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Despite working for hours during the ongoing Covid pandemic, doctors in West Bengal have come together to compose their theme song for the festive season. Several doctors, associated with different hospitals and nursing homes, never missed an opportunity to spend an evening together after their duty hours to sing the songs composed by them for this year's Durga Puja. Dr Roy, fondly known as 'Sidhu', besides being a doctor, is a lead vocalist at one the first professional rock bands in the state - 'Cactus' - and also heads the team of doctors composing theme songs for Durga Puja. West Bengal is known for one of the best theme Durga Pujas around the world and maintaining the tradition this year as well, for the 'Master Da Srishti Sangha Puja Club at Kestopur', near the Kolkata Airport, the six doctors have composed songs to narrate the challenges faced by the 'Corona Warriors' while working at hospitals.
The Pujas my father folded up his small audio cassette company was oddly special. Our neighbourhood cassette shop had started selling cold drinks, chips and chocolates on the side — cassette sales had plunged and almost no children queued up before his tiny shop to get songs recorded on an empty cassette for Rs My father, who ran everything from production to sales by himself, had only started manufacturing a few CDs, rather reluctantly. Years later, my father said that his heart felt like it was physically breaking that day. That Puja, for the first time in years, he was home. The flipside was, we woke up to some of the best Hindi and Bengali songs all the Pujo days, and sat around our music player while my father paused the songs occasionally to apprise us of a difficult note the singer was about to hit. The Durga Pujas and music were almost inextricably linked in our lives. On Puja mornings, when the loud speaker started blaring music at 7 am, my grandfather — a parody singer who wrote and sung satirical parodies of popular Hindi and Bengali songs — would shake his head, laugh and sing a line from his parody of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Sharabi. And got requests to sing it several times during a show. Through the 60s, 70s and right up to the 90s, it was a coveted phenomenon during the festivals.