Parjaay: Swadesh (22)
Written on: 1886
Collection: Gaaner Bohi
Notation by: Indira Debi Chowdhurani / Sarala Debi
Notes: The second National conference of the National Congress was held at Calcutta from 28th to 30th December 1886.
This song was written for the occasion. Several references are made in a number of contemporary writings.
In a letter to Pulin Bihari Sen the poet himself had made a note of this.
... Raising voice at one time was a process of gaining favours from the government. One evening a conference was scheduled. An invitation was sent for me through a messenger who was known to me. Despite my vehement opposition he continued pressurising me and expressed how unsuccessful it be there without me. The almighty did not provide me the strength enough to defend an opposition however legitimate may it be. I had composed the following song just before going there... 'Aamay Gaahite Bolo Na...' . It was far from a pleasant situation after the song was sung. People present in the conference was not happy at all. ...
It finds a mention in Pitri-smriti (page11) by Rathindranath -
...The congress was being held in Calcutta that year. From different states national leaders have come in and their furious yet vague lectures flew in all directions for couple of days from the stage of the congress. Mr Taraknath Mallick intended to throw a dinner party for the dignified leaders. To congratulate each other was his desire. Not only he did invite my father for the party but a special request was sent to sing songs for the amusement of the leaders. Gagan-dada along with two of his brothers too were invited. They had a consultation and decided to attend the party with an entirely native attire on, that means 'dhuti-chaador'. It is not hard to assume how it had ridiculed the foreign-minded Congress leaders to digest the presence of these native Bangali babus with 'dhuti-chaador'. My father could presume the situation on how it would be like at the British-styled dinner party -he was the least interested to sing at this alien ambience. He was visibly disturbed while boarding the coach.
He was asked to sing a song between the lectures after the dinner was over. He presented the song 'Aamay Bolo Na Gaahite ...'.
Everyone looked shell-shocked. The party turned out to be an utter disappointment. Dejected delegates left the party one by one. ...
...In Gharoa, a memoir written by Abanindranath Tagore too has mentioned about the same incident -
In a party we were invited. Which dress to put on! Rabi-kaka was prompt to decide - Come on with 'Dhuti-chaador'. We did it accordingly, Punjabi sleepers with curling toe as footwear. Now bare feet must be looking awkward. Rabi-kaka had put on socks - we too came up with socks in no time. Well, now it looks fine. It was like a barbarian practice those days for not having your feet covered with socks. Rabi-kaka, my elder brother (Gaganendranath), Samar-dada (Samarendranath) and myself were dressed in gay and prepared for the party. We had a lot uneasiness concerned for the nature of greeting we would face when we presented ourselves in our traditional attire. A little while after we had started Rabi-kaka got rid of his pair of socks, tossed them aside. He suggested, what for the socks are, remove them, we need to be there in a typical national costume. We were quick to follow - immediately taking off the socks inside the coach. We had emerged there while the party was at its best. Everyone present appeared serious and tight lipped. Many of them were or family friends. But all looked away from us. ... It had annoyed them, we had knew it later on, they had commented, what an unsophistication, what a deliberation, appearing in front ladies in native dress, that too bare feet, without socks etc etc. We were nicknamed as National dress. After a period of time it is observed that it has been accepted widely. Even people with foreign exposure have gradually got accustomed to 'Dhuti'. ...
Aamai bolo na gahite bolo na.
Eki shudhu hasi khala, promoder mela, shudhu michekatha chalona?
Eje nayaner jal, hatasher shawas, kolonker katha, dardrer aash,
Eje buk- phata dukhe gumariche buke gabhir marambedona.
Eki shudhu hasi khala, promoder mela, shudhu michekatha chalona?.
Esechi ki heta jasher kanali katha gnethe gnethe nite kartali--
Miche katha koye, miche jash laye, miche kaje nishijapon!
Ke jagibe aaj, ke karibe kaaj, ke ghuchte chahe jananir lajj--
Kator kandibe, mayer paye dibe sakal praner kamona?
Eki shudhu hasi khala, promodder mela, shudhu michekatha chalona.
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