Chandrabindoo Rocks the Stage at Barnali

                                                    Photo: Biren Das Biswas

Photo: Biren Das Biswas

By Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: It was a nice surprise and utter delight for the Houston Bengali crowd to experience and enjoy the music of Bangla band Chandrabindoo at their favorite haunt, the Durgabari auditorium the evening of July 18. It was part of the Tagore Society of Houston’s (TSH) annual Barnali event.

Coincidentally, the onset of Chandrabindoo’s international music journey 25 years ago happened in Houston and they’ve come a full circle with several accolades under their belt and a lot of nostalgic memories.

Local Bengali talent took the stage for the first part of the evening. Popular Bengali and Hindi songs to tracks were sung by Sharmishtha Kolay in her sweet voice and Dipayan Bhattacharya in his soothing baritone. The opening dance number to a Rabindra Sangeet by a very cute threesome of very young dancers trained by Shrabana Biswas drew oohs and aahs from the crowd. The dynamic sister duo Rukmini and Shalini Das performed a Bharatnatyam-Kuchipudi-Odissi fusion medley met with a loud applause by the appreciative audience. Monali Das Biswas’ modern dance interpretation of “Main to piya se naina ladi re”, was very energetic and beautifully choreographed and executed. Swati Roy Choudhury’s encouraging emceeing brought the best out in all the artists.

Shalini and Rukmini Das                          Photo: Biren Das Biswas

Shalini and Rukmini Das; Photo: Biren Das Biswas

In the foyer, Chandana Guha with her array of mouth watering pulao, aloor dum, vegetable chop, tandoori chicken, tomato chutney and Chhanar polao attracted hungry customers and everyone was ever so grateful for the thoughtful food stall. Lasagna and bread pudding for the kids also disappeared in no time.

While Chandrabindoo geared up to rock the stage, Ruma Acharya, president TSH presented special recognition awards to Neeta Shetkar, Partha Chatterjee, Jayanta and Sailaja Bandyopadhyay, Partha Ghoshal and Shibir Chaudhuri for their contributions to TSH.

Chandrabindoo                                          Photo: Arpita Chatterjee

Chandrabindoo; Photo: Arpita Chatterjee

Now, it was time to let the hair down, relax and enjoy the music of Chandrabindoo. They got the audience into the mood by starting off with the evergreen Bengali rendition of Sound of Silence, “Mounamukharata”. Then followed one popular hit after the other. With the audience egging them on, they were unstoppable with “Paashbaalish, Rickshawallah, Jhilmil Raat, Aamra Bangali Jati”. They connected so well with audience that the requests kept pouring in and they were in quite a predicament trying to please everyone. The crowd was on a nostalgic trip back to their college days and the group of Anindya, Upal, Arup, Rajshekhar, Surajit and Shibabrata obliged by belching out their favorite songs. Some of the band members had also reconnected with some of their old friends in Houston and in a special gesture invited Rajesh Bose, former band member, a local Houstonian now, to join them on stage. He got to sing the last song, “Gaan Bhalobeshe Gaan” along with the audience. The band got the crowd on to their feet. While some in the audience sang, some clapped to the beat, others danced. They left fond memories behind with the audience wanting more. This will be a night to remember for a long time to come.