Born into a family of musicians, singing was second nature to me from a very early age. Needless to say, Rabindranath Tagore and his Music was always at the center of my musical existence but I also had a penchant for Indian classical music, especially vocal Music. I have studied music from two perspectives – Traditional and Institutional Systems of learning music.
In Rabindra sangeet, my direct teachers were Sri Subinoy Roy, Srimati Suchitra Mitra, Sri Sailajaranjan Majumdar, Sri Prafulla Kumar Das, Srimati Maya Sen. I made every effort to imbibe their distinctive styles and blend them together in my presentations. I have memorable moments of learning from Sri Sailajaranjan Majumdar and Sri Prafulla Kumar Das, as they played at their esraj along with singing and teaching. This had led to a life- long love for this instrument and inspired me to follow their examples. I also had the good fortune of seeing from a close distance how all these teachers maintained and perfected the art of demonstration of songs and their techniques of teaching Rabindra Sangeet in it’s most pure form.
In the field of Indian Classical Vocal Music, I had the rare opportunity of learning Khyal and Thumri at the feet of Late Sushil Kumar Bose, a foremost disciple of the legendary Late Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Doyen of the Patiala Gharana.
My Guru tied the ‘Ganda’ on me after years of training. With this important ritual, he accepted me into the lineage of the Patiala Gharana. I am indebted to Late Professor Dr. Prabir Kumar Bhattacharya of Visva Bharati University for his enlightening guidance about the complicated Talas used in Vocal Music.
Music in our country, be it classical Vocal or Rabindra Sangeet has to be learnt through Guru – Shishya Parampara (‘Master to disciple tradition’). There is no other way.
But in the present times, Institutional training and Degrees have a prime place of importance. So, simultaneously, this form of education was also pursued by me.
Degrees & Diplomas include:
Compilation of works done by Late Sm. Rajeswhari Dutta at School of Oriental and African studies (SOAS), London. These works were donated to Rabindra Bhavana, Visva Bharati Santiniketan after her death. The Compilation of these works and a Catalogue were prepared by me and later published in ‘Rabindra Biksha’ the scholarly magazine published by Rabindra Bhavana, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan.
Book in Bengali published by Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, Kolkata, on the ‘Study of Musical Texts written in Undivided Bengal (14th to 20th Century AD).
A Bengali Article on Indian Music and it’s Decay in Saswato Nirbhik Pathik, a bi-monthly magazine named after Swami Vivekananda.
- a) Studies of Musical t Texts of Eastern India.
- b) Studies on Evolution of Religion and Music in Bengal.
- c) Notations of Classical Bandishes and Religious Songs of Bengal.
Last but not the least, I love to be surrounded by musical instruments. Over time I have collected a good number of instruments. These include Harmonium, Tabla, Tanpura, Esraj, Dilruba, Swarmandal, Keyboard. Electronic Tabla and Tanpura also have a place in my collection.
I am fortunate that I am learning Rabindra Sangit from my teacher who expertly teaches both the practical and theoretical sides of Tagore's music.
I am learning about the characteristics of the main ragas. This basic knowledge is very useful for understanding at least a little about the use of ragas in Rabindra Sangit.
My teacher is guiding me about the methods needed for a systematic study of the History of Indian Music. Each lesson is a new experience.