Popular poet-film lyricist Srijato and singer Subhamita Banerjee have teamed up for "Ghalibnama", a compilation of some of Ghalib's timeless numbers in Bengali.
"We have trans-created Urdu ghazals like 'Yeh Na Thi Humari', 'Wehshat Hi Sahi' and 'Har Ek Baat Pe' among others in this album," Srijato told PTI at the launch of the album on the 148th death anniversary date of the poet.
Srijato has penned the lyrics and composed the music. "For me Ghalib's ghazals are contemporary in a different way and his lyrics remain the most modern and timeless at the same time. He is one of our foremost modern poets," Srijato, who had earlier penned lyrics for 'Musafirana', a ghazal album, said.
"I kept the feel of Ghalib's couplets in mind while transcribing. I believe it is most important in present timesto work on Ghalib's creations," Srijato said.
Subhamita, the singer of mellifluous "Bahu Manaratha (SakhiHum)" in "Memories In March", said she had always thought ifBengali singers like her could sing ghazal in Urdu language, why couldn't a ghazal be rendered in Bengali retaining the typical nuances of the couplet?
"I think this would enable Bengali audience to be thrilled to listen to ghazals in their mother tongue by closing their eyes. I have no premonition of rejection. I think they will listen out of interest," Subhamita said.
She also complimented Srijato for retaining the spirit in the six songs of the album, depicting six ragas. Percussionist, eminent contemporary classical musician PtTanmoy Bose said while certain forms of music - like Sufi songs, qawwali or western opera cannot be reinvented in Bengali, he would love to see how the two talented artists Srijato and Subhamita would break the prototype, transcend the stark barriers of Urdu and Bengali dialects and execute something which will retain the features of Ghazal.
However, Tanmoy added, he was hopeful the duo will bring out an amazing work which will keep to the traditions of rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Pt Jnan Prakash Ghosh and Hindustani classical queen Begum Akhtar. The album songs include "Aar Ki Kotha", "Beporoa, Chokherkone", "Bolte Paro", "Kathay Kathay Sonao" and "Pathar Toh NoyE Mon Amar".