Rekha Bharadwaj sings for Marathi film
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Rekha Bharadwaj sings for Marathi film

Composer Alokananda, daughter of director Buddhadeb Dasgupta, gets award-winning singer to croon semi-classical track.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2012 15:57 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

Last February, Alokananda, daughter of National Award-winning director Buddhadeb Dasgupta, got a call from Diego Romero, the Spanish cinematographer of her father’s forthcoming series, The 13 Stories Of Tagore, to compose music for a Marathi movie. Shala, a story about love, passion, friendship and freedom that releases this Friday, has been adapted from a Milind Bokil novel and director Sujay Dahake wanted a score with hints of western classical music. That’s how Diego, who was the cameraman on this movie too, thought of Alokananda who has been studying the genre.

The young music director, who started out with a Spanish film directed by Diego’s friend, was happy to jump on board, even though the film had no songs. “I was only supposed to compose the background score, but there’s a beautiful temple sequence in the film that I felt required a song and I ended up tuning it,” she smiles.

Behna Do is a semi-classical, very Indian song, written by Alokananda’s sister Rajeshwari, and has been sung by Rekha Bhardwaj, Vishal Bhardwaj’s National Award-winning singer-wife. “Rekhaji is like my mentor -- a parent figure who has always encouraged me. Everyone loved the demo, and getting her to sing was like the icing on the cake. She was super excited and bonded with everyone at the recording. I feel blessed,” exults Alokananda.

Prod her on whether she’d like to compose for any of Vishal’s forthcoming projects and she says, “It would be a dream, I’m completely awe-struck by Vishalji. I plan to meet him one of these days. Rekhaji has promised to put in a word. Let’s hope I can tune into something exciting soon.”

Buddhadeb Dasgupta has been approached by the cultural department of the Government of India, through NFDC, to recreate 13 of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems on the occasion of the Nobel laureate’s 150th birth centenary. Through real and surreal images, sound montage and the creative use of music, a three-part series is being designed by the National Award-winning director. Each short film will be about 20-30 minutes long, four of them packaged into one film, the first of which should be screened on TV in April, followed by a theatrical release.

Shooting is complete and Alokananda now plans to sit with her father and lock the tunes over the next three weeks. “As a father, he doesn’t cut me any slack. We’ve been back and forth, had innumerable brainstorming sessions, and now we’re almost there,” she admits.

Her father’s brief to her was: ‘I want your music with an essence of Tagore.’ She admits it was a daunting task because “you can recreate a period, but you can’t recreate Tagore’s works or impersonate him”. What made it easier was that while each episode is inspired by a Tagore poem, her father has given them his touch by setting them in real time and at universal locations, with a different ending.

First Published: Jan 17, 2012 13:29 IST