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Assamese Doctor suggests Nazrul songs as distress therapy #mentalhealth

Nazrul Islam, National Poet Bangladesh ( 1899- 1976)

Gaurav Das, TNN Dec 27, 2013,
GUWAHATI: An Assamese doctor based in England is embarking on an ambitious project to heal people, especially women in distress, with the aid of music. Assamese renditions of poet Nazrul’s popular compositions will be used for the therapy. Ranen Sarma, who practises in Britain’s National Health Service, is producing an audio and video compilation of 12 compositions of the poet titled, ‘Love his Songs’. The compilation, a labour of over nine months, will have singers like Rupam Bhuyan, Santana Barnah, Madhumati Goswami, Dolly Ghosh Sadhya and Indrani Sen lending their voice.
“Nazrul is a great poet who sang about oppression. I would like to prescribe his songs as tonic for the people. He believed in equality of the sexes. Some of the songs are for women – how they endure pain and sacrifice their lives for other’s happiness. I hope to bring the message of Nazrul to the people of Assam,” said Sarma.
Sharma also produced the film ‘Ahir Bhairav’ on schizophrenia. Though the film did not do well at the box office, it was received well at a New York film festival. He organized screenings of the film in different towns and villages across the state. His documentary, ‘From London with Love’, which was made in collaboration with doctors and psychiatrists, focused on the lives of schizophrenics in India. Sarma chose to use this time because of their content – they are inspirational and can help people overcome adversaries in life. He said he wants his work to reach out to people in rural Assam as well. “The effort is not to make profit but to provide a therapy through music. Recordings of the songs are under way and by next month the album should be ready,” said Sailen Kakati, who is working on the project.

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