Bhupen Hazarika would by no means have been found if WWII had not upset regular life in Eastern hall Assam

by Jeremy Spirogis
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Bhupen Hazarika&  | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspPTI

8 September is the start anniversary of Bhupen Hazarika. Born in 1926, Hazarika studied at Sonaram High School at Guwahati, Dhubri Government High School, and matriculated from Tezpur High School in 1940. 

He accomplished his Intermediate Arts from Cotton College in 1942. This was the time when World War II was at its peak and schooling had turn out to be a casualty to the strife prevalent in Eastern India, the hall to Burma. That is when Hazarika’s father Nilkanth Hazarika packed off the boy to do his commencement in larger research in Varanasi. 

Bhupen Hazarika’s father despatched him to BHU amidst WWII

It right here that he accomplished his BA (1944) and MA (1946) in Political Science from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). It was right here that he met classical music stalwarts resembling Ustad Bismillah Khan, Kanthe Maharaj, Anokhe Lal who woke up his personal love and expertise for music.

Imagine if World War II chaos had not compelled the boy to journey out of Tezpur’s consolation zone and search greater shores… the world would have by no means seen or recognized this musical jewel, most likely.

From BHU to the shores of America: How ‘Bistirno Parore’ was born

It was throughout Bhupen Hazarika’s stint on the All India Radio, Guwahati that he gained a scholarship from Columbia University and set sail for New York in 1949 the place he earned a PhD (1952) on his thesis “Proposals for Preparing India’s Basic Education to use Audio-Visual Techniques in Adult Education”. 

If you could have heard his son “Bistirno Parore” – the Assamese ode to the river Ganga – you’ll love this a part of his life historical past. In New York, Bhupen Hazarika befriended Paul Robeson, a distinguished civil rights activist, who influenced him in his music “Bistirno Parore” which is predicated on the imagery and theme of Robeson’s “Ol’ Man River”. 

Marriage and start of son:

At Columbia University, he met Priyamvada Patel, whom he married in 1950. Tez Hazarika, their solely little one, was born in 1952. But homeland beckoned and Bhupen Hazarika returned to India in 1953. He continued his musical journey and have become a formidable title within the classical area.

Meeting Kalpana Lajmi, the everlasting love of his life:

He was launched professionally for movie production-related work to Kalpana Lajmi within the early 1980s by his childhood friend and India’s high tea planter Hemendra Prasad Barooah in Kolkata. Subsequently, Lajmi started aiding him professionally and personally until the top of his life.

Filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, in her e book “Bhupen Hazarika: As I Knew Him” has written concerning the 40 years that she shared a house with him. She had met him as an 18-year-old and he was 45. They had been collectively until Bhupen Hazarika died on 5 November 2011. Lajmi died of kidney most cancers in 2018, whereas she was admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

Lajmi wrote that she noticed unchanged timeless love in Hazarika’s eyes even whereas he lay on the deathbed. So much had occurred however nothing had lessened the love they shared from the beginning, she wrote.

His music and his awards:

His well-known songs embrace (in Assamese) Bistirno Parore, Moi Eti Jajabor, Ganga Mor Maa and so on. Bhupen Hazarika didn’t stay simply an Assamese language singer. He turned to different Indian languages too. He did playback singing for Hindia and Bangla (Bengali), wore many hats resembling that of a lyricist, musician, poet and filmmaker. 

He is called the person with the Sudhakantha (voice as candy because the cuckoo, actually “nectar-throated”). He wrote his personal songs and sung primarily within the Assamese language by himself. His songs preached humanity, respect for Mother Nature, common brotherhood and have been translated and sung in lots of languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. 

The a number of awards and recognition that Hazarika gained in his lifetime embrace:

  • Padma Shri – (1977)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987)
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1992)
  • Padma Bhushan – (2001)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008)
  • Padma Vibhushan – (2012, posthumous)
  • Bharat Ratna – (2019, posthumous)

Hazarika was hospitalized within the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute in Mumbai in 2011. He died of multi-organ failure on 5 November 2011. His funeral in Assam was attended by an estimated half one million folks. Lajmi died in 2018.


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