Kolkata Park Street
With the music of some of our bands listeningis like watching a film. You are off on a little trip. Alone or together with who ever is listening with you.Life appears to be like the world reflected in a mirror in the hands of a playful little girl. She turns it round and round in her hands and the ordinary mundane shabby things change colour, take on a new intensity and becomes beautiful! Pictures on a shard of glass…the mass of heavy stuff that is life is now compressed into tiny manageable portions that no longer intimidate or depress but actually appear attractive!
A rarely heard or performed-in-public Cactus song is Halogen
Woven with the lyric and music,Halogen
is a collage of strange moments of life in a metro. You are transported to Park street or Dalhousie office para at 1900 hours in the late seventies (or early eighties).You see darkness stealing upon a weary old city. The clock strikes seven and you find long-red-nail-polished little hands poised in air like little birds flexing their restless little wings, raring to take-off. Flying fingers droop like leaves of trees at nightfall. Jangling Remington typewriters fall silent. You ‘see’ steel file cabinets and office drawers clanging shut.
Out of musty old multistoried buildings towering over the blue gray streets below, people flow.
Shadowy spirits doused in the other worldly Halogen light glide out of the confines of office space and swing in to another mode of existence. Hungry eyes rove the halogen lit semi darkness. Lecherous hands reach out for the softness of willing waists. Practiced lips bargain.
Like in a synchronized musical show, lights change and darkness fades in and out of different lives. Taxi doors open and shut. And… “Bacha kena choley – footpath ar rastaey”… transaction continues… on the footpath and the streets : 7 o’clock is the moment of transformation in Kolkata office para.
Cactus deftly captures the spirit of the hour. The wailing blue notes transcreate the time and the moment every time the song is played – a bit of spacetime of Kolkata city frozen in the sound of music forever.
**Incidentally Cactus is the only band in the country that recorded the first ever song about gay rights in 2005. The song is called Pakkhiraj, known as The Punished Pegasus in English.
**The band is based in Kolkata and is over ten years old. The official website is at cactusmusic dot com.
**There is an MP3 version of Halogen at esnips, but am not sure if that is a safe site to download from. Their first album Cactus features this song. Record label is HMV.