With its roots firmly planted in tradition, the unique Bongeets created by Bonkonwar Anandiram Das have been seeing a cultural revival of sorts in the State. These heartfelt songs, which spring from a beautiful blend of Bihu tunes with other native songs, resonated with the people, irrespective of age or musical preference. Among those handful of artistes who have been playing an important role in preserving and promoting these gems, is the State’s eminent singer Munindra Kumar Saikia, who is also an important member of Jubatirtha – a cultural organisation which has been organising workshops and seminars on Bongeets for a number of years now. His deep eagerness to learn and imbibe the various intricacies of Bongeets have stimulated him to record these songs, which extol Nature and reflect the feelings or emotions of the common people of the society.
After achieving immense success and appreciation with his albums – Toi Kun Birikhor Pakhi and Bhodiya Luitor Dhol, Munindra Kumar Saikia has returned yet again to his roots with his third Bongeet album – Xunor Xuleng, which was released by eminent music director Ramen Barua in a recently held function at the Guwahati Press Club. Musically arranged by noted music director Abhijit Barman, the eight songs in the album, including O’ aibar nuxunilu, Xunor phule kota, Aatoi mur Oniram, Katire Kuwali, Kote heruwalu, among others, with their own distinctive style and melody, have been skillfully rendered with a lot of feeling by Munindra Kumar Saikia and his better-half Dr Anamika Deka. Barman has incorporated modern instruments, wherever necessary, without diluting the purity of the songs.
Before the release of Xunor Xuleng, the traditional lamp was lighted by Arabinda Pathak, a prominent Bongeet exponent and preserver, before the portrait of Bonkonwar. It was followed by speeches on the achievements and contributions of Bonkonwar by Ramen Barua and other noted guests – singer Kula Barua, music directors Abani Ranjan Pathak, Atul Medhi and Abhijit Barman, Arabinda Pathak, among others. Arabinda Pathak noted that it’s extremely important that besides preservation and promotion, the purity of these songs is retained as well. Besides applauding the efforts of the singing couple, he appreciated Munindra Kumar Saikia for his tireless efforts in preserving and promoting the tradition of Bongeet. Saikia, who learnt these songs under the tutelage of Pathak, always keeps an open mind for the songs that could touch the hearts and souls of the listeners.
The album has been enriched by the contributions of several well-known musicians like Dilip Mazumdar, Simanta Barua, Tapan Das, Parameshwar Basumatary, Utpal Bora, Pradip Deka and Rajkumar Das. Xunor Xuleng is produced by Sanchita Saikia, under the banner of CDS Creation. Some of the songs are currently available on the YouTube.