Bhupenda: Nostalgic Memories!
In the musical fraternity of my family, nearer and distant relatives and friends there has been a huge fan following for Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. Many of the fans were either polished or workable singers of Bhupenda songs. With combined scenario of in-house artistry and fan following we used to have frequent musical get-togethers—mostly at evening hours and on rotational basis.
My eldest maternal uncle late Dhiren Sarma and my younger brother Jyotirmay were polished singers of Bhupenda songs. Both of them used to sing one particular song with terrific artistry and emotion. I have attached here the You Tube link borrowed from the net.
I had the privilege of meeting Bhupenda on several occasions ranging from my childhood days to present. We used to go to the Bihu functions at night and waited late for savoring the programs of Bhupenda with his dearest younger brother and singing maestro late Jayanta Hazarika.
Once in childhood days, we were on our way from Tezpur to our native village Teok in eastern Assam and we were crossing river Brahmaputra in public motor boat called ferry as there was no bridge in those days. We were thrilled to see Bhupenda traveling too. My father late Amulya Kumar Chakravarty, a renowned author-translator of Assam, went up to him to say hello. They talked for a long time and there came the much awaited introduction episode with us. After about 2 months Bhupenda started publishing my father’s series of translated stories in his magazine ‘Amar Pratinidhi’.
As we grew older the nature of meetings changed. Once for a function organized by us we met him at his residence at Nijorapar, Guwahati. Bhupenda that day was at his homely and scholarly best. Coming to Mumbai for being posted in Films Division I had the opportunities to meet him several times. I still relish the moment when Bhupenda once entered my room in Films Division, sat there, had tea and talked for a long time. Later on we visited him when he was not well. Once in the residence of my late colleague cum respected elder late Naren Barua we had the unique pleasure of having supper and enjoying a cricket match that India won with the music legend! My brother Jyotirmay has been singing his songs in many concerts and Bhupenda always welcomed this and applauded my brother too in a few of such occasions. That night he mentioned about this to our great happiness. My singer-wife Ragini also had a fruitful musical session with the legend. We also met him when he was the Chairman of Sangeet Natak Academy and was organizing shows of various Indian plays in Mumbai.
I am very sad at not being able to meet him one last time when he had been sick since June, 2011. There are two basic reasons for this. Firstly, I had been more focused on arranging news coverage and sending the visuals to Guwahati and Delhi, because I thought that was more crucial service for his countless fans. Secondly and more personally, I never wanted to see the great artiste in a helpless and stricken condition. I always want to preserve in my heart the liveliest and the fondest images and nostalgia. But I get sad anyway, because these reasons are not excuses.
Strong nostalgia has to make our eyes go moist. Long live the Legend!