Mumbai: Rabindra Sangeet in English? Who but Usha Uthup would ever imagine such a thing! The indefatigable singer has pulled it off and even roped in a very unconventional pair of Naseeruddin Shah and Roopa Ganguly for a music video.
"It was such an honour and pleasure working with Naseer. He`s a dear friend, and a sport. He agreed to do the music video in a jiffy," said Usha.
"Actually, I`ve done a whole album of Rabindra Sangeet in English. But I could only afford one music video. Why an album of Rabindra Sangeet? Well, it`s a long story.
"Forty-two years ago when I sang my first song on a public stage I chose an Irish song. I didn`t know it had its roots in a Rabindra song. When people pointed out the kinship between my Irish song and Rabindra Sangeet, I was hooked. So you could say, global music began to exist my mind that day when I sang my first song on stage. This album is a culmination of that process of globalization which began 42 years ago," she said.
Naseer apparently let himself go completely to the moment.
Roopa is in seventh heaven and said: "It`s a very well-known Rabindra song `Koto baar bhebechhinu`. It`s been translated into English for Usha didi`s song as `Drink to only me`.
"We had a ball shooting it. It was my dream to work with Naseer. Somehow we kept missing working with each other for decades. When I was told Naseer was going to be part of this music video, I just jumped at it."
There`s a complete story in the music video, said Rupa. "It was like shooting a whole film. Naseer plays a photographer and I play the woman he once shot and never forgot."
We now hear that Naseer enjoyed his brief stint with Rupa so much that he is ready to do a full-fledged feature film with her.
Apparently, Rituparno Ghosh plans to cast Naseer and Rupa together in a film based on a novel by Rabindranath Tagore.
Interestingly, Rupa and Rabindra Sangeet seem closely affiliated. She has sung some Rabindra Sangeet in her latest release "Chaurahen". She has also won the National Award this year for the best female playback singer for "Abhosheyshey".
Laughing throatily, she said, "People don`t think I`m much of an actress. They took pity on me and gave me one for singing instead."