Sunday, 16 January 2011

Alo Amar Alo and Anushka!

'Alo Amar Alo' is a very popular Tagore song which almost every Bengali has heard once in their life for sure. I learnt it when I was two and a half, probably this was the second song I learnt after 'Tomari Gehe Palichho Snehe'. Thanks to the school I went to, my orientation in Rabindrasangeet happened at a very early age, and the sixteen years of constant learning and practice in school left such an everlasting impact on me that no matter how many different genres of music I enjoy listening to, singing or playing, Rabindrasangeet is closest to my heart.

The point of writing today is not about my immense love for Tagore's poetry and music, but it is about my little Anushka's love for Alo Amar Alo. I have been terrible all these months as far as singing lullabies are concerned because I find them, well hmmm, not so good. So, I started playing music either on the ipod and put it on the dock or playing music on the computer. She enjoys Whitney Houston, earlier songs of Mariah Carey and a variety of other music. Then came a stage, when she was about 3 months, that she chose to sleep in my arms and I needed to hum a tune to make her sleep. And, without consciously choosing any particular song, I started humming and later singing Alo Amar Alo. 

Well, the consequence, even after 2 months, I need to sing this song for almost everything, when she is hungry or she is cranky or when she just wants to go to sleep. I sing at noon, at midnight, sometimes even at 6 in the morning, and it's the same song, Alo Amar Alo! She doesn't like it if I stop for a moment to catch a breath, such is her immense love for the song, and trust me when I say that my renditions are nothing less than croaking, but my daughter loves it! I have sung this song more number of times in the past 2 months than I have in my entire life; I'm a one-song jukebox!

The real magic in all this is that the song works every time. I don't know how to reason this or analyse this for an explanation. All I know is that such is the power of Tagore's music. Little did Tagore know that his songs will have such an impact not only on younger children but even on infants! What makes me very happy is that in the day and age of cheap sleazy bollywood music blaring away at top volumes, good pure music is still alive.