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In the Indian capital of New Delhi, in the early 1980s, a few friends coming from different professions formed a choir group, initially singing folk songs from different parts of India. Angered and disappointed with then contemporary Bengali songs, they decided to write and perform their own songs. Someswar started writing and composing and the group took up singing them. Soon followed others and some songs were even results of collaborative efforts. Their compositions were decidedly and deliberately off the beaten track of the all-encompassing Bangla "Adhunik" genre. They were inspired by the rock movement in the West, which touched the shores of Bengal in the form of legendary visionaries ahead of their time, like Gautam Chattopadhyay's Mohiner Ghoraguli. Nagor Philomel, one of the first Bengali Bands also came up around the same time.
These young persons got together with their instruments - harmonica, the first electronic keyboards, violin, tabla, drums and guitars, and lent their voices to beautiful songs about the people and culture of the time tied to hard reality.
And they named themselves Niharika - which in Bengali means Galaxy (of course, of stars).
Niharika was a synergistic coalescence of the following people:
Someswar Chakravorty (Vocals and song writer and composer) : Someswar now resides in the United Kingdom with his daughter Sayantani and Don, the family dog.
Indraneel Dutta (Lead Guitar, Arranger and composer): Indra lives in New Delhi and is an architect by profession
Suprabuddha Sanyal (Rhythm Guitar, vocals, arranger}): Suprabuddha lives in New Delhi with his family and also reads News in AIR. His brother Subrahmanya was very active in Niharika in the initial period and apart from vocal support has also written and composed songs. He now resides in Chicago.
Ratnodeep Rudra (Drums, keyboard and song writer and composer and arranger}): Ratno lives in New Delhi with his family and runs a Media organisation. Incidentally his wife Debjani and her sister Rumi were also part of Niharika (vocals) in the later period of the group
Ashim Chakravorty (Tabla and Percussion ,vocals and composer and arranger): Ashim is the only person in the group who took up music professionally and now is the lead vocalist and percussionist of the famous group Indian Ocean.
Pradeep Nag (Harmonica,vocals) : Pradeep now lives in New Delhi with his family and is in the Electronics Industry.
Satyakam Mukherjee (vocals): Satyakam now lives in New Delhi with his family and performs occasionally in public singing Niharika songs. His brother Sandeepan, an equally talented singer was one of the founders of Niharika but shifted to Nigeria later. Now he is back and lives in Ahmedabad.
Neeraj Roy (vocals): Neeraj lives in New Delhi and still performs in public as his part time pursuit.
Partho Deb (vocals): Partho now lives in Perth, Australia with family.
It will be criminal not to mention Rajshekhar Roy who acted mainly as the manager and administrator of the group and nurtured the group till its final performance.
Washington Bangla Radio is proud to present a set of very rare audio tracks and videos of Niharika performing live. We are honored for having these videos shared with us by one of the Founding Members of Niharika - Mr. Someswar Chakravorty.
The following two tracks are from a one-of-a-kind Niharika reunion concert held in 1995.
Chalo Chole Jaai
The following tracks are from Niharika performing live at the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society auditorium, New Delhi, in 1986.
This song is about a quintessential bengali middle class gentleman, Jogu Babu and his fight for survival seen through a comical but sympathetic eye.
JOGU BABU | Niharika Live @ AIFACS Hall New Delhi 1986
The song expresses wonder about the changes in the surroundings of one who is in love.
Keno Jey | Niharika Live @ AIFACS Hall New Delhi 1986
Kon andharey is again a romantic song singing praise for the lover.
Kon Andharey | Niharika Live @ AIFACS Hall New Delhi 1986
Moyna is a description of woes of a married man in a lighter vein, the tune is folkish.
Moyna | Niharika Live @ AIFACS Hall New Delhi 1986
Railgari is a vivid and realistic description of a journey from Delhi to Kolkata by train.
Rail Gari | Niharika Live @ AIFACS Hall New Delhi 1986
Shefali Phool is another romantic song of remembrance with memories attached with fall season.
Shefali Phool | Niharika Live @ AIFACS Hall New Delhi 1986