New Delhi: A group of professionals, who call themselves "humble music lovers", paid a tribute to Bhupen Hazarika here in a unique way, breaking the boundary of language to bring out the richness and depth of the Bard of Brahmaputra`s music.
Held last night to coincide with the Assamese spring festival of Bihu, the musical program saw the group members fitting into the shoes of musicians and taking the audience to a journey of Hazarika`s life with a motley collection of his songs and poems, leaving all spellbound.
The songs were in Hindi, Bengali and Assamese and one of them was in Nagamese.
The group used English as a common language to bring out the essence and meaning of each song and supported them with visuals.
"We used visuals to bring out the message and meaning of a song as well as the thoughts in the mind of the writer. Wherever possible we also tried to use video or image relevant to the musical number. Our objective was to get the message of the composer, singer or lyricist across by singing and playing the songs of artists who could influence people to a large extent," said Kishore Das, a production engineer by profession and the brain behind the initiative.
According to him, language often becomes a barrier in understanding and appreciating songs of any linguistic minority. "That`s why each number had an English translation and a video."
The show began with a rendition of `Dola` (the palanquin song) in Assamese, Hindi and Bengali. The songs included `Ganga behti ho kyon` (`Bistirno parore`), `Ha awara hoon` (Moi eti jajabor), `Ek kali do pattiya`, `Moi Kohimare adhunika` (about a Naga girl and an Assamese boy who fell in love while travelling on a train to Guwahati), `Dil hoom hoom` and `Jhuti muti mitwa` (both "Rudali").
There were some instrumental pieces too including a medley of five famous folk songs of Hazarika.
The programme concluded with the famous `We are in the same boat brother` of Paul Robeson which was immortalised by Hazarika.
"As a part of our passion for music, we have formed an informal group called Roots. Our aim is to bring out the sweetness of folk and tribal music of the northeast and spread it to other parts of the country. Right now, we are concentrating in introducing the music of the region, especially Assam to our friends outside Assam," Das told PTI.
Most of his team members are engineers and there are non-Assamese members too.
Juhi, who has appeared for her Class XII boards, hails from Jharkhand and sung a major chunk of the songs in Hindi.
Das said as most of the songs cannot be translated correctly, the group tried to present a synopsis of the songs in English Language so that people can understand the true essence of the song.
Das, who played the mandolin in last evening`s soiree, says his group in the long term would like to pick up folk from different parts of the country and present it to the people "in our format".