Thursday, September 8, 2016

Remembering ‘Jajabor’ Bhupen Hazarika

Hazarika’s music encompasses the entire world, reflecting the mood and passion of the oppressed and downtrodden

Bhupen Hazarika was a singer who sang for all of mankind. “Ami Ek Jajabor,” “Aj Jibon Khuje Pabi,” “Dola Hey Dola”- each of his songs has a story associated with it which express the inner feelings of common people. The great singer, lyricist from Assam was born September 8, 1926. Known as the “Bard of Brahmaputra,” whose voice fell silent on November 5, 2011.

Hazarika’s music encompasses the entire world, reflecting the mood and passion of the oppressed and downtrodden. Hailed as the uncrowned king of the lands of the entire North-east, Bengal and Bangladesh, Hazarika sang his first song “Biswa Nijoy Nojowan,” in the second Assamese film, Indramalati, back in 1939 at the tender age of 12 and since then, there was no looking back.

In addition to his native Assamese, Hazarika composed, wrote and sang for numerous Bengali and Hindi films from the 1930s to the 1990s alongside other songs. He was also one of the leading author-poets of Assam with more than 1,000 lyrics and several books of short stories, essays, travelogues, poems and rhymes for children.

Hazarika produced and directed, composed music and sang for iconic Assamese films like Era Batar Sur, Shakuntala, Lotighoti, Pratidhwani, Chick Mick Bijuli, Swikarokti and Siraj. His most famous Hindi films include his long-time companion Kalpana Lajmi’s Rudaali, Ek Pal, Darmiyaan, Daman and Kyon, Sai Paranjpe’s Papiha and Saaz, Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe and MF Husain’s Gajagamini.

On his birthday, singers and musicians from India and Bangladesh will pay a special tribute to the doyen of Assam music at an event in London, this month.

The special concert on September 16 is being organised by social organisation Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS) in collaboration with the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of Indian High Commission celebrating his 90th birthday.

Nahid Afrin, the young singer from Assam who was the runner-up in the last edition of Indian Idol Junior and famous accordion player, Romen Choudhury will be among the several artistes from India and Bangladesh who will perform at the event.

The event will be chaired by Virander Paul, deputy high commissioner of India, while Khondeker M Talha, acting high commissioner of Bangladesh, is expected to be the guest of honour.