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SauravC says

Dikshit Says


Calcutta CoupDate : Sunday 1st October, 2000
Time : 11.00 a.m. onwards
Place: Nilangshu Haldar's place, Calcutta

NilangshuSome things are best left to journalists. Well done SauravC. Reading your write-up had the effect of rewind and continuous playback of the day of the Calcutta Coup. Your description leaves very little for me to say, so instead of writing my own account of the day, I will just add something here and there to your write-up and hope it serves some purpose. scroll down and read between the lines....

From: Saurav Chakrabarti <>

A train sans brakes … I am, frankly speaking, confused to the d.

Let's follow the safest route: chronological description. So here it is.

I, with my sister, reached Nilangshu's place around 10:30,

11 a.m. my dear SauravC.

hoping to be the first one to arrive. But, there he was standing… there I was standing in front of a 6 feet plus figure who called himself Dikshit Arya, stayed bang opposite Nilangshu's house and knew virtually everything about the maestro's compositions without having any formal training in music whatsoever.

Well, not just RDB's compostions. Dixit has so far answered all my queries about pre-RDB era with great confidence, authority and accuracy.

Within an hour's span we had a full house with Tublu (a superb tabla player who shares his nickname with RDB,… Souvik Srimany (this guy started travelling at 4 pm the previous day from a deep jungle in Orissa, came to Bhubaneswar via road to catch the train, undertook an overnight journey to land up just in time for the Calcutta coup (and he is the one whose train's brakes failed after which he hopped into a local train lest he misses out on the coup).

Yes, I made out his passion for RDB the first time he came to see me. He was quite thrilled to bits that there were people with the same degree of lunacy all over the world.

BTW, Tublu (a.k.a. Sourangshu) is a lawyer by profession.

Yes, Tublu, my nephew, was shaping up extremely well as a performer of Classical music - the pressures of his profession has put a hold on his music for the last couple of years. It is very difficult to catch him on any day except rare Friday evenings. God knows how many conferences with seniors he wriggled out of to spend an entire day with us for RDB.

And of course, how could one forget Nabanita Mukherjee,… Finally, came Bappa and Susmita (Nilangshu's cousin and cousin's wife), both Panchamaniacs. Bappa was insistent, after tolerating our scrooning histrionics and helping Madhumita with the video recording, that we sing Bhaago bhoot aaya!

Sushmita's mother is a fully trained Classical vocalist, at one time vying with Kishori Amonkar for center-stage. She has trained Sushmita well, and Sushmita sings Rabindrasangeet and Nazrulgeeti. Her training stands her in good stead to sing the compositions of RDB. Probably her voice was less audible because there was only one mic - but she is fantastic as well. My cousin Bappa's messing up of the words make me wonder if it is a family trait. He's of course confused Jago Sonewalo from Bhoot Bangla into Bhaago Bhoot Aaya :-))).

The pre-lunch session had a general discussion on RD… there was Souvik Srimany, the person responsible for keeping the RD beat alive even in the deep jungles of Orissa. With him came a cassette full of Oriya numbers of RD. I am sure, not many of us are proud owners of that. Instantly the cassette found its place in the deck of Nilangshu and we were proof to the fact that the only language of music was music. It was sheer magic, pure RD style.

Souvik visited me in the 2nd week of September. He saw Nerurkar's book for the first time then. Copied down the details of the Oriya numbers and promised to get it when he came for the Coup, just two weeks away. I didn't think he'd be able to manage it. Next time I'll believe anything which emerges out the jungles - Tarzan, Veerappan, whoever, whatever. I can't even imagine how he managed it, but he did. Thanks a million for the wonderful gift, Sovik.

A Biryani-Cha(m)p-firni lunch over, we sat down to the real session of the coup. What followed was 5 delicious hours of non-stop musical magic courtesy all of those present. Nilangshu on the guitar, Tublu on the tabla and maraccus, Nabanita-boudi and Susmita on the vocals and myself chipping in with whatever energy I had.

I think SauravC got his energy after SouravM defaulted. He's underplayed his own contribution here, but he led the way here. This is the happiest I've ever seen anyone be after losing his crown.

Frankly speaking, I have never enjoyed life more. … Around seven in the evening, when we were taking a well-deserved break, came Badal Babu, with his wife Mili (one of the closest friends of Asha Bhosle), his daughter Doel (RD used to think of her as a daughter and she is one of those rare ones to have been trained by the maestro himself), her husband and two daughters. With them were, two albums with the rarest of the rare photographs of RD the human being, RD the friend and RD the musician.

We sang in front of them as well,…

Yes : SauravC sang Bade Acche Lagte Hai for Badalbabu & Co. to great appreciation. Prompted Mrs. Badal (Mili Boudi) to volunteer to sing. She sang Monay Pawray Ruby Ray. To wriggle out of a singing situation, I had to play something for them on my keyboards. This is the closest I've come to actually playing for RDB. It was an emotional moment to play something for the people RD loved - and, I hessitate to mention, wasn't let down by.

…and Badal Babu narrated a few incidents… I must say what his daughter Doel told us: "Baba, never goes to any parties. I was quite surprised when he said he would be coming today. If only Rahul kaka was alive."

Doel had on a previous occasion mentioned her surprise at so much passion for her Rahulkaka's music. He had told them that his work will get appreciated and recognised when he's no more.

We lack words to thank them… But one sad thing of the entire event was Sourav M's inability to make it along with his friend Subhodeep Gupta (of Music Kitchen fame). He had some emergency to attend in Mumbai and so could not join us. The result: The original Lahiri title being snatched away from me!

Knowing SauravC as well I do, it's probably only a matter of time before SouravM is made to feel insecure from known quarters.

To cut the long story short, I have never realised the truth of the adage 'Every day is not a Sunday' more.

Thanks SauravC for your invaluable role as the human Fevicol™ in masterminding the coup. And for this write-up.

Thanks to all once again for making it happen.


P.S. - To read the original mail of SauravC, click on SauravC says