Wednesday, December 7

Son who sang to dying mom plans platform for bereaved

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Soham Chatterjee, the 24-year-old youngster who recently sang Kishore Kumar-Sushma Shrestha’s ‘Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi’ as he bid his final farewell to his mother over phone, recorded a video of himself singing the same song and posted it online on Monday. The video moved many to tears and even made an impact on the likes of Indian stand-up comic, writer and poet Varun Grover and Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor, who lost his mother nine years ago. Soham is now toying with the idea of starting an online platform for the bereaved. “One of the suggested names for a page is, ‘Loss Stories’. The posts will be run past a moderator before being shared,” he said.
The only son of software engineer Dhurjati Chatterjee and psychologist Sanghamitra Chatterjee, Soham relocated to Kolkata last June after spending five months in Bengaluru. “Maa had a lot of co-morbidities. On May 5, we hospitalized her after her oxygen saturation dropped drastically,” he said. Her condition deteriorated and she lost the battle to the virus in a week’s time. Around 12 hours before Sanghamitra passed away, critical care doctor Dipshikha Ghosh of Apollo Gleneagles made the video call to Soham, who had then sung to his mother. Reliving that moment, Soham said, “I felt like the ground beneath was shifting. It was like I’d never get a chance to sing a song that defined our relationship. I hoped against hope that if she could hear me even once, she might come back, pulling off a miracle.” Soham’s voice got a little hoarse as he remembered how he sang that day. “I was crying before that. It was fine till I went to the stanza, ‘Dekho abhi…’ That’s when I broke down. Baba was standing right next to me and I said I couldn’t do it. He, too, sings well and his gestures implied that I had to complete the song for mom. That’s when I mustered up the courage to pull through,” he said. Soham doesn’t know if his mother could hear him sing. “She was unconscious for three days. Thankfully, she was kept in a supine position and so, I could see her face when I sang. I would love to believe she had heard me,” he said.
Soham said this song defined his relationship with his mother. Hailing from a musical family—Pt Tarapada Chakraborty is his great-granduncle—he started receiving training in classical music from his mother and grandmother since he was four. “Maa was my music guru and this was our go-to song. More specifically, it was like our ‘abhimaan’ song she sang to melt my heart. At parties, when people asked ‘maa-chhele ekta gaan gaao’, she would hum ‘la la’ and I’d start with the first verse. She had other songs for lulling me to sleep.”

Soham has mixed emotions when people applaud him for his resilience. “When I sang the song, I was not looking to send out any message or set an example. I was pushed against the wall and hoping for a miracle. It can’t say it is bittersweet for me when people now talk about my resilience because it is more bitter and less sweet. This is, too, expensive a trade-off. All this could have happened with her around.”

Source: Times of India

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