Bhupen Hazarika: Remembering The Bard Of Assam On His Birth Anniversary

New Delhi: The bard of Assam, Bhupen Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926. The eldest among 10 siblings, he inherited his singing skills from his mother who sang lullabies to him and introduced him to the state’s folk music. He grew up to be a playback singer, lyricist, musician, poet and filmmaker. His songs are written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself.

He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast to Hindi cinema at the national level. He received many accolades National Film Award for Best Music direction in 1975 and the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1987. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 2019.

He composed and sang songs that are marked by themes of humanity and universal brotherhood. One of his major contributions to Hindi cinema was composing music for well-known films such as Arop, Ek Pal, and Rudaali. He won the Best Music Director National Award for Rudaali in 1993. He held the position of chairman at the Sangeet Natak Akademi from 1998 to 2003.

While studying at Columbia University, Hazarika met Priyamvada Patel and they got married in 1950. He died in Mumbai on November 5, 2011, and was cremated near the Brahmaputra river in a plot of land donated by the Gauhati University. His funeral was attended by an estimated half a million people.

Here are some of his hit songs:

Dil Hoom Hoom Kare

This song beautifully captures the essence of the movie Rudaali. Shanichari is in love with the ‘thakur’, but social and cultural norms would never let them be together. The lines ‘teri oonchi atari’, is one of the most touching lines describing their caste and social differences.

Ganga Behti Ho Kyun

 

This song has its origin in Paul Robson’s Old Man River. Dr Hazarika rendered this song into Assamese, then into Bangla, and finally into Hindi.

Gaja Gamini

This song was composed for the film by the same name released in 2000. It’s about a mysterious figure called “Gaja Gamini”, who inspires, arouses, and confuses the common man.

Hu Hu Pagal

This melodious song by Dr. Hazarika is from the 2001 film Daman starring Raveena Tandon.

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