Skip to main content

World without Bhupen Hazarika

(Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-L0216-0033 / Katscherowski (verehel. Stark), / CC-BY-SA)
The first time I came across Bhupen Hazarika's name was 18 years back when his soul-touching music and voice floated in the background while Dimple Kapadia in her Rajasthani attire denuded her body of all jewellery. It was Rudali, not exactly a favorite amongst the teenagers back then but truly artisty in every other sense. What made Rudali special for me was nor the breath-taking acting by the cast neither the off-beat, heart-wrenching story. In fact, it wasn't even the silky-smooth voice of Lata Mangeshkar bringing those rustic, alluring lyrics to our homes. It was that coarse, broken, seemingly untamed male voice that sang Maula O Maula, Dil Hum Hum Kare, Samay O Dheere Chalo, that stood out even to my untrained ears.

But of course, Bhupen Hazarika is (and in spite of his demise yesterday, I still say 'is') much (and much) more than Rudali. His singing career started as early as 1939 when he was twelve and he never looked back after that. Loved and respected worldwide,  Bhupenda was never hassled by political boundaries. His has been credited to be the voice of the freedom movement of Bangladesh. His music and lyrics have enabled many a young hearts to express their complicated emotions. His songs dedicated to social causes and to the great river Brahmaputra are spiritual in a very earthy way. I can perhaps never fully appreciate or sum up this great man's life and acheivements but can definitely sense his absence.

2011 has definitely been a difficult year for Indian arts. M. F. Husain, Shammi Kapoor, Jagjit Singh, and now Bhupen Hazarika are amongst the famous artists who were lost to us during this year in quick succession. It seems like the time is moving too fast with each second taking us farther still from their legacy. I wish things would slow down a bit and let us submerge ourselves in the art and music created by these artists to fully appreciate all that we've lost. And, also, to appreciate all that we're left with.

Here's Samay o Dheere Chalo by Bhupen Hazarika, in his own voice. Hope his songs keep echoing forever. 


  1. दिल हू हू नहीं कर पायेगा अब?

  2. My tribute to his parents as well as for respected Bupen Hazarika (uncle).Out of some of his songs like Ganga amar maa ar padma amar maa,Ranar chaleche chithi hate nia,Manas manusher jone ar jiban jibaner jone,etc. We will always keep in our memory.

  3. @ Sandeep ji, sahi keh rahe ho.

    @ Neha. yes. Tribute to the great family.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

10 Tips for Writing a Good Travel Post

Many of us have read travelogues by Bill Bryson ('Down Under' about Australia is my personal favorite) and William Dalrymple ('The City of Djinns' about Delhi has won a million Indian hearts). No doubt these are extremely well written and very well-researched travelogues. I love Bill Bryson's wit as much as I appreciate William Dalrymple's depth. But this article is not about them. This blog post is about those short travel posts that appear on various blogs adding to a wealth of authentic information available about travel destinations worldwide. I have come to trust these blog posts more than I trust travel agents, 'Places to see' posts on tourism websites, and, I am sorry to say, even the painstakingly compiled travel guides published by reputable travel companies. How many times have you visited a place at a popular tourist destination and been completely disappointed by it? Or you have missed going to a beautiful, 'must visit' place because

Book Review : "The Moonsmith Gulzar" by Shailja Chandra

The Moonsmith Gulzar: orbiting the celebrated words by Shailja Chandra My rating: 5 of 5 stars I have always been fascinated by how accessible Gulzar's poetry seems to be and yet there are layers and layers to unravel before you can begin to understand it. Shailja Chandra's "The Moonsmith Gulzar" inspired me to initiate my own inquiry as a scholar of poetry. The "simplicity" of language in Gulzar's nazms can be very deceptive. And one needs either years of focused study or a mentor to structure one's research. And just like Chandra looks at Gulzar as a mentor to decrypt the mysteries of the Cosmos, I look up to Chandra as my mentor to start my own inquiry into Gulzar's poetry. The word "Moonsmith" would literally mean someone who creates new entities from the Moon. Or it may mean someone who shapes the Moon. So who is it? Who motivates the Moon to change its shape? That is the "Moonsmith". That is the Sun. That is Gulzar.

Poem - I am your past

  I am your past, not the kind that hits you with a blast of wistful nostalgia when you dip the coconut cookie into a sweet sea of chai - your mamma's way, you realise, has become yours now. I don't bring an unexpected smile to you with the memory of a silly antic, a stupid joke. I am not that clown of a friend, the one of whom no one remembers much, except the jokes. I won't cradle you with the memories of a love cherished, though unowned, one that lingered, till it finally faded. And then nothing could bring it back, not even the warmth that being loved so fills you with.  You keep me locked in nested boxes. You know that I am not a threat because pasts can't hurt, at least not in any tangible way. You fear me, yet keep me close and when you feel inadequate, you peek at me with a smug smile. But, I came at a cost. First published on Red Fez  in May 2022