Renowned Assamese singer, composer, poet and filmmaker Bhupen Hazarika enthralled generations of music lovers with his deep, soothing voice and poignant lyrics. He performed countless Assamese, Bengali and Hindi songs about Assamese culture with socialist and humanistic themes. Hazarika, who passed away in 2011, won the National Film Award twice. He was also awarded the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna. On his 95th birth anniversary, we take a look at five of his famous Hindi songs.
O Ganga Behti Ho Kyon (Bistar Hai Apaar) (1970)
Hazarika’s famous Assamese song, Bistirano Parore (1969), was also translated into Bengali and Hindi. It emphasizes the difference between the endless flow of the Ganges River and the chaos and suffering of humanity living along its banks. The song was based on American singer Paul Robson’s show tune, Ol’ Man River (1927).
O Videsi Brothers (1979)
The song is a Hindi remake of the original Assamese track, O Bideshi Bandhu, from the critically acclaimed Abdul Majeed-directed Assamese film, Chameli Memsaab (1975). The romantic song was composed and performed by Hazarika in Assamese and Hindi as well as in Bengali.
Dil Hoom Kare (1993)
Hazarika is best remembered for this song from the film Rudali (1993). He composed the music for this Kalpana Lajmi film and performed three of its seven songs written by Gulzar. Rudali’s story involves the low caste mourners of Rajasthan who are paid to cry at the funeral rites of the upper caste people.
Ya Awara Hoon (2001)
This melodious song about the vagabond renditions of her bubbly tours around the world was originally written and performed by Hazarika as an Assamese song titled Moi Eti Jajbor. The Hindi version of the song, Ya Awara Hoon, was translated by Gulzar.
Gaja Gamini (2000)
The soundtrack of painter MF Hussain’s film Gaj Gamini starring Madhuri Dixit was composed by Hazarika, who also did the title track.
The film is about Dixit’s Titanic collection, which in various forms has inspired famous artists and individuals throughout history.