Thursday, September 20, 2007

I AM

Bhupen Hazarika
Source : The Times of India , 23rd Oct 2005

Ibelieve in religion only when it serves as a uniting factor. Otherwise, I do not believe in religion as such. However, I believe in the existence of a supreme power and I am in awe of that. I do know there is a power that is guiding all the movements of the solar system. Somebody is up there regulating all these movements. I have a strong connection with the Almighty through my music. For me, it is important to keep in touch with that power to gather courage. However, I do not follow any ritual to be in touch with that being. In fact, I hate everything that is ritualistic. But at the same time if a ritual can act as a tool to unite people or act as a symbol of love or peace, it touches me and that, to me is divine art. But not just for the sake of it. There have been instances in my life where I felt touched by the power of the divine. Recently, I was shooting for my documentary film in the backwaters of Kerela when the tsunami struck. I was on a boat and the cameras were all on me. Suddenly, a gush of waves shook my boat. From a distance I could see waves after waves approaching. Instantly I jumped from the boat to the shore. I could have died just as I saw people consumed by the waves. A lady came and told me: "Dada no, go, dada. Later I found out that she was the popular Amrit Anandi Ma popularly know as Amma or the ‘hugging saint’. I learnt that she saved about 17,000 people during the tsunami. I am not the kind who would wear lucky stones. Now, on my ring I have her picture. Not because it is mandatory but because I believe in the calm presence of a being that is protecting me. I subscribe to the philosophy of understanding. Only when you understand others well, peace and harmony follows. I believe in being positive. It makes life simple and easy. (As told to Hoihnu Hauzel)

Music can change the rhythm of life, says Bhupen Hazarika
(As told to Anubha Sawhney )
Source : The Times Of India , 15 Feb 2004

My life has been resonant with undulating rhythms. I grew up in a family of teachers and was initially inclined towards journalism. As a child, I grew up listening to tribal music — and its rhythm saw me developing an inclination towards singing. Perseverance is the key to all success. I believe that if you want something badly, you will find a way to get it. Life is not about having it easy. It is only when one experiences the pain of failure that he can actually value the pleasures of success. Once in France, I had a strong desire to meet Picasso. An elderly guard informed me that if I managed to get up at 4 am, I might catch Picasso taking a walk with his friends. I did what I was told and, to my surprise, I actually saw Picasso. I went up to him and said, ‘Sir, this is the best day of my life.’ Picasso wanted to test my knowledge and asked me which of his paintings was my favourite. I told him I liked his works from the Blue period. He was pleased and blessed me. Religion was never meant to divide people. My son Tej has adopted Buddhism and stays in the US with his American wife. I have never ever felt any different towards him after his decision. People of all religions should live together in peace and harmony. It is pointless to carry out feuds in the name of God. I’m sure God did not mean it to be so. I am a communicator and not a performer. The process of setting one’s thoughts to tune is like savouring creativity in birth. Music is such an incredible form of art. For me, music is the greatest movement. When I sang Ganga Behti Hai Kyun for Indira Gandhi, the song conveyed a message of silent rebellion against the system. Music elevates me to an indescribable feeling — a time when I feel weighty, yet modest. I am grateful to God for whatever I have attained. I only hope that music and the lyrical aspect of my life grows further



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