Friendship is one of the strongest bonds: Soumita

Rajkumari Sharma Tankha

This Friendship Day, August 6, Kolkata’s Singing Sensation Soumita Saha has come up with a new song titled Aay tobe Shohochori. The song was written by Rabindra Nath Tagore in the year 1879 and is based on Raaga Chhayanot. The song shall be released under the banner of Best Of City of Joy. The musical arrangement for the song has been created by Tom Bailey while the vocal has been recorded and mixed by Rana Monal at studio RJ.
Soumita has crafted a special place for herself in the arena of Rabindra Sangeet. She is capable of performing equally good with traditional as well as modern arrangements. She has provided some of the most admirable renditions of Rabindra Sangeet with songs like Nisarga Madhuri, Gram Chhara oi Raanga Matir Poth and now Tomar Khola Hawa. She gained further popularity owing to her unique style of singing that bridged the gap between the traditional style and new age presentation. Her recent music Album Nisarga Madhuri received immense appreciations from audience.
A tete-a-tete with the singer…

How did the idea beholding friendship day in the light of Tagore come to your mind?
Rabindra Nath Tagore in his poems and songs have always made us sing praise of the unconditional bond of friendship. In one of his songs Tagore says Nagkeshorer jhora keshor,dhular shathey mita…how beautifully he conveys this unconventional form of friendship between fallen Mesua Ferra Flower and dust.
Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore’s vision of friendship was totally different. In 1905 when the British empire decided to divide Bengal, a state of British India on the basis of caste and religion. That time Rabindra Nath Tagore arranged a ceremony to celebrate Raakhi  Bandhan to strengthen the bond of friendship, love and togetherness between the Hindus and the Muslims of Bengal and together fight against the British empire.
According to him Rakhi was not only a festival of the siblings but a celebration of mankind and of humanity. He believed that it is the responsibility of all the members of the society to help and protect each other and encourage a harmonious social life.
So, when I planned to come up with a song to celebrate friendship day . I thought why not Tagore’s creation.

Why did you choose Aay Tobe Shohochori?
Honestly, we are living in a society where TV serials and movies are literally controlling our ideas and the ideas we will nurture. Be it a serial or a movie women are portrayed either as rivals or enemies. But we’re always presented with an idea where the scenario showing men’s friendship is an ideal bond. I was very happy when I saw Nagesh Kuknor’s Dor. But on friendship day none of the big shot channels show that movie.  So, I chose aay tobe shohochori, this is one of the most beautiful songs that sings praise of friendship. I use the word musically because the lyrics say
Come darling, we hold hands,
Round and round we dance, singing merrily.
Bring out the lute –
Pitch it to the highest.
The use of ‘lute’ and high pitch here describes how we can sing the praise of friendship through music.

Being a Tagore Song Exponent, how much influence does Tagore songs rain over your idea of friendship?
Friendship is one of the strongest bond one can develop.Tagore’s poems taught me to discover the bond of friendship between various components of nature. Tagore’s songs always convey the touch of positivity which is very, very important. Honestly speaking Tagore’s creations taught me to love a friend unconditionally.


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