In the year 1968, exactly 50 years ago, a record of two songs was released ahead of Durga Puja. Set to tune by the legendary RD Burman and sung by evergreen Asha Bhosle, the two Pujo songs, ‘Eyi Edike Esho’ and ‘Jabo Ki Jabona’, penned by Gouriprasanna Majumdar were blockbuster hits. The subsequent years saw multiple Pujo special releases by Asha Bhosle whose first ever Pujor Gaan was ‘Aamar Khatar Patay’ (1963) that had been composed by Manna Dey. ‘Jete Dao Amay Dekona’, ‘Chokhe Chokhe Kotha Bolo’, ‘Mohuaye Jomechhe Aaj Mou Go’, ‘Kine De Reshmi Churi’, and Durge Durge Durgotinashini’ are some of the songs that people of Bengal still lovingly and nostalgically hum.
Durga Puja celebrations over the years have undergone a lot of changes with new trends taking over old practices. The tradition of Pujo album releases had gradually taken a back seat.
Old-timers, however, miss the annual feature. Back in those days, Pujo songs, not necessarily devotional numbers, were a regular fixture. While Asha Bhosle alone had sung 66 songs, pandals would also reverberate with songs of Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, and Manna De, apart from popular local singers, played on loudspeakers.
Riding on this nostalgia, Asha Bhosle is making a comeback to the Pujor Gaan circuit this year. As reported earlier, she has already recorded a single, ‘Ebar Pujoy Elaam Phire’, for the album ‘Pujoy Asha’. The song has been composed by Shiladitya- Raj and written by Utpal Das, while musicians associated with RD Burman have recorded blow instruments like saxophone, trumpet and English flute for the album.
Pujoy Asha, releasing on Mahalaya, 8 October 2018, hopes to bring back the memories of Adhunik Bangla Gaan of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
For Shiladitya- Raj, the album is a dream of over 25 years coming true. “Our dream was realised when the legend, Asha Bhonsle…sang her comeback Pujo song for us for the album Pujoy Asha.”
The album has another number, ‘Surey Tumi’, composed by the duo and sung by renowned playback singer Amit Kumar.
“We are also happy to once again work with one of the finest singers of all time, Amit Kumar, for the song ‘Surey Tumi’. As usual, it was pure magic from him. Both the songs are our tribute to the maestros, Kishore Kumar and RD Burman,” say Shiladitya-Raj.
Produced by Asha Audio, the album is being presented by Naktala Udayan Sangha, one of Kolkata’s the most prominent Durga Puja organisers known for innovative and distinct pandal architecture.
“Pujor Gaan goes hand in hand with Bengali sentiments. From records to cassettes to CDs and now digital, Pujor Gaan has never lost its charm. Shiladitya-Raj, the self-confessed disciples of RD Burman, have created these new songs for ‘Pujoy Asha’, retaining the flavour, charm and subtlety of the master’s creations which will take the listeners back to those bygone days of melody,” says Mahua Lahiri, Director, Asha Audio.
‘Ebar Pujoy Elaam Phire’ was recorded by Asha Bhonsle exactly a week after she turned 85 on 8 September. According to the composers and presenters, the versatile singer with her “unparalleled panache, exuberance and melodious singing” took the song to a completely different height. She also shot a music video for the song.
With Surey Tumi, on the other hand, Amit Kumar recorded a Pujor Gaan in Kolkata after 14 long years. His first recordings had been under his legendary father Kishore Kumar in 1973, and the songs, ‘Jinisher Daam Berechhe’ and ‘Mone Mone Kotodin’, were big hits. Amit Kumar also sang a few Pujor songs for RD Burman.
Pujoy Asha audio CDs will be priced at Rs 75 each, while the songs will be available across all major digital platforms.
The music arrangement of these two songs of the album has been done by Som Chakraborty and the music videos have been shot by Chandan Singh.