Ramanando Bandopadhyay releases book on Upendrakishore at Samaj
Ramanando Bandopadhyay releases bookThe eminent illustrator Ramanando Bandopadhyay relased a book by Upendrakishore Roychowdhury - "Baharatiya Sangeet" at the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj on 12th May 2013. The programme was organized by Sutradhar and included famous personalities like Sri Anup Motilal - Director, Rabindra Teertha and Sri Debasis Mukhopadhyay - Sr. Librarian - Aajkal publications. Thgis book is a compilation of some ssays on Indian music by Upendrakishore. The book has been edited by theatre exponent - Debjit Bandyopadhyay, who was also present at the occassion. The book is accompanied by a CD containing the song "Jago Purabashi" sung by Bijoya Das, Suprobha Ray, Indulekha Ghosh and others. The recording was had from the eminent record collector - Sushanta Kumar Chattopadhyay.

Speaking at the occasion Ramanando Bandopadhyay mentioned that sometimes luminaries are born who enlighten us. To write for children necessitates that deep in one's heart one should bring out the child within. Upendrakishore's books Cheleder Ramayan, Cheleder Mahabharat were written especially for the young reader in mind - the child in him made things lucid for the young reader. If one looks at his works it can be seen that he has not aged. The artist is present through his drawing and his works. In this context Ray household had only one parallel in contemporary Bengal - the house of Tagore's which had the same vitality and versatility as the Ray household. When one reads the works of Upendrakishore, Sukumar & Satyajit - it seems that this is a confluence of three rivers - each one merging into the other. There was no artificiality in the writings of Upendrakishore.

Sri Debjit Badopadhyay pointed out that whenever we read about Upendrakishore - we are told of his works for children, but his musical genius often gets unnoticed. Uperndrakishore in his essays discussed the nuances of Hindusthani & European music. He played the harmonium and violin to perfection and also played the pakhawaj at the Samaj. These essays were previously published in Ramananda Chattiopadhyay's Prabashi. Upendrakishore had also translated three of Tagore's songs into English which was published in the book "Music of Hindusthan".

Sri Anup Motilal mentioned that Upendrakishore was a gem of the Bengal Renaissance. At that time the Dhrupadi sangeet was not famous and we had the predominance of the Bishnupur gharana. It was upto Rammohun who composed the Brahmosangeet based on Dhrupad in 1815, but Hindusthani music was not yet evident in Bengal. The Tagore household and the sons of Devendranath Tagore started composing on Dhrupad. The Brahmo Samaj opened the doors of music and Dhrupad based songs flourished between 1860 to 1885. Upendrakishore was a product of that age. They have handed down a leagacy which we cannot forget.

Sri Debasis Mukhopadhyay spoke at length on Upendrakishore's printing abilities. He was an artist and we know how he made the sketch of Mr. Eden when he was visiting the school of Upendrakishore, and he was just an young boy. He was a prodigy at that age. During his college days Upendrakishore along with Hemendrakumar Bose (of Kuntalin fame) delved into research in photography. Upendrakishore started his own studio at his home in Cornwallis Street and started researching on improving the quality of printing. Though the standard available at that time was 175 dots per line Upendrakishore managed to tweak it to 133, 150, 240 and 266 dots per line - thus far improving the quality of printing. He even had to fight a lawsuit against his fellow countrymen who did not believe what he had done. Upendrakishore went at length to explain the knowledge that he had gathered by sheer perseverance. His ideas were patented by an Englishman in 1902, but his technique had so many flaws that Upendrakishore corrected them in 1903. All these had been published in the Penrose Annual. Upendrakishore never thought to profit by his knowledge, but being a true Brahmo he wanted to impart his knowledge for the benefit of mankind. He discovered the gadget - automatic screen adjustor which was being given out by Penrose without even acknowledging the inventor.

The songs were sung by Sayan Bandopadhyay.