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Mohan Singh is not just a Rabindrasangeet exponent, he is a classical expert

12 May, 2020 22:22:54
Home / Mohan Singh is not just a Rabindrasangeet exponent, he is a classical expert
Mohan Singh is not just a Rabindrasangeet exponent, he is a classical expert

Bengalis love to listen to Mohan Sigh’s rendition of Rabindrasangeet. Surprisingly, he gave up his surname Khangura and most Bengalis identify with his gayaaki, rather than his surname. For more than 25 years, thus Mohan Singh has built a niche for himself amidst the Bengali audience. One particular song needs to be mentioned in this context --- Ke dilo abaar aghaat amar duarey/ E nishit kale ke ashi darale, khunjite ashiley kaharey (Who knocked at my door, this night who came and stood outside, who are you searching for).

Rabindranath Tagore had composed this song in Kaharba taal and Kedara raag in 1895. This song was sung by Mohan Singh and many other artists including Debabrata Biswas, Suchitra Mitra, Prithwish Dasgupta and Chinmay Chattopadhyay. But in Mohan Singh’s gayaaki, this song reached a different level altogether. Bengali audience accepted him more as a Rabindrasangeet exponent, rather than a classical singer. But why? Mohan Singh himself believes it is the subject matter that has changed the perspective of Bengali music lovers. Though the singer did several classical music programmes over the years, even at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture at Golpark or at Swami Vivekananda’s house at Shimle para in North Kolkata. He was even allowed to sit on Swamiji’s grandfather’s bed. And Mohan Singh was mesmerized. He sang kheyal and Dhrupad songs.   

Mohan Singh believes the Bengali audience loves typifying the songs into genres and also stamps a singer into categories. Despite being a classical singer, hence Mohan Singh to the Bengali audience remained as a Rabindrasangeet exponent only. They failed to appreciate his classical style. He got cliched as a Rabindrasangeet singer and Rabindrik in his style. 
But Mohan Singh doesn’t mind in calling himself Rabindrik, for he had felt the true essence of Tagore’s numbers and being in association of a stalwart like Santidev Ghosh from the beginning his understanding of Rabindrasangeet had reached a different height. Yet, none ever tried to fathom the classical side of singer Mohan Singh. 

Transcribed from an original interview of Mohan Singh Khangura taken by Arpita Chatterjee

Story Tag:
  • Mohan Singh Khangura

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