First there were theme pujas and now come the theme songs to attract more visitors to Durga Puja pandals in the city, which is on the throes of being immersed in the five-day long festivities.
Top composers, singers and DJs of Bengali film industry have recorded custom-made Puja music for various organizers in the city this year.
The trend for theme songs in Durga Puja started in 2011 and even West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has penned the theme song for a well-known community puja, Suruchi Sangha like last year.
Her song this year ‘Prithibi Ektai Desh’ (the world is one country) talks about universal brotherhood, harmony and peace.
The music for the song is composed by composer Jeet Ganguly and has been sung by playback singer Palak Muchhal. The video has been directed by cine director Kaushik Ganguly with creative inputs by Churni Ganguly.
Suruchi Sangha patroniser state Youth and Sports Minister Aroop Biswas said “Last year also Mamata Banerjee had composed the theme song for our club Suruchi Sangha. The song was huge hit. This year too we have got a huge response.”
“Theme songs add value to a particular Durga Puja.There is a huge competition among all organisers. So in order to excel you have to do something better and bigger. That’s where the idea of theme songs for Durga Puja came up,” Biswas told PTI.
Jeet said he felt honoured to compose the music of the theme song penned by Banerjee. “The song has the theme of universal brotherhood, peace and secularism and I think people will be able to connect with it.” He had composed the music for the theme song for the club last year too.
Theme songs have been recorded by other big organisers of Durga Puja like Chetla Agragami, Bosepukur-Talbaga, Sreebhumi Sporting Club, Tollygunge Udyan Club and Selimpur Naskarpara.
Organisers of some of the pujas have themselves lent their voices to their respective theme songs. Most of the puja organisers will play their theme songs on loudspeakers for the visitors to hear.
For Naktala Udayan Sangha, which is patronized by State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, the theme song is being sung by singer Surojit and Sayan Ghosh. The theme of the puja is inner value.
“The theme song these days are integral part of Durga Puja. Just like theme based pujas, theme songs are also an important part of Puja,” Chatterjee told PTI.
The theme song of Hindusthan Club this year is called ‘Parar Gaan’ (Song of the Neighbourhood). It has been penned by senior TMC leader Chandrima Bhattacharya and music is composed by Debaditya Chaudhury.
TMC MLA Sujit Bose, who is Sreebhumi Sporting Club puja organiser, said “This year we have incorporated theme song in our Durga Puja. We hope to receive a good response.”
One of the organisers of this big budget puja said theme songs have picked up in the past two to three years. “The tradition of music albums during Durga Puja has declined over the years. So it was decided that Durga puja committees on their own will organize the theme songs.”
Echoing him, a puja organiser of south Kolkata, an area known to have more theme pujas, said, “Durga Puja has always been a time when we have traditionally seen so many melodious compositions over the years. Now things have changed and puja organisers are themselves using theme songs to make their Durga Puja more attractive.”
The theme songs are released as audio CDs 15-20 days ahead of Durga Puja and are also uploaded on Youtube.
Some of the clubs who cannot afford to pay for topnotch musicians and singers, opt for local singers and have DJs to compose the theme song for their clubs.
“We have taken help of a DJ who performs in one of the night clubs in Kolkata and a local singer for our theme song. Since the theme is folk-based, the music too will be in tune with it. The music will incorporate the traditional dhaak to ring in the Puja feeling,” said yet another puja organiser.