Composer Debojyoti Mishra traces the pangs of partition through his memoir Ekoda Jahnabiteerey

The book is an ode to his father Jahnabi Ranjan Mishra
Debojyoti Mishra
Debojyoti Mishra

A man of many hats, Debojyoti Mishra is widely acknowledged as one of the finest contemporary Bengali music composers. His creative endeavours have never been just limited to regional peripheries, but travelled the nation and claimed fame through evergreen songs like Piya Tora Kaisa Abhiman from Raincoat and Bahu Manaratha from Memories in March, both helmed by Rituparno Ghosh.

This time, the composer has taken up his pen to scribble down memories from the past, especially the partition, which he somewhat believes is a part of a larger collective memory passed down through generations. Ekoda Jahnabiteerey, according to the composer, paints the perfect picture of every influence that has given shape to his creative perspective and outputs.

Some of the dominant motifs prevalent throughout the chapters of this book are inherited elements of culture and how they evolve through time, the impact of time and memory, transactional culture and literature beyond geographical, lingual and chronological boundaries.

“My book traces time and its impact on my literature. I have written this book as thoughts have come to me; hence it does not follow any specific, preconceived pattern. This is an ode to my late father, Jahnabi Ranjan Mishra through whose eyes I have explored and known many aspects of this world, since childhood. I have seen my parents carry the excruciating pain of letting go of one’s own identity, land, culture and most importantly memories to their deathbed. It’s a matter of fact that all of these have left its impact on whatever I continue to create till date ” shares Debojyoti.

The wordsmith has not only resorted to letters and sentences to express his thoughts in this book, but has taken up the paint brush to breathe life into some. The illustrations too, just like chapters are conceived in a free flowing manner. He has also scribbled down the influences of stalwarts like Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Salil Chowdhury and Rituparno Ghosh in the pages of this book. Debojyoti has worked as a violinist with Ray in the formative years of his career.

“Time has an inseparable significance on my thoughts, and I believe I am still carrying my roots from the other side of Bengal and the impact of partition through collective memory. Time has seen me, and my ancestors relocate from one place to the other numerous times, yet I still see a reflection of my paternal grandmother in my daughter even though they belong to different eras, have had different resources while growing up and are two starkly different individuals. This is exactly what binds my thoughts together in this book, where memory has made time stand still,” concludes Debojyoti.

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