Friday, November 25, 2011

Face of Northeast,innocent like child

By Javed Akhtar , The Asian Age, Nov 05, 2011

I have had the good fortune of working with Bhupen Hazarika in two films. And it was remarkable working with a person like him. A warm hearted person, he was always high on life. His chutzpah and enthusiasm to create something all the time made him stand out in an industry, where criticism and negativity is tremendous. He managed to maintain a child-like quality in him, which was rare and it spoke of his innocence and passion in life.

There is no doubt that he was truly an outstanding music composer and singer. But what separated him from the rest was the fact that he was the face of the Northeast to the other parts of India. He brought the traditional folk music from the Northeast with such energy and gave another dimension to music being created in the industry then. The possibilities of having that genre of music incorporated in mainstream Bollywood music were just getting enormous and Hazarika was the man to be credited.

You know, in our country many feel that after they turn 21, it is time to get to the real world after college and stop formal education. Here was a man who never went by the tried and tested policies. He truly looked for what he wanted and carved his path. He always said that he hasn't stopped learning formally or informally. He completed his Ph.D. much later in life and looked for various innovative ways within music was quite heartening.

I fondly remember this one incident when we were working on the film Darmiyan, which was directed by Kalpana Lajmi. During a sitting to compose the music, he quickly composed a song, which was all gibberish. There was no mukhada or no antara and yet he managed to compose. It was quite something as something like that doesn't happen. Every time we met, he reminded me of that day and we would have a hearty laugh. As a person he was a poet, intellect, philosopher, composer and an extremely warm person. He would be missed as such people don't come in our lives everyday.
As told to Ipsitaa Panigrahi