Just as if the right amount of spice is added to the cooking, it becomes delicious, similarly, Salil Chowdhury, the magician of melody, used to give the right level of melody, rhythm, and sound in his songs, so his songs remained in the hearts of people, and still do. Salil Chowdhury is an artist who has broken and developed his music many times. Again the same song is sung in different ways by different artists.
Just as Salil Chowdhury has moved from folk music to modern Bengali music, the number of Bengali and Hindi films he has composed are also iconic hits.
There is one such Bengali film composed by Salil Chowdhury, which does not exist today. The film is discussed in cinema halls, many viewers want to see it, but the film from almost 36 years ago is no longer found. The film ‘Jeevan’ released in 1986.
Tapas Pal was in the role of hero life. Salil Chowdhury’s music and words were all wonderful songs. But ‘Jeevan’ film has been deleted from the history of Bengali films. Due to lack of print maintenance, there is no opportunity to see the film today.
Jeevan was a film based on the story of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Hindi film Anand. Ardhendu Chatterjee directed the film in Bengali language. Salil Chowdhury was the music director of both the films.
Rajesh Khanna’s character was played by Tapas Pal in ‘Jeevan’. Tapas’ performance as a cancer patient was no less than Rajesh Khanna’s. Tapas’ poignant performance was brought to life not by imitation, but by individuality. It was also one of Tapas’ best performances, which the audience didn’t get to see.
The talented actress Mahua Roychowdhury played the role of the heroine in the film. Mahua’s performance also captivated everyone. Especially after the death of Tapas in the role of life, the audience also cried to see Mahua breaking down in tears on Tapas’ chest. Ayan Banerjee played a prominent role in the film. Amitabh Bachchan’s character is also played by Chiranjith. Devashree Roy played a small role of the lover of life in a special role. Also there were Uppal Dutta and Ravi Ghosh. It is heard that Prosenjit also acted in this film, in a small role.
The use of music in the film was excellent. Two famous non-Bengali artistes of the eighties, Suresh Wadikar and Bhupinder Singh, sang those inimitable songs to the tune of Salil Chowdhury. Suresh sang the song ‘Shu taal ar gan bhagchechi for only you. Even though the Bengali was strained, I could hear his sweet voice.
This was the most hit song of the film. But this song later became a bigger hit with the vocals of Salil’s daughter Antara Chowdhury on Basic Records. Non-Bengali ghazal artiste Bhupinder Singh sang the Bengali song, ‘Je poonada na hai sandhya ghanaya’.
Also, legendary artiste Manna Dey also sang ‘Jani Na Phim Na’ to the tune of Salil Chowdhury in this film. Dwijen Mukhopadhyay and Savita Chowdhury sang a duet, ‘If you don’t come, love it’.
The film also featured a poignant Rabindra song in the voice of Dwijen Mukhopadhyay, ‘Peyche chhu vide deh bhai’. The song along with the subject of the film struck a chord.
The film ‘Jeevan’ did not run in theaters for more than a few weeks. So very few people got the chance to see the film. Later, the film was shown once or twice on Kolkata Doordarshan. But later this picture did not come forward.
Mahua Roychowdhury passed away in 1985. Jeevan was released in 1986 after Mahua’s death. Mahua’s two other films ‘Anurag Chowya’ and ‘Ashirwad’ were superhits that year, but for whatever reason, ‘Jeevan’ did not take off. Maybe it was not popular because it was a tragedy film. But ‘Anand’ was a super hit in Hindi.
This color image is no longer available. A timeless creation of Salil Chowdhury did not get the respect it deserved in the audience only due to lack of publicity. Even the cassette of Jeevan’s song was not released at that time. The strong performance of a bunch of stars of the colorful Bengali film era, with good songs, the film has been buried in the depths of time.
‘That joy was gradually mixing in my blood,’ observed Kishore Soumitra on August 15, 1947, visiting Calcutta.