Ahoban Shono Ahoban - A Musical Theater: Debojyoti Mishra Scripts a Brilliant Tribute to His Master Salil Chowdhury

By J P Mandal

Anweshaa and Debojyoti Mishra
Anweshaa and Debojyoti Mishra

Kolkata, Jan 21 (Washington Bangla Radio) - The concept was brilliant, execution flawless in a first-of-its-kind tribute. Debojyoti Mishra brought familiar characters associated with Salil Chowdhury alive on the podium - from “Runner” and “Madhumoti” to “Anand”. These characters met each other in the different phases of the composer's life. The characters were played by leading contemporary theater actors and popular singers. Singers Rupankar, Anweshaa Dutta Gupta and Shovan Ganguly; actors Neel Mukherjee, Koneenica Bandyopadhyay, and members from Chetana Group Theater were among those on the stage. A whose-who of performers also included ace studio musicians.

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The anniversary of Salil Chowdhury’s stage debut was celebrated by his consummate disciple Debojyoti Mishra in the form of an outstanding Musical Theater "Ahoban Shono Ahoban" at Kalamandir. The production depicted the remarkable creative life of the legendary composer.

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“21st January will remain a red-letter day in the history of music. The date signifies the beginning of a shakedown through music with the debut of the IPTA stage performance by Salil Chowdhury,” said Mishra.

“Salil-da was just not a music composer but an institution to me. He ushered in a transformation in Bengali popular music through his revolutionary compositions. He was a man of many aspects. I just tried to create something different, covering his vast area of creative world. This production featured songs, poetry, drama and so on. That’s why I called it a musical theater,” he added.

Characters from Salil Chowdhury’s poems and his vast area of work at the IPTA were captured in uniquely stylized theatrical way in Debojyoti Mishra's script. The manner in which they were depicted can only be described in the best of superlatives.

Rupankar Bagchi played dual roles of Salil Chowdhury and himself. No one could remember any prior occasion featuring Rupankar singing and acting, that too with such aplomb. “Though I am not used to acting, I enjoyed acting and singing at the same time. I am privileged to be a part of this project to pay tribute to the maestro in such a way.”

"Ahoban Shono Ahoban" was spectacular, and will resonate in Kolkata for a long time.