The unsung hero of Bengali modern songs - Gautam Chattopadhyay

Gautam Chattopadhyay is the pioneer of modern Bangla songs, jibonmukhi songs. He and his Moheener Ghoraguli is almost forgotten by Bengalis.

Moheener Ghoraguli was a Bengali music group established in Kolkata by Gautam Chattopadhyay, famous as Monida in 1970's with different taste of Bengali music. They tried to combine baul, Bengali folk, rock music in their music. This was the golden era of Bengali music and dominated by Bengali film songs and pujar gaan. At that time Moheener Ghoraguli was not popular at all. Long after the 70's, in 1995 Gautam Chattopadhyay came out with 'Aabaar Bochhor Kuri Pore'. Thwas the beginning of what is known as 'jibonmukhi gaan' at present. They are the actual pioneers of Bangla Band. The song 'Prithibita Naki' has become a popular one many years after it was released. Many Bangla Bands sing this song today, ven a Hindi film has used it's Hindi version.

Initially the musical group was known as 'Saptarshi', finally they settled with the name Moheener Ghoraguli. The theme of their song were very uncommon, specially for that time. At that time Bangla songs were dominated by Manna Dey, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, Shyamal Mitra, Manabendra Mukherjee, Arati Mukherjee and so many famous Bengali singers. Composers like Salil Chouhury, lyrics written by Gouriprasanna Majumder had a tremendous impact in Bengali music at that time. Moheener Ghoraguli tried with different taste of music. They dealt with current events of the society like politics, injustice etc. People were not accustomed with that type of songs at that time. They failed to gain fan base.

They tried for their existence upto 1981 but failed. Again in late 80's Moheener Ghoraguli started it's journey. This time they got success. During this period some famous compositions like "Prithibi ta naki", "telephone", "bangalee Korachoo" were created. . In 1994 Monida got first ever Bangla Vedio Gaan assignment from Kolkata Doordarshan. The came out with a cassette album Abar Bochhor Kuri poray - compiled by Mohiner Ghoraguli.
Moheener Ghoraguli started to gain popularity slowly specially in Bengal and in Bangladesh. Number of new compositions were released. But Gautam's sudden death in 1999 stopped every thing. He died of a heart attack.

The entire new generation of budding musicians mourned his untimely death and a tribute album Moni chara shunno laage was released.

At present time Bangla band or so called 'jibonmukhi gaan' is popular in Bengal. Kabir Suman, Nachiketa, Anjan Dutta, Rupam Islam, Lopamudra has given momentum to these type of songs. Gautam Chattopadhyay is now behind the curtain. People forget every thing very quickly.

Ranjan Ghoshal, Abraham Mazumdar were with with Gautam Chattopadhyay during his struggle days, tried to revive the sentiment two or three years back. The experience was not at all encouraging. Number of small Bangla Bands claims to be the original heir of Moheener Ghoraguli.

More articles: Gautam Chattopadhyay


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