Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Anjan Dutt calls Bela Bose on 2441139

I heard 2441139 by chance on the radio. While I feel shy to speak in Bangla, I understand a fair bit and this song was beyond marvellous. Listen to this song first, even if you don't understand Bangla. Listen first. I have given the English translation below...

Picture this. A yellow phone booth with loud, bold black letters reading STD, PCO, ISD. Or if you want, picture a coin-phone, the large rectangular black box that used to stand silently by paan shops and was witness to many a life-changing conversations of love and denial long before the cellphone bug hit. Have we got the imagery right? Now picture a youth dialling a number and asking for Bela Bose. Here's what he says...

I have got a job Bela, are you listening?
No one can stop us now.
You can send back that proposal
and tell mother you are not marrying.

I have indeed got a job.
Just a few more months (of wait)
They will pay 1100 now,
Confirm the job after three months...
Bela, why are you silent, why don't you say something?

Hello... 'Is that 2441139?'
Bela Bose are you listening?
I have got you after a dozen wrong numbers
I will not lose you now at any cost...

Hello... 2441139?'
Please call Bela Bose, just once.
Meter's running on this public telephone
this an important, very important matter...

This time our dreams will really come true
After all this long wait
We have spent many a days in dusty dingy cabins by the road
Waiting with heavy breaths...

Just a few more days Bela, then freedom.
That blue-walled house in Kasba (will be ours)
In this white-black, trouble-ridden, bitter-sweet city
(We will start) our colourful life...

I have got a job indeed
Those times of sobs, of brawls are gone now
Hello... Can you hear me or not?

Bela, why are you crying silently?
I have indeed got a job
Those times of sobs and brawls are gone
Hello... Can you hear me?

Hello? **** Hello?
2441139, 2441139

I feel Bela has accepted a proposal and is all set to marry...The call came too late. The song, for me, is an ode to young love in a middle-class Indian background that strives and strives to set things right.

I could write a lot more about this song, and two other favourites by Anjan Dutt.. But may be, on some other post.

PS My computer speakers don't work. Let me know if you find any other better video of this album..

Link of Bangla lyrics here