Growing up in Cal, Bangla Rock was infra-dig. They were the bands para pujos invited and the para chyangra's danced to. They were the bands who sang of a somewhat western angst, in an anglicized Bengali accent. They stood for music the 'vernac types' in college would listen to. The one's who'd probably call me tyansh. But the songs were always catchy. Nothing could beat the instant way you could relate to the lines sung in your own tongue. It was the music I'd only dare to admit to liking if I was trying to subvert a stereotype.
Later some of those bands became the most approachable people I'd speak to while working on a story that required quotes from public figures. They were also the ones we'd laugh at for saying corny things like "tumi ki hobey amar jadur dewaal" (I kid you not. the lead vocalist was introducing Wonderwall on the radio)
Now those songs have become the songs of nostalgia. Just like Bittersweet Symphony and college (and Save Tonight. and Scientist. and Hand In My Pocket and many many more that deserve another post) , Ekla Ghar is now synonymous with the many fests in college. Prithibi and Telephone are the songs that the 'seniors' gave to me. Phiriye dao is the song that made my Freshers eve.
The other day Jitz and I found ourselves singing along to Hasnuhana at Calcutta Club, a Bengali food joint in Oshiwara. "Shunshan fanka bypass-e/ Ar hridoyer circus-e/ Smriti deye dhuyo aar hashe," we sang along as we grinned at each other and dug into our fish fry and rye.
Now I press replay on the token Bangla rock number that I have on my phone - Ekla Ghar (I'd put more if only I knew people who had the songs). I don't hear the language often enough. And I don't mind being vernac anymore.
P.S Looks like am not alone. Another recently migrated friend confesses. "I often listen to these totally kelane bangla songs. Especially now that am outta cal."