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Bahu Manorathe Saju Abhisare

July 11, 2014 | By

The song is marvelously penned down in a broken dialect (of Sanskrit, Hindi, Maithili, Brajabuli and Bangla) and allows one to find resemblances with Bhanusingher Padabali.

Bahu manorathe saju abhisare pahinu sunil bes
Kajaro nayane salaja bayane kusume sajano kes
Sakhi hum, Mohana abhisare jau
Bolo hum, etak sukh kaha pau…


Sakhi hum, kabahu na abhisare jau
Dukhara, etak saha nahi pau.

and at the end…

Phir aaju Mohana abhisare jau
Sakhi hoi, etak dukh kaha pau…

This song of the genre of Radha’s Maan-Abhiman soliloquies about disheartening acts of Krishna, who fails in responding to her in time when she is waiting for love from him.

This has been aptly used in the background of a scene in the film Memories In March. Why only aptly, much more than so… as it reveals more than adequately about the relation of love between Ornob (Rituparno Ghosh) and his gay partner (Siddhartha), who has been killed in a car crash. Ornob’s inner soul cannot cope with the fact that his lover is no more, instead his feeling of untimely rejection by Siddhartha leaving him behind is more comparable to what Radha feels about Krishna while failing to his commitments of meeting her but keeping her waiting for ever. And, here the magical use of the song “Bahu manorathe” (adorably sung by Subhamita Banerjee and scored by Debojyoti Mishra) creates the perfect background score to suit the situation.

The film, though directed by Sanjoy Nag, reveals an immense influence of Rituparno the film maker. The screenplay, dialogues and lyrics are done by Rituparno. I cannot resist taking my hat off to him for showing the understanding of Vaishnavism, and also for making use of the sect’s philosophy of eternal love between Radha and Krishna in the whole narration in an extremely covert way.

When I started recollecting my studies in Vaishnav Padas, devotional songs and philosophic discourses I was amazed getting an understanding of the sect’s particular style of worshipping in Radha-bhav. Male devotees often worship Lord Sri Krishna as their Swami (Master, Lover or Husband) even adorning themselves in feminine dresses and ornaments to internally feel as a devoted Gopika or Radha. Ample evidences are found here and there, in literature and even today in the temples of Dwarka and Mathura-Vrindavan.  Some believed that Gauranga also worshipped Krishna in Radha-bhav.

I strongly feel that Rituparno based his screenplay centering on this devotional philosophy, moving much higher above the mundane appeal and attraction between two souls, fortunately or unfortunately a gay couple, in Memories In March. Now, one may get irked by the mere thought of comparing Radha-Krishna love with that between a gay couple, especially in our times when we are becoming more and more intolerant and irrational about religious issues which we consciously or subconsciously feel touchy about. But after all, art is for art’s sake, and cannot be guided by any religious dictum so to say.

Going back again on the song with which I started my observation, the song is marvelously penned down in a broken dialect (of Sanskrit, Hindi, Maithili, Brajabuli and Bangla) and allows one to find resemblances with Bhanusingher Padabali (Verses of Bhanusingha written by Rabindranath Tagore). ‘Bahu manorathe’ reflects a combination of moods of Bhanusingha’s ‘Shawana gagane ghor ghanoghata’ and at the same time ‘Marana re tuhun mamo Shyama saman’. Why? As this song brings out both the urge of Radha’s meeting the lover Krishna (Bahu manorathe saju abhisare…) and the feeling of her heart-break (Sakhi hum, kabahu na abhisare jau… Dukhara, etak saha nahi pau) in the same go.

Bahu Manorathe (Memories in March) Debojyoti Mishra / Rituparno Ghosh / Subhamita Banerjee

However, if I say worship of Lord Krishna in Radha-bhav is somewhere providing a religious sanction of love between two souls beyond gender stereotypes, will that be rude or a bolt out of the blue?

More to read

Alor Pipasa (Thirst for the Awakening)

The Mystical Mujra of Lekin: Joothe Naina Bole

Meethe Bol Bole, Bole Paayaliya – A Sparkling Jugalbandi of Music and Dance

A freelancer consulting Social Development Specialist, Debasish works in large-scale infrastructure development projects in India and abroad as well. An Anthropologist turned Regional Planner Debasish (Shibaji) is fond of several activities from writing travelogues to cooking, from sketching, painting, photography to dress designing, embroidering to choreographing. Whenever he feels, in the early mornings or dead of nights, he sits with doing something creative that is so close to his heart.
All Posts of Debasish Bhattacharya

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8 thoughts on “Bahu Manorathe Saju Abhisare

  • Lopa Banerjee

    I thank you for sharing your valuable insights on this! I can’t comment about those who didn’t understand the essence of this article, but it appealed to me immensely because it is written in a very aesthetic and informed way. Thanks again. best, Lopa.

  • Debasish Bhattacharya

    Your encouraging comments are inspirational. These appreciations always keep me going. I would request you to check my post on Alor Pipasa, a Bangla movie……. a quarry of gems (of songs)….. It was made when I was a toddler but saw this a few months back. I loved it so much that I thought of sharing my feelings for the songs from my own point of view with whatever nominal musical background I have. Antara Nanda Mandal has worked hard in editing and uploading some beautiful numbers from the film to add value to my article.

  • Neha Biswas

    Loved this detailed document about one of my most favourite songs. This song and the movie is so close to my heart and I’m amazed to witness how beautifully the song is used to portray a gay relationship where in the eyes of the society lord Krishna and Radha resembles as a heterosexual couple.
    But this imitation shows love is love, it has no boundaries and no gender.

  • Debasish Bhattacharya

    Dear Ms. Neha,

    It is a reward to me when I see such a comment of appreciation from you. It took me down the memory lane four years back and found that it is as fresh as ever, watching the movie, listening to the songs and passionate scribbling my feelings out as an anecdote.

    Thank you once again. Stay safe and happy within the four walls of your home in these hard times.

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