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Teacher’s day Special – A tribute to Salil Chowdhury

Teacher’s day Special – A tribute to Salil Chowdhury

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Salil Chowdhury, a musical genius of unparalleled versatility, is celebrated on Teacher’s Day for his timeless melodies and profound contributions to the world of music. This article reflects on his extraordinary journey, a recent musical theater production, and the enduring impact of his compositions.

Salil Chowdhury, a name synonymous with timeless melodies and musical genius, left an indelible mark on the world of music. As we celebrate Teacher’s Day, it’s only fitting to remember and honor this musical maestro who not only taught us the nuances of harmonious compositions but also the beauty of diversity within the world of music. On September 5, 1995, we lost this legendary composer, but his melodies continue to echo through generations.

Salil Chowdhury‘s journey in the world of music was nothing short of extraordinary. He was a true wanderer in the vast arena of music, exploring various genres and subjects with unparalleled talent. From love songs that tugged at the heartstrings to songs that ignited the flames of mass movements, Salil Chowdhury’s compositions were versatile and spoke to the soul.

As we approach the birth centenary of Salil Chowdhury in 2024, it’s heartening to see that the celebrations have already begun. Recently, at the Banga Mela in the Bay City of San Francisco, a musical theater production based on the life of Salil Chowdhury was presented. Titled “Jibon Ujjiban,” this 40-minute drama beautifully depicted the remarkable journey of Salil Chowdhury from the tea plantations of Assam to the bustling streets of Mumbai.

One of the most remarkable aspects of “Jibon Ujjiban” was the involvement of Debojyoti Mishra, a long-time assistant-musician and companion on Salil Chowdhury’s musical voyage. Mishra not only wrote the entire screenplay but also arranged the music for the production. His deep understanding of Salil Chowdhury’s musical legacy was evident throughout the performance.

The musical theater featured an array of iconic songs from Salil Chowdhury’s repertoire, including classics like “Do Bigha Zamin,” “Zindagi Kaisi Peheli,” “Madhumati,” “Na Mono Lage Na,” “Ei Duniyay Bhai Sobi Hoy,” “Pothe Ebar Namo Sathi,” and “Ahowan Shono Ahowan.” These timeless compositions transported the audience back in time, allowing them to experience the magic of Salil Chowdhury’s melodies once again.

The characters on the stage were brought to life by talented performers who captured the essence of legendary figures such as Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Mukhopadhyay, Jharua, Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, and, of course, Salil Chowdhury himself. The direction by Anindya Chakraborty, along with the impeccable choreography by Shuben and her team, added depth and vibrancy to the production.

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Sabyasachi Basu’s portrayal of Salil Chowdhury, Sayini Roy as Jharuya, Chandreeyi Mukherjee as Lata Mangeshkar, and the rest of the cast left the audience mesmerized with their performances. Each actor not only looked the part but also embodied the spirit of the legendary personalities they portrayed.

Speaking about the production, Debojyoti Mishra expressed, “Salil Chowdhury’s musical theater based on his life came to mind suddenly. Dalia Chatterjee Sen of San Francisco’s Bay Area came to know about this and thought of this production. And Anindya Chakraborty directed the play. The production has been planned up in Kolkata in a big way and other cities too. Perhaps this is the first musical theater based on Salil Chowdhury’s life in this country.”

As we remember Salil Chowdhury on this Teacher’s Day and approach his birth centenary, it’s heartwarming to see that his music and legacy continue to inspire new generations of musicians and artists. “Jibon Ujjiban” serves as a poignant reminder of the genius of Salil Chowdhury, whose melodies will forever remain etched in the annals of Indian music history.

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