By Istiaque Ahmed
Sometimes, our trips to the countryside are extended. Gradually we start to miss the smell of the concrete, the jaundiced streetlights, the three wheeled mosquitoes, the melody of the traffic and so many things. Though we always complain about urban life in our exam scripts, it has its appeals. And for those who are standing with their evening tea in the balcony admiring the city, looking for the perfect city ballad, the song ‘tomay dilam’ by the popular Kolkata based Bengali band Moheener Ghoraguli is the perfect one.
Moheener Ghoraguli was established in the 70’s when commercial movie songs were in the reign. They were almost invisible in their times, but they gained huge critical response through their re-mastered album ‘aabar bochhor kuri pore (twenty years later)’ in 1995. This was a result of a reformation of the original group from 1981 by Subrata Ghosh. Ghosh is an admirer of Gautam’s music and later his bandmate. The lyrics and the composition of their leader Gautam Chattopadhyay were unconventional and ahead of their time. Their genre is known as Urban Folk and they were the underdog pioneers of the ‘jibonmukhi’ (life affirming) style and ethics. Often considered as India’s first rock band, their songs have been covered numerous times by famous bands like ‘Chandrabindu’, ‘Fossils,’ and, ‘Insomnia.’ The title of the band was inspired by a poem of Jibanananda Das named ‘ghora (horse).’
Most of their songs focus on the beauty of city life. The song ‘tomay dilam (for you)’ depicts the charms of the city of joy or Kolkata. It represented the city like no song ever did, and surely it will make the city lovers fall in love with their respected abode again and again.