The members of Bodhi Tree are developing a political and social consciousness which may never reach as many people as their other fun stuff.
There was a time when people would laugh in college hostel corners as they sat around listening to songs they shouldn’t be listening to. These were songs that would be considered crass by almost everyone, gaining their accessibility through the fact that they were in Hindi and almost always referencing some risqué subject matter, like pubic hair or anal penetration. These were songs like ‘Sabka Katega’ or ‘GMD’ by Hindi rock band Bodhi Tree. The band was from the Xavier Labour Relations Institute in Jamshedhpur and were a rage all over the country because of these songs. The band is back, sort of, with a new single called ‘Yeh Meri Poori Zameen’.
Satadru Bagchi and Abhishek Narain, founding members of the band, have released a new song that is consciously trying to avoid the light-hearted direction Bodhi Tree had taken. Their song, ‘Yeh Meri Poori Zameen’, tackles the subject of sectarian violence in India and is dedicated to people who have been affected by such violence. The song, in the tradition of Bodhi Tree songs, is not expertly mixed or very musically cohesive. The band’s lyrics do however present powerful ideas and arguments. The song is structured in the form of a conversation between the people who indulge in sectarian bullying and those who seek a new home because of some reason or the other. The dialogue structure provides interesting view-points in a manner that will make it an effective medium to gel people understand the other person’s view point but the overwrought nature of the song and the excessive production that hasn’t been handled well may make it difficult to get people interested in the song at all.
Bodhi Tree were one of the most viral bands when people didn’t understand viral in the same sense as they do now. They were viral on Indian peer-to-peer networks and survived without retweets or Facebook shares because of their infectious pop. This may not actually happen with the current song although it might pick up because of the legacy the song writers have left behind.
Check out ‘Yeh Meri Poori Zameen’ below.