Taking Borgeet to a wider audience
Mitali Dey is a highly talented musician of the state who belongs to the young brigade of classical musicians, with hope and fire in their eyes to do something worthwhile in their musical pursuits. Born in Jorhat, the seeds of a musical career were sown in her infancy as her parents Mahim Bhatacharjee and Mrs. Monimola Bhatacharjee strived to maintain a music loving environment in their house which she found even with her in-laws. Her sister Maitri Adhyapok is also a trained musician and has supported Mitali in all her musical endeavours.
Mitali received her institutional training in Hindustani vocal in the Bishnu Jyoti Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Jorhat and completed her Sangeet-Visarad under the guidance of Smt. Minu Baruah of Jorhat and Sangeet-Nipun under the guidance of Shri Bidyut Mishra. Mitali continues to receive advanced learning in Hindustani vocal under the guidance of eminent vocalist, Smt. Mandira Lahiri while she has further honed her style by learning Gayaki from Smt. Ashwini Deshpande. After ensuring that her classical base is strong enough, Mitali had dared to venture into the field of regional traditional music which is almost nearing defunct. She recently gave a mesmerising performance of Borgeet in the Young Classical Musicians Conference held in Siliguri on December 30, 2007.
Talking about her Siliguri trip, Mitali says, “The Ragas and Talas used in Borgeet and Ankiya Geet are not akin either to the Hindustani or Carnatic music of India from the point of performance pattern. I had a hard time convincing the organisers to include Borgeet in a separate genre. The forty five minute performance received a lot of applause and a lot of people came forward wanting to know more about our traditional forms of music”. Mitali is a person who takes pride in her Asomiya heritage and traditions which can be gauged as she says, “I sing Borgeets because it is my duty as a Asomiya”.
Mitali received her training of Borgeet under Shri Murari M. Sarma and along with her Guru, has taken our traditional music to a larger audience, the latest being the Siliguri conference. Talking about experiences learning under her Guru, Mitali says, “Like Sankar-Madhab, ours too, is a Monikonchan-Xonjog. He is like my father and he has not just taught me Borgeeet but has taught me to love music. It is the sheer grace of God that I have found a Guru like him”.
A trained Satriya dancer, two of Mitali’s songs has been preserved in the archive of Shrimanta Shankardeva Kalakshetra, which speaks volumes about her musical prowess. The two songs had been composed by Murari Sarma and Bhaskarjyoti Ojha respectively. She is also a B-high approved radio and television artist in the categories of Bhajan, Borgeet and modern songs. Mitali released her first Borgeet album, Gokulo Sando in 2001, the music for which had been arranged by her Guru, Murari M Sarma. Two years later, she released her album of Raag Pradhan songs, under the inspiration of Mandira Lahiri. She says, “Six of the songs in the CD were recorded in Kolkata and people started taking the CD seriously, despite Raag Pradhan being on a downward slide”. Apart from that, she has lent her voice in numerous albums and recordings with other artists.
The artist has many successful concert performances across the country to her credit, including the ‘Brhaddesi Sangeet Mahotsav’, organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, Mitali has also accompanied Satriya dance performances in various festivals. She plans to take out another CD of Raag Pradhan in the future besides helping her sister Maitri Adhyapok, in their musical school, Saptak. It should be mentioned here that two major musical workshops on classical and folk music are held in the school every year in the month of July, which are graced by distinguished faculty members from across the country. Mitali balances her love for music as a home-maker for photographer husband, Prabhakar De and sons, Sajeev and Sattwik.