Kamanur Jaman

Jalangi, Murshidabad

Your Conscience-Center has Caught Rust (Amader Maatir Model Radio Ta)

Our radio modelled of clay (1)

Needs to be shown to the great Maker

For, (O mortal!) Your conscience centre has caught rust. (x 2)



(This) your body-transistor has many centres (x 2)

Yet, the medium registers only the hubris of intellect.
You have fermented your mind, you have spent your days (x 2)

(O crazy mind!) wearing paints- covered and exposed.



(O mortal!) Your conscience centre has caught rust.

In our three-band set, tune the aerial of diligence

And with ‘one-two’ change the conscience-band (x 2) 
Each hundred virtues the meter records (Hear! Hear!) (x 2)

(O crazy mind!) And the radio emits a melodious tune. 


(O mortal!) Your conscience centre has caught rust.



(Now) recharge your battery at the guru-centre

And sitting at home, you will hear the mellifluous music 

Of you mind-song; (x 2)

So says Abbas- uddin (2), on that day you will hear music

Even with the switch changed from ‘on’ to ‘off’.



(O mortal!) Your conscience centre has caught rust.


(1)  A likely reference to the human body.

(2) This song is likely composed by Abbas-Uddin Ahmed (1901-59) who was a Bengali folk-song composer and singer born in British India. He was known for his folk songs, particularly the Bhawaiya form of folk music, popular in the Rangpur district of Northern Bangladesh and in Cooch Behar in North Bengal.

Translator – Parjanya Sen

আমাদের মাটির মডেল রেডিওটা
আগে দেখাও একবার মেকারে,
জং ধরেছে মানুষ তোমার বিবেক সেন্টারে (২)।

(এই যে) তোমার দেহ ট্র্যানসিসটার, তাতে আছে কত সেন্টার, (২), মিডিয়ামে ধরে শুধু বুদ্ধির
অহঙ্কার। (ওরে) মন মজালি দিন কাটালি (২)(পাগল মন)ঢাকা খোলা রং পরে
জং ধরেছে মানুষ তোমার বিবেক সেন্টারে।

আমাদের থ্রি-ব্যান্ডের সেটে, নিষ্ঠার এরিয়ালেতে,
বিবেক ব্যান্ড চেঞ্জ করে দাও ওয়ান-টুর সাথে। (ওরে) শত গুনে মিটার ওঠে (২) (পাগল
মন) বাজবে সে মধুর সুরে।
জং ধরেছে মানুষ তোমার বিবেক সেন্টারে। 

(এবার) গুরু-সেন্টারে ব্যাটারি লও না চার্জ করে, ঘরে বসে শুনবি মন-গান সুমধুর সুরে (২)
বলছেন আবাসুদ্দিন, শুনবি সেদিন, (২) (পাগল মন) সুইচ অন আর অফ করে
জং ধরেছে মানুষ তোমার বিবেক সেন্টারে। 

Recorded on 1st April, 2013, at Jalangi, Murshidabad

Translator’s Note: This is a song of deha-tattva (discourse of the body within Baul epistemology) where the clay radio/ transistor allegorically represents the human body. The song invokes the maker the check the device as the conscience centre has caught rust. Thereafter, the song seems to suggest various ways of properly tuning this device so that melodious music emanates from it always; and once it is perfectly tuned, there is no need for external stimulation for the conscience to work.
 >> Note by Parjanya Sen

The English words and phrases sprinkled throughout the lyric highlight the recent origins of this song. The song’s opening line “amader mati model radio-ta” (“our clay model radio”) draws an analogy between the human body and a radio. A later verse states “guru charger deho battery low nosto kore” (“the guru is the charger; the body has wasted away with a low battery”).

The trebly tone and constant eighth note flow of the dotara in this performance is characteristic of the local musical style in this area of Murshidabad. The large instrumental ensemble, including bansi (flute) and tabla, is present for the occasion of Choto Golam’s annual mahotsav (festival/celebration). >>Note by Benjamin Krakauer June 13, 2013

Producer Director - Shubra Dutta

Main Camera - Shubra Dutta

2nd Unit Camera - Suman Biswas

Camera assistants - Asim and Amit

Sound Engineer - Partho Pratim Barman

Sound Assistant - Tarun Mukherjee