bengalis wake up on the day of Mahalaya, listening to the ‘chandipath’ by Birendra Krishna on the radio. It instils a sense of devotion and prepares the mood for the Durga Puja.
Binod Kumar Dey, a senior citizen recalled his fond memories of youth when at 3:30 a.m. on Mahalaya, he used to take a boat out with his friends on the Hooghly River and never forgot to carry a transistor that played the captivating verses by Bhadra while he and his friends listened to it on the boat.
He recalled several others use to gather on the river bank to hear the recitations. He mentioned that his granddaughter, who is barely four years old, takes much interest in imitating the voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra and the songs.
Tapan Bairagi, another senior citizen, said that his family for generations have accepted this Mahalay recitation by Bhadra as an inseparable part of Bengali culture and its tradition and mentioned that his daughter, a college student, makes it a point to listen to it on every Mahalaya.
However what joins the sentiments of these families is, listening to it on a radio or transistor despite the advent of modern era electronic gadgets.