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There are more than a dozen songs and songlets in the film. They create a soundscape that accompanies the dialogue. Chaturanga is a human drama of extreme ideals and repressed desires. The songs express feelings that cannot be uttered. Most of them are from folk traditions of Bengal and North India that are eclectic blends of Islamic, Buddhist, and lower caste Hindu thought. They are a testimony to a syncretic civilization of the subcontinent that exists to this day over and beyond the religious intolerance of our times.

The songs, especially those from the Vaishnav tradition, are erotic. The divine is expressed in them through allegorical depictions of the illicit love between Krishna and Radha, who was actually his aunt. There is a radical side to this blend of eroticism and divinity. Radha's love for Krishna is beyond all social norms. It is directly expressed, without the priest or the Brahmin caste coming in between. When devotees sing and rejoice in that form of love, it is thus a popular and democratic process that defies caste divisions.

Given that the film is about a self deluding colonial patriarchy, I also find it amusing that there is a strong androgynous impulse in the songs. This is because the feeling expressed in them is that compared to the singular godhead Krishna, all of us - young and old, men and women, rich and poor, upper caste and low caste - are incarnations of Radha. I leave it to the viewer to connect this to the Sachish-Damini, the Damini-Sribilash, or the Sacish-Sribilash relationships.

The eroticism is also a counterpoint to the narrow, superstitious morality of the colonial Hindu elite, represented in the film primarily by Sachish's father, elder brother, and Lilananda Swami. This so called eternal 'Indian' ethos, the "no sex please, we are Indian" thing is actually a mix of upper caste Brahminism and Victorian puritanical attitudes that the British gifted to us. Sachish is a victim of that. On the other hand, Damini and the music remind us of a now repressed vitality that produced the Kamasutra, the breathtaking sculpture of Khajuraho, and the beautiful poems of the Padavalis.

Music Tracks 

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Song Title

Artist

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1. Allah Ke Nur  Shafqat Amaanat Ali & Chorus  
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2. Din Thakte Tiner Sadhan Kartick Das Baul
3. Bhajo Patito Udhadharana Arijit Chakraborty & Chorus
4. Hara Gauri Prananath Dohar  
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5. Esraj Instrumental
6. Hari Haraye Nama Monomoy Chakraborty & Chorus  
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7. Jagohu Brishobhanu Sri Bani Kumar Chatterjee & Chorus
8. Hese Khele Nao Re Jogu Neel Mukherjee & Chorus
9. Rupo Lagi Aankhi Jhure Raghab Chatterjee  
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10. Joy Radhe Radhe Arijit Chakraborty & Chorus
11. Moula Tere Bina Shafqat Amaanat Ali & Chorus  
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12. Nirodo Nayane Santa Das  
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13. Background Music Instrumental
14. Praner Majhe Sudha (Hum) Parama Banerjee
15. Radha Madhabo Kabir Suman & Chorus
16. Aalo Je Amar Gaan Kore Parama Banerjee  
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