God's Own Music
First thing first. The album refered to is ''Mahisasur Mardini'' and not ''Shri Chandi Path'', as mentioned on the album cover, and also on your site. The album(s) under review depict much more than just Chandi Path. A single part of this album should not be seen or reviewed in isolation since the two volumes compliment each other to make the most favourite and oft listened to Bengali programme, ever created and/ or broadcasted by the All India Radio.
Written by Bani Kumar, set to music by Pankaj Kumar Mallick, recited by Birendra Krishna Bhadra ( who has also done the Bhashya Paath in Bengali ) and rendered by all the well known voices of Bengal some fifty years ago (alas! Most of whom have gone to their own divine destinations), this single programme, which is still broadcasted at four in the early morning of every Mahalaya (the New Moon day just before the onset of the Debi Paksha generally in the month of Ashwin) continues to be the most favourite radio programme ever. Although cassettes and Audio CDs are available of this programme since the last three decades or so , even today, it has become a matter of habit for most Bengalis to switch on their radios religiously every year on the slated day and time to hear and enjoy their favourite programme every year, year after year.
There are very few musical ensembles prepared anywhere in the world, which can boast of each and every item being a masterpiece in its own right. There have been many attempts to dislodge this programme with other more glamorous programmes on the Radio. There have also been many attempts on the visual media (Door Darshan and also many private channels) as well, but till today no other programme has been able to catch the imagination of the average Bengali like the one, we are currently discussing.
As stated earlier, the Hard Core Bengali has still not accepted any other programme at that particular time slot and may never accept one.
The ''Mantrochcharan'' by Birendra Krishna Bhadra creates a divine ambience and the music score of Pankaj Mallick simply lifts your spirits to the cosmic level. Based upon classical morning raagas, all the songs have become all time rages and have become an unseparable entity in the lives of Bengalis. Even those, who do not belong to that land, have appreciated the Hindi version ( with Bimal Bhushan doing the commentary) of the same programme, which is broadcasted from most of the stations of All India Radio/ Akashvani every year on the same day at 4:30 in the morning.
I strongly recommend people who have not yet heard this programme to take home this album set and have the pleasure of a heavenly experience on any convenient date.