Saturday, December 10, 2011

123. In memory of Bhupen da

I should have written this post some time back when Bhupen Hazarika passed away. But it is not too late to pay tributes to a genius who had magical effect over people. I have been a lucky witness to Bhupen Hazarika's charm and his enviable fan-following.

I don't remember when I first saw Bhupen da. My first remembrance of him goes back 40-45 years back.   In my small hometown of Assam, a concert was organised where thousands waited for him to sing. For some reason, he was late by several hours, but no one left the venue and no one complained. When he finally arrived at the stage, people went mad. He sang a large number of songs one after another, fully compensating people for the long wait. His energy level was amazing.

Since then, I attended several of his concerts in my hometown. I remember a particular occasion when thousands braved very heavy rain to listen to him. Despite request from organisers, people refused to leave and insisted on listening to Hazarika. He did not disappoint his admirers.

At another concert, there was a mike failure, but people insisted that Bhupen da must sing. It did not matter to them whether they could listen to him. His mere presence at the stage and his lip movements were enough for people.

It is difficult for people outside Assam to imagine how popular he was. I have not seen anyone with this kind of fan following. But Bhupen da was not influenced by all this. Till his end, he remained a simple person. He was so much admired, perhaps because he wrote about common people, their problems and contemporary issues. Many of the songs he wrote were much ahead of his time. Gulzar has beautifully translated in Hindi some of his most popular songs. The songs have been recorded in Bhupen da's own golden voice.

I doubt if Assam has seen a more popular person than Bhupen Hazarika. When I close my eyes, I can see thousands of people cheering him and urging him to sing their favourite songs which were too many to be accommodated in a single concert.


Indrani said...

A great singer! India will miss him!
You are so lucky to have seen him.

Bikramjit said...

excellent lucky you..
he was indeed one of the best india has had.


R. Ramesh said...

good post buddy