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BIPUL CHETTRI SAMAYA (EP)

 

Sometime in early 2020, across the earth, life came to a standstill. Cars collected dust in basement parking lots, buses glided by empty, airplanes no longer took to the skies to draw patterns of white against the blue, and trains mourned silently in railway yards. To keep the dreaded virus out, we were forced to retreat indoors and shut ourselves in. All movement ceased.

 

Fortunately, the mind knows no boundaries and there’s no force on earth that can keep it from taking off.

 

Bipul’s brand new EP, ‘Samaya’ (which means time, period or juncture) is, in a nutshell, a collection of trips his mind sauntered off on during that period of quiet, loneliness, despair and disillusionment.
 

It is a fully stripped down, acoustic and organic set of five songs written and composed while he, just like the rest of us, was physically cut off from the rest of the world. All songs have been performed on a single acoustic guitar, sometimes accompanied by another instrument, if at all. While circumstances might have dictated the need to go a little ‘naked’ in production, the absence of veneer and gloss only serve to help each song grab your complete and undivided attention. So that when Bipul sings about the spaces where he wandered off to, it becomes the story of your journeys as well.

 

KATAI USLAI

Bipul Chettri - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals, Harmonica

 

This is a message that the listener is being asked to carry to a lover left behind in the past. From the very first lines, one senses the sender’s yearning for closure, forgiveness and absolution. A more perceptive ear will pick up the desperation of a man who wishes he could go back in time and set things right, for he has just realised that there can be no one else quite like her. But, it is the resignation with which the words are sung that reveal that he is aware that this but just be a fantasy. While the past maybe be exactly where he left it, everything and everyone else have moved on.

Performed with the typical precipitous western classical-styled finger-picking that Bipul has now come to be associated with, the bittersweet song comes to an end with the wail of a Dylanesque harmonica solo.

 

SAMSARA

Bipul Chettri - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals, Harmonica

Pranai Gurung – Slide Guitar

 

One could say that Bipul had to literally travel in time for this song. He has pulled out one of the first melodies he ever composed, originally conceived with English lyrics in 2014, but never released officially except for a brief clip that surfaced online a few years ago.

While the premise of the song hasn’t changed drastically, and still contemplates the cycle of life, death and rebirth, in which each one of us is served our quota of suffering (dukkha), desire (ichha) and karma (deed), the new lyrics in Nepali connects with the listener like only a language from the region could have.

Accompanying, Bipul is Pranai Gurung, who has laid down some exquisitely fluid lines with his resonator slide guitar.

 

SAMAYA

Bipul Chettri - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals

Anindo Bose - Organ

 

Played in a finger-styled arrangement, the song dwells on the absurdity of man’s desire to win the race against Time and then, control it. The words seem to suggest that a peaceful existence can only be arrived at when one realises the futility of the exercise, and stops perceiving Time as an adversary. For Time is what it is, invincible. And that it is better to appreciate the lives we have been given than to run the unwinnable race and waste it all. 

 

NAYA DIN

Bipul Chettri - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals

Pranai Gurung – Acoustic Guitar

 

Strumming the laid back atmosphere of the wide-open Prairies along with Pranai Gurung, Bipul ponders on the drastic changes that we have had to make in our lives in the past year. He reminisces about the things we took for granted, mourns what we have lost and marvels at our resilience while looking towards tomorrow with a heart filled with hope. Tomorrow may not be what we expect it to be, but it could certainly be better than today.

 

BHAANS GHARI

Bipul Chettri - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals

Rohit Prasanna – Bamboo Flute

 

The creaking of tall bamboo swaying in the breeze, your hands dappled by sunlight that makes it way past the leaves, and thoughts that swirl in your head when you find yourself sitting in a quiet spot in a ‘Bhaans Ghari’ (Bamboo Grove) in the hills. This is vintage Bipul.
 

Accompanied by Rohit Prasanna playing some achingly beautiful lines on the bamboo flute, Bipul, wields his magic to make you yearn for something you just can’t put your finger on. 


 

All songs written, composed and arranged by Bipul Chettri

Recorded, mixed and mastered at Plug ‘N’ Play Studios by Anindo Bose

Cover artwork & design by Manohar Rai

Liner notes by Nima D.T. Namchu

 

Producer – Bipul Chettri

Executive Producer – Sonam Tashi

 

All Rights Reserved by Bipul Chettri. 2021.

about the band

Bipul is a singer/songwriter from Kalimpong, Darjeeling, who currently heads the Arts Department at the Vasant Valley School in New Delhi, India. His debut EP 'Sketches of Darjeeling' went on to become the highest selling album on oklisten.com for the yea...

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