Bollywood singers on pandal track

Hum no Bolly, hear no Bolly, play no Bolly ' well, as long as you are before goddess Durga in Ranchi.

So while "ishq wala love" may be on your "dreamum wakeupum" festive playlist, Puja organisers think otherwise. Bowing before Mahanagar Durga Puja Samiti's diktat of keeping Hindi film songs off limits at pandals, they are stocking up on devotional CDs such as Ma Ki Mamta, Maiya Rani, Mere Rath Ki Bano Rathwan, and more.

But Bolly music devotees, don't fret. Even this piety has a Bolly twist. Singers are noted film playback singers ' Sonu Nigam, Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik and Amit Kumar.

Since the past couple of days, it is boom time for the capital's 15-odd music shops that sell only devotional albums. Shopkeepers claim each of these kiosks sells anywhere between 150 to 200 CDs a day, with those of Bollywood singers being preferred picks.

Nigam who has sung Ma Ki Mamta, has lent his dulcet voice to Maiya Rani with Paudwal and others. Mere Rath Ki Bano Rathwan has been sung by Kumar, music legend Kishore Kumar's son, as well as Nigam and Paudwal. In Maa Ki Mahima, Yagnik and Paudwal join their silken voices for a homage.

Each CD has between 30 and 35 songs in praise of the goddess and costs Rs 140 or thereabouts. "This Puja, we have 15 CDs of Bollywood singers. People from Ramgarh, Hazaribagh, Khunti, Daltonganj and Gumla are also buying them," Sanjay Ghosh, owner of a music store near Albert Ekka Chowk, said.

"The craze for devotional songs by Bollywood singers is high. Perhaps, as no film songs are allowed inside pandals," laughed Ratan Kumar, a music store owner in North Office Para.

He added they sold devotional songs sung by non-Bollywood singers too. Lal Choliya Wali and Har Leti Dukh Sare by renowned artiste Namrata Narendra Chanchal; Jai Ma Jai Ma Kahiye by yet another noted singer Lakhveer Singh Lakha; Maiya Ki Patang of duo Sandeep Kapoor and Vidhi Sharma; He Jagdambe Namoh Namah by traditional favourite Narendra Chanchal have hit the music market.

Come Sasthi, these singers will vie with the Bolly brigade to catch the devout ear.

Who will win the bhajan battle in pandals?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com