Movies

Another musical genius falls silent

NEW DELHI: Less than a month after the music world lost the soft silky voice of ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, it received another jolt when the rustic voice from the north east, Bhupen Hazarika, fell victim of multiple organ failure at a Mumbai hospital, aged 86.


Hazarika had been on the ventilator for four months and had been in and out of hospital. His long time companion, filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi and his nephews were at his side as he breathed his last.


The Dadasaheb Phalke and Padma Bhushan award-winner‘s body will be flown to Guwahati on Monday and kept at Judges Field for two-days for the public to pay homage.


In a condolence message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "India has lost one of its most gifted artistes as Hazarika‘s extraordinary talent encompassed not only music and literature but also cinema acting and direction. His contribution greatly enriched our cultural landscape and his influence on Assamese art and culture was particularly profound. The reverence with which Hazarika was looked upto and the innumerable awards that he received are a tribute to his dazzling brilliance and creativity, and his love for the people."


Hazarika, as soft spoken as the music he wove, will always be remembered for some of the rustic songs not only in films made in the northeast but also in Bollywood.


Songs like "Dil hoom hoom kare" and "Ganga behti ho kyon" in fact set the trend for introducing earthy and rustic voices in Hindi film music.


Hazarika was born on 8 September 1926 in Sadiya, Assam. He studied at Cotton College and then moved to the Banaras Hindu University to complete his Bachelor in Arts in 1944. He completed his MA in Political Science and was honoured with a doctorate by the Columbia University in New York in the 1952. He also received the Lisle Fellowship from Chicago University, US to study the use of educational project development through cinema.


At the age of 12, Hazarika sang his first song ‘Biswa Bijoy No Jowan‘ for an Assamese film ‘Indramalati‘. Music was his passion and music made his life.


His soulful compositions for Hindi films ‘Rudali‘, ‘Chingaari‘ and ‘Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence‘ gave a new dimension to Bollywood music.


A multi-talented personality, he was a poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and filmmaker.


Hazarika had said once that as a child, he had grown up listening to tribal music and its rhythm developed in him an inclination towards singing. He used one of his mother‘s lullabies in ‘Rudaali‘.


He wrote over 1000 lyrics and covered a wide range of topics that included short stories, essays, travelogues, poems and children‘s rhymes.

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