Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bhupen Hazarika lends voice to Victor Banerjee starrer

Legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika has given voice to a new Bollywood movie which will see veteran actor Victor Banerjee in the role of a Gandhian.

The Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner, who had not recorded any song in the last four years due to his health before resuming singing recently, has sung the title poem of the bilingual film "As the River Flows" (Hindi) and "Ekhon Nedekha Nadir Xipaare" (Assamese).

The rich culture and lifestyle of the famous Vaishnavite centres in the world’s biggest inhabited riverine island Majuli will be the theme of the movie which is believed to have been inspired by ULFA's abduction and killing of social activist Sanjay Ghose.

The film boasts of a cast like Sanjay Suri (in the lead role), Raj Zutshi, Nakul Vaid, Naved Aslam and Priti Jhangiani. Veteran Assamese actor Indra Bania will also act in the film which is in the post-production stage. The music is by Zubin Garg of ‘Ya Ali’ fame who will play a cameo.

What is special about the poem, written by the film’s director Bidyut Kotoky, is that it speaks the voice of the river, and its disillusionment with what is happening along its banks over the years.

The poem was recorded in Mumbai on February 10.
"Bhupenda was simply great in this title poem which will have background music," Kotoky told.

According to him, this is also the first time that Hazarika and Zubin have come together in a film. Hazarika is regarded as perhaps the only living balladeer in the country, composing his own lyrics and music. He has been a poet, journalist, singer, lyricist, musician, filmmaker, writer and politician.

Hazarika’s long-time associate Kamal Kataki, who was present during the recording, says this is almost after 20 years that the balladeer has recited a poem for a film."Bhupenda featured in the ‘Phir mile sur’ commercial and now he has come up with this recital," says Kataki.

The film’s story is of a journalist named Abhijit Shandilya (Suri) who is caught in a multi-layered world of intriguing happenings in Majuli.
The National Film Development Corporation of India-produced movie is a socio-political thriller and talks of social conflicts and individual commitments in an age where the society has become so self-centred."The script consciously avoids taking ideological sides.
It is not an effort to promote either the government’s or the extremist’s point of view. It is a film about common people stuck in uncommon circumstances," Kotoky says.

"There are indirect references to the Sanjay Ghose killing in the story, though it has nothing to do directly with that incident," he says. Ghose, secretary of NGO AVARD-NE, arrived in Assam in 1996 and was working for development of Majuli.

He was abducted by ULFA cadres on July 4, 1997 and his body was recovered from the Brahmaputra river.The film, set in the current socio-political scenario of Assam and having the treatment of a political thriller, has been shot in Majuli and other locations in the state.

"Ninety five per cent of the film has been shot in Assam and the rest in Mumbai," Kotoky, who is making his feature film debut with this film, says.

He had earlier won a Special Jury Mention at the 53rd National Film Awards for his documentary “Bhraimoman Theatre Where Othello Sails with Titanic". He has also made a documentary on Majuli earlier
Source :
Related Video : Making of the Song

Book on Bhupen Hazarika released

MUMBAI: Bhupen Hazorika, the iconic figure of Assam, has been honoured once again by writers from three generations with an anthology of articles, personal essays, short stories and poems compiled and edited by Namrata Datta, a broadcaster, journalist and writer.

The title of the book is Bhupenda, as the Assamese call him affectionately.

The book has a definite approach to re-examine the works of Bhupen Hazarika as a musician and person. The editor has selected writers from various fields to unearth different aspects of Hazarika. Some of the contributors to the book are Taffazul Ali (Music Director and Professor) Abhijit Banerjee ( Tabla maestro from Kolkata), Tarun Kalita ( Sarod player), Shantanu Moitra (music director), Dr Gauranga Kumar Sarma ( Management Guru), P K Dev Chaudhury (Novelist) Dr Bipul Jyoti Saikia ( Scientist), Pramod Kalita (Poltical Commentator), Dr Mrinal Kalita ( Mathematician) Utpal Datta (Film Critic and Radio producer).

Abani Bora (Broadcaster) has written a poem while Angana Chaudhury has written a short story keeping Hazarika as the central character.

The book has been published by Jyoti Prakashan, Guwahati and is priced at Rs 60.

Noted writer and former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha Dr Nagen Saikia released the book in the recently held North East Book fair.