Saturday, September 11, 2010

Assam showers love on Bhupen Hazarika

ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1926, one of the most illustrious sons of Assam was born, who later emerged as the uncrowned brand ambassador of not only the Assamese people but the whole humanity in general.

Dr Bhupen Hazarika, fondly addressed as Bhupenda by one and all in Assam celebrates his 84th eventful years today on September 8. Born in eastern Assam’s the then sleepy hamlet, Sadiya, skirting the borders of China, Bhupen Hazarika, a true son of the soil, took no time to emerge as a child prodigy. He wrote and sang his first song at the age of 10 and worked for the second Assamese movie, Indramalati, in 1939, when he was 12 years old.

Known for his crisp baritone voice and flawless diction, Bhupen Hazarika has emerged as a complete institution in himself – being a composer, lyricist, singer, filmmaker, social thinker and articulate human-being – all rolled into into being. As a lyricist, he is known for poetic compositions and parables that touch on a wide range of themes---ranging from the erotic to social and political commentary; and as a composer for his use of folk music with a touch of the contemporary.

In 2001, he was conferred with the prestigious Padma Bhushan by the Union Government. In 1992, he was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievements in cinema. He has been also conferred with "Sangeet-Natak Academy” award. Bhupen Hazarika is also the proud recipient of the coveted ‘Assam Ratna’ honour conferred on him for his immense role in advocating unity and culture not only in northeastern region, but also over maintstream India. He also won the National Award as best music composer in 1977 for his melody in the Assamese film, Chameli Memsaab.