Exclusive WBRi Bangla Radio Interviews, Reviews, Features, Songs, Videos, Biographies of Bangla Artists, Bands and Albums

Interview | Mukesh Asopa - internationally acclaimed award-winning film maker - WBRi exclusive (audio)

MUKESH ASOPAWBRi Washington Bangla Radio had the opportunity to speak with the award-winning director Mukesh Asopa. Click on the play button on the player below to listen to the exclusive interview online.

Mukesh Asopa is a young, smart and internationally acclaimed film-maker from Toronto, Canada. Mukesh has made two films so far - Aisha and Rahul (2009) and The Taste Of Relation (2010). Both films have received international acclaim and numerous awards at a multitude of film festivals across the world. The films are, fortunately, available on DVD online.

In the interview (audio), Mukesh talks about his roots in Calcutta and his favorite actors and directors from childhood, including Mithun Chakraborty, Prosenjit, Tapas Pal, Uttam Kumar and so on.

Mukesh also succintly explains the background and theme of his two films, and shares some anecdotes from the shooting of the films. As an experienced actor-writer-director, Mukesh talks thoughtfully about contemporary aspects of Indian film - he dwells on art-house/parallel and commercial movies, and the way a significant number of films are now being made by independent film-makers living abroad, all of excellent quality and some of which have actually started making inroads into the purely commercial Bollywood film industry.

Mukesh offers some excellent words of wisdom and advice for the nascent generation of young film-makers who are now choosing to seriously study film-making as a viable career option in a resurgent India.

It is a pleasure to listen to Mukesh speak, as you will no doubt find out.

Watch the theatrical trailer of The Taste of Relation.

WE ARE HAPPY - A Short Story By Dr Ratan Lal Basu | WBRi Online Magazine

‘Oh that’s the tree,’ gaunt Prabhu cried out in ecstasy. Fat Prabhu nodded to indicate that he too had seen it and they climbed down the slope of the embankment and made for the tree. The path was strewn with thorny thickets, titillating bushes and furthermore snakes could be lurking in the thick bushes. They battered down the bushes and thickets with the long bamboo clubs they had brought along and advanced slowly toward the tree and reaching at the bottom of the tall old sal tree they started to examine the trunk of the tree closely and were elated to find the red vermillion mark at a height of five feet. It was an asterisk drawn neatly by vermillion dissolved in oil so as to save the marking from being distorted by rain water. They removed the creepers from beneath the red marking and were reassured to find the x-markings edged out deeply in the trunk. Both of them smiled jubilantly.

Interview | Amitabha Bhattacharya - Joy Baba Bholenath Bengali Movie (Video)

Actor Amitabh Bhattacharjee

In this exclusive interview, Subhomoy Mukhopadhyay of WBRi Washington Bangla Radio chats with Amitabh Bhattacharjee at a shooting location for upcoming Kolkata Bengali movie Jay Baba Bholenath.

Interview | Rachana Banerjee - Tollywood actress talks about Joy Baba Bholenath Bengali Movie (Video)

Kolkata Tollywood Bengali heroine Rachana BanerjeeRachana Banerjee (রচনা ব্যানার্জী) is a popular Tollywood Bengali film actress who is also well-known for her roles in other regional movies in Oriya, Telugu and Bollywood. She is the lead actress in the forthcoming Kolkata Bengali movie Joy Baba Bholenath paired with upcoming actor Amitabh.

The previous working title of Joi Baba Bholenath was Tumi Ami Dujone. Subhomoy Banerjee of WBRi Washington Bangla Radio caught up with Rachana during shooting of the film while it was still titled Tumi Ami Dujone, as you will hear in this video interview.

Interview | Sahaj Ma and Utpal Fakir - the popular contemporary Bauls of Bengal

Sahaj Ma - Utpal FakirMay 16, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Sahaj Ma and Utpal Faqir are an upcoming and popular Bengali Baul and folk song duo. Their debut album "Folktail" featured the superhit song "Allah Meherban" which made the MTV India's Bengali Top-10 list - a first for any Baul song, such was it's popularity.

In this exclusive video, Subhomoy Mukherjee of WBRi Washington Bangla Radio speaks intimately with the talented pair of singers and instrumentalists in an informal setting. Sahaj Ma and Utpal Fakir speak about the Baul philosophy and way of life, and spontaneously break into songs that are sure to touch the listener's hearts as only beautiful Baul songs can do.

Syed Rafique Mahmud - North Indian Classical Instrumental Flute in Modern Bangladeshi Style

Syed Rafique Mahmud Indian Classical Flute InstrumentalSyed Rafique Mahmud comes from a noble Muslim family in Bangla 13 Ashwin 1380(16 Ramadan) at Gaibandha district of Bangladesh. His father late Syed Abdul Baquee was a listed folk singer of Radio Rangpur and Rajshahi, He was a drama  writer  and actor also.

Rafique started to play flute (Bamboo Flute) during his childhood at 7 years old. His father bought a Bamboo flute from local BOISHAKHEE MELA according to his only demand. Hence he  starts to blow, and now a days he has built up his own style as 'Modern Bangladeshi style'.

Listen to Rafique's North Indian Hindustani Classical Flute presentation online on Washington Bangla Radio live and on-demand channels.

Bengali Poem Malatibala Balika Bidyalay by Joy Goswami | English Translation by Barnali Saha

Barnali is a creative writer, painter and elocutionist from Nashville, TN, and is a regular contributor to Washington Bangla Radio.

In this article in the Washington Bangla Radio Online Magazine (e-zine) section, Barnali Saha translates acclaimed Bengali poet Joy Goswami's famous poem Malatibala Balika Bidyalay (Malatibala Girls' School) into English. Also watch a free video online of Barnali reciting the Bengali original poem.

Priyanka Kumar's The Song Of The Little Road film on Satyajit Ray's works feat. Martin Scorsese, Ismail Merchant, Ravi Shankar

Song of the Little roadSatyajit Ray’s masterpiece the Apu Trilogy (The Apu Trilogy Box Set - Satyajit Ray - Pather Panchali, Aparajito, the World of Apu) is widely considered one of the most important works in cinema history.  In 1992 Ray was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Oscar.  But when film-preservationist David Sheppard volunteered to go to Bengal, he found the original negatives in a terrible state.  “It’s hard to think of another world-class filmmaker, says Sheppard, “whose oeuvre hangs by such a thin thread!

Written and directed by Priyanka Kumar, the feature film The Song of the Little Road tells the story of how a master’s body of work came so close to disintegration, and why Ray’s films move audiences so deeply across time and cultural boundaries.  Three icons - director Martin Scorsese, producer Ismail Merchant, and music composer Ravi Shankar- illustrate stirringly what makes a masterpiece.

The tag-line of the film is, appropriately, "Why films endure, Why films perish. How Satyajit Ray's films did both."

  • Download the full movie The Song of the Little Road by Priyanka Kumar online from Nehst Studios - click here »

The first of the three Bengali feature films in Apu Trilogy, Pather Panchali (পথের পাঁচালী), depicts the childhood of the protagonist Apu in the rural countryside of Bengal in the 1920s. One of the English titles of the film is also The Song of the Little RoadProduced with a shoestring budget of around $3000) and featuring mostly amateur actors and an inexperienced crew, Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali is today considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Watch the opening sequence from Pather Panchali online.

Calcutta Writer Dibyendu Ghosal's books of fiction Night Of Ten and The Mitters of Kolkata

Dibyendu Ghoshal - The Night Of TenWriter Dibyendu Ghosal  has published quite a few pieces and poetry in net-zines and in print. Two of his books of ficiton - NIGHT OF TEN and THE MITTTERS OF KOLKATA are on the stands in the USA, UK and in Europe, as well as available online (Click here to order online).

Night of Ten is a scintillating work of fiction which targets all those readers who are adult. The book focuses on purpose and repercussions of a New Jersey train accident. It is told from the perspective of the main character, Mr. Drayton Corvick, a person of Indian origin and Hungarian descent , who works in a German patent attorney firm. He gets a chance to investigate, out of the passion of his inquisitive mind, the cause of the train accident when he is instructed to deliver crucial documents to a client in New Jersey. His curiosity leads him to visit the wreckage site where he finds the bodies of policemen who were killed in mysterious situations. Along with his assistant, Alexandra, he delves much deeper into the mystery. From this foundation, the author constructs an intriguing tale of fiction.

The author, Dibyendu Ghosal, writes ...

Interview | Ramanjit Kaur, Arthur Cardozo of The Creative Arts Studio, Tollygunge, Kolkata - WBRi Exclusive

Govind Nihalani

Image via Wikipedia

April 27, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) By Subhomoy Mukherjee:

The Creative Arts Studio of Tollygunge, Kolkata regularly organizes workshops on theatre, dance, music, creative writing, advertising, photography, fitness and film-making, because from their year of establishment in (2002), they focus on creating awareness about and impart formal, systematic training in various fine arts, especially theater and to involve artists from various fields for creative encounters.

In this video interview, WBRi's Kolkata correspondent Subhomoy Mukherjee has an informal chat with Ramanjit Kaur and Arthur Cardozo, members of TCA's Advisory Board, about TCA and its founding principles, goals and advantages.

Personalities like Govind Nihalani (picture on right), Neelam Man Singh Chowdhury, Sujata Sen, S.V. Raman, Samarjit Guha, Neena Singh, Prof. Ananda Lal, Anjum Katyal, Nandita Pal Choudhuri, Swati Lal, Arthur Cardozo, Ramanjit Kaur, Taranjit Kaur, Sangeeta Bapuli, Shuktara Lal, Suman Sarawgi, among others, form the Advisory Board and Faculty of TCA.

Since 2002 till date , TCA has produced site-specific performances and expressive dance shows, created original scripts and art exhibitions besides organizing workshops and seminars with excellent response from print and television media.

Original Children’s Productions by TCA:

  • The Forest Party (2002)
  • Essence of Life (2003)
  • Saving of the Old Mango Tree(2003)
  • Closed Spaces(2005)
  • Arguments Goodbye(2008)
  • No Nightmares(2008)
  • Tiya’s Farewell Party(2009)
  • Manu Finds a New Home(2009)
  • Manav – The messenger(2009)
  • Snow White and The Saline Curse(2009)

Original Site-specific Productions by TCA:

  • Is Job Charnock coming to Dinner?(2004)
  • The Merry Go Round(2005)
  • Upon a Yarn(2006)
  • The Merry Go Round – another spin(2006)

Installation Performances by TCA:

  • Launched Arthur Brendon Cardozo’s First Solo Exhibition of Charcoal Pen an Ink Sketches with an installation performance “Faces and Verses”(2006)
  • Indo-UK collaboration Theatre Science Project (2006-2008)
  • Showcased Theatre Science play ”Crab Soup” in Imagining The Future III bin Bangalore(2007)
  • Shows of “Crab Soup” in Theatre Science Festival, at Lylian Baylis, Sadler’s Wells, London (2008)
  • Shows of “Crab Soup” in Tara Arts, London (2008)

The year 2010 is memorable to TCA for launching The Creative Arts Studio for performances, workshops, collaborations and residencies.

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Singer USHA UTHUP On Washington Bangla Radio | Indian Pop Queen - Exclusive Interview of our favorite DIDI

Usha UthupApril 27, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) By Subhomoy Mukherjee, WBRi Kolkata Correspondent:

In this informal and unedited intimate chat with Subhomoy Mukherjee, Usha Uthup talks about her multi-cultural background, her family and early days with the pioneering all-girl band SAMI Sisters which she and her sisters founded, her love of music in different languages, her love for Tagore and the cultural mosaic that is India. An epitome of versatility and open-mindedness, Usha Uthup has truly transcended not only Indian regional cultures, but music in its global sense. Do not miss her song snippets in various languages including Russian.

Usha Uthup's songs are available for download online in MP3 format - click here to listen to free previews and download audio songs MP3 >

Kris Alin's Antim Shwas Sundor (Last Breath Beautiful) - Upcoming Kolkata Bengali Movie Preview | Subrata Dutta - Indrani Haldar

Theatrical Trailer of Antim Shwas Sundar

Bengali Movie Antim Swash Sundor Poster

April 17 (Washington Bangla Radio) Antim Shwas Sundar (Last Breath Beautiful) is a Kolkata Bengali movie by Kris Alin. The writer-director Kris Alin writes, "I was born to be a story-teller. I went through various kinds of businesses of my own before finally putting together my first film. It was a joy to work with competent professionals and quite a surprise to observe myself emerging through the experience with greater confidence. I was happy to see that I have the makings of a professional film maker who can handle what it takes to make things work.

As my pen name and screen name I would like to use 'Kris Alin' instead of Anil Harbhajnaka, because I like it that way. I also chose the name because it contains Krishna, Christ, Allah and my original name in it.

I believe this is just the beginning and there's lot more to come."

Photographs from Shooting and Stills from ANTIM SHWASH SUNDOR

Director Biography

Bengali Movie Antim Shash Sundar Poster

Anil Harbhajanka was born in the early 1970s. Hailing from a business family in Kolkata that traces its roots to Sri Madhopur in Rajasthan, he was drawn to the creative arts fairly early in life. As he says, “Cinema has attracted me from the childhood. I have always had great fascination towards music and art, but having been brought up in a business oriented family, moving professionally towards an artistic field was tough.”

In order to bring his dreams closer to fruition in a practical sense he acquired a Diploma in Film Studies from the Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida.

Over time the urge to become a film maker became stronger and Anil began writing a few scripts that he thought he would sell to producers. However, later he decided to strike out on his own instead. As he explains, “though I had little professional experience, there was a powerful urge coming straight from the heart that inspired me to take the plunge and make my directorial debut with Last Breath Beautiful.”

Anil says that it was a treat to work with seasoned artists in a beautiful environment where the work culture was excellent and the cast and crew lent great support.

Interestingly, Anil has chosen to use the pseudonym Kris Alin as a director.

Having found making the first film a satisfactory experience, he says he is now sure about his calling in life and will continue to make “more films in the style dictated by my heart and mind”.


Bengali Movie Antim Shwash Sundar Poster

Can a philosopher's stone turn everything in life to gold? Can it become the elixir of life?

And what is life? Is it a journey where one’s achievements are measured in terms of material prosperity or is it the attainment of a certain state that is best described as the inexhaustible sweetness of serenity that comes from cherishing what one has as opposed to vying for what others seem to have.
The film Antim Swash Sundar (Last Breath Beautiful) delves into these complex but realistic issues that confront the urban middle class today where consumerist modes of thought and action are increasingly on the rise.

Featuring seasoned veterans Subrata Dutta and Indrani Halder in the lead roles, Last Breath Beautiful explores the stories of individual lives reflecting contemporary social attitudes, climaxing with the shattering of the human ego which finally paves the way for the emergence of a new man or the Essential Man.

One either breaks down or breaks free. Here the protagonist breaks free and experiences the bliss of the moment, celebrating the last breath of his life as if he were savoring the enigma of life itself.

Story Line

Bengali Movie Antim Swash Sundar Poster

As principal protagonist Prem Sengupta grapples with the conflict between his idealism and principles on the one hand and the dreams and aspirations of his vivacious wife Vibha on the other, a chance encounter puts a magic pendant in his hands. Said to have mystical powers, the pendant propels Prem from being a small time employee of a firm to a powerful industrialist whose every wish seems to come true.

However, woven into the tapestry of this tale of apparent success is a dark underbelly. A world where both Prem and Vibha make choices that will push them down the slippery slope to imminent downfall. Over time, in the pursuit of wealth and pleasure, both Prem and Vibha lose their ethics, scruples and moral sensibilities. They are now increasingly enmeshed in a world where passion, lust, greed and a desire for revenge have turned into a combustible fuel that burns the characters’ very souls from within. Though the pendant has brought them great material benefits it seems to have come at a tremendous cost – the loss of simplicity and inner peace that makes life bearable.

Unknown to the protagonist however, the pendant comes with a timeline. At the end of which the owner of the pendant is fated to die. On discovering this hitherto unknown fact, Prem returns the pendant to the powerful mystic to whom it originally belonged and prepares to face the end with calm equanimity having realized that wealth alone is worth very little in the absence of happiness.

Main Cast

Prem - Subrata Dutta
Vibha - Indrani Haldar
Mystic - Paran Bandopadhaya
Alka - Swagota Mukherjee
Sarda - Kaushik Banerjee
Mehra - Kunal Padhy

Supporting Cast

Patel - Devdoot Ghosh
Anjali - Sanjukta Roychowdhury
Rao - Punya Darshan Gupta
Raghu - Prakash Sharma
Arti - Surangana

Film Songs in Soundtrack OST

Rashid Khan - Satrangi
Kailash Kher - Rasiyan
Sunidhi Chauhan -   Ui Amma
Rupam Islam & Renee Mansata - Ami Achi (Bengali) Mein Hoon (Hindi)
Dohar (Kalika Prasad) - Rini Jhini
Rahul Guha Roy - Hare Rama Hare Krishna

Technical Details

Runtime    105 mins
Reel    6 (Jumbo)
Country    India
Year    2010
Language    Bengali
Aspect Ratio    1.85:1
Sound Mix    Dolby Digital Surround EX
Filming Locations    Kolkata, Digha
Camera    RED ONE (4K RAW)


Anil Harbhajanka: Phone +91 983 065 2590

Venus Creations
33/1 Netaji Subhas Road
Kolkata 700001 India

Phone: +91 33 3028 8674/75
Fax: +91 33 2230 8648

Interview | JOY SARKAR - JODI EKDIN Bengali Movie Music Composer and Director

RINGO Banerjee's JODI EKDIN Bengali Movie - Music Composer 
& Director Joy SarkarApr 15, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Joy Sarkar is an accomplished and acclaimed artist and music composer. He is the background music composer and music director of Kolkata Bengali movie JODI EKDIN directed by Riingo Banerjee.

Joy Sarkar talks to Washington Bangla Radio in an exclusive and intimate interview (Video) hosted by Subhomoy Mukherjee, WBRi correspondent from Kolkata. Joy talks about his childhood when he started off as a vocalist - but he was more excited by instrumental aspects of compositions, and started playing the guitar which has been his real base as an artist for many years now. A professional guitarist and music arranger for numerous albums, JODI EKDIN sees Joy Sarkar debuting as the composer of the musical score of a feature film.

Riingo Banerjee's Jodi Ekdin (2010) revolves around Neel played by Indraneil Sengupta and Nikita played by Priyanka Sarkar and their relationship in the context of a fast-paced modern way of life which leaves little time for pursuing emotional attachment.

Interview | SOMNATH DASGUPTA (SHOM) - Poet, Composer of AMI BUDHIN BOLCHI talks to WBRi and writes about his path-breaking album

SHOM - AMI BUDHIN BOLCHI - Audio Music CD Album Cover

Shomnath Dasgupta - Ami Budhin BolchiApril 10, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Shomnath Dasgupta, or Shom, is a poet, lyricist and composer and writes about his recent album "Ami Budhin Bolchi". Also, Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio talks to Shom in an informal video interview (above). The album is a landmark in Bengali music in that it is one of the first "concept" albums in which the tracks are thematically woven together in an attempt to transmit a story and a message from the poet-composer to the listener. The compositions and the album itself are in the style of psychedelic and socio-politically critical albums that defined alternative and rock music around the middle of the last century which eventually morphed into techo-ambience and even trance-electronica of today as one offshoot, with the other offshoot continuing to be mainstream satirical and self-critical rock music. The revolution ushered in by bands like Hawkwind, Pink Fairies and Pink Floyd (of course!) and later by composers like Amon Tobin and Aphex Twin delivering thematic electronic soundscapes has reached the shores of Bengal in the form of Shom's "Ami Budhin Bolchi". Shom's album is themed around the world of a tribal boy named Budhin Mahato, and features elocutionary contributions by Soumitra Chattopadhyay and Pradip Chatterjee and guitars by Amyt Dutta.

Somnath Dasgupto alias Som writes about his cultural journey and his debut album Ami Budhin Bolchi ...

Interview | Suman Mukhopadhyay - award-winning film-maker - Mahanagar@Kolkata, Herbert, Chaturanga

Suman Mukhopadhyay Mahanagar@KolkataApril 10, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Acclaimed Bengali film-maker Suman Mukhopadhyay (Herbert [DVD], Chaturanga) talks to Washington Bangla Radio's Kolkata correspondent Subhomoy Mukhopadhyay in an informal and intimate interview (video). Mukhopadhyay's Mahanagar@Kolkata movie is about to be released and all movie lovers are in expectation to experience another sensational and quality movie from the award-winning director. Mahanagar@Kolkata has a star cast of Biplab Chattopadhyay, Arun Mukherjee, Anjan Dutt, Rituparna Sengupta, Sreelekha Mitra, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Kabir Suman and others. Mukhopadhyay talks about his childhood, his participation in theater, his films Herbert and Chaturanga and of course MAHANAGAR@KOLKATA which he says is a portrayal of today's modern Kolkata with deep-rooted culture via a collage of three stories by Nabarun Bhattacharya that he had read at different points in time but come together in the film.