“Though for so long have I swum in the confluence of oceans, I am not yet tired!”… On the occasion of the 85th birthday of the living legend Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Assam Association, Delhi and Cotton College Alumni Association, New Delhi-NCR, in association with Asom Sahitya Sabha, New Delhi Chapter; All Assam Lekhika Samaroh, Delhi and Just Be Friendly (JBF) organized a mesmerizing colourful cultural fiesta. The programme that was held at Srimanta Sankaradeva Bhawan in New Delhi, started with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by Sri Santanu Thakur, Secretary Culture, Govt. of Assam, Economist Dr. Atul Sarma, former Vice-Chancellor of Arunachal University; and Sri Binaybrata Sharma, former CMD, Oil India Ltd. Sri Tridib Saikia, General Secretary, Assam Association, Delhi formally welcomed the gathering to the joyous celebration. Following it, a souvenir on the living legend published by the Assamese students at Delhi University was launched by Sri Dwijendra Narayan Goswami, former Head of the Dept. of Assamese, Cotton College and Dr. Reena Sharma. The Souvenir was sponsored by M/s Span India.
The souvenir, conceptualised by Sri Indrajit Das titled “Tothapitu Huwa Nai Klanto” was edited by Ms Mitali Barman, a Asst. professor at MIL at Delhi University in association with M/s Tanmoy Sharma, Shakya Shamik Kar Khaund and Bikram Bora. It was published by Manoj Kumar Das. Several speakers including M/s Hiranya Kumar Das, Chida Das, Kulaswami Lalowari and Pratima Thakuria highlighted the life and times of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika and focussed on the multi-faceted aspects of the socio-cultural icon. Later Manoj Kumar Das shared the contribution of Bhupen-da towards the building of Srimanta sankaradeva Bhawan as a permanent nerve-centre of Assamese cultural activities in the national capital and prayed for his speedy recovery. Sri Kula Kamal Dewri, Curator at National Museum, New Delhi enthralled the jam packed audience with Dr. Hazarika’s timeless song-“Buku Hom Hom Kore”.
The Assamese young men and women in Delhi presented a spellbinding rendition of the evergreen “Bistirno Parore” in all the three languages Assamese, Hindi and Bengali it was directed by Sri Robin Kalita, ED at Rail Vikas Nigam and a chronic admirer of Bhupenda. One of the major attractions of the event was the “Bhupen Hazarika Quiz” anchored by Sri Robin Kalita. For answering the highest number of questions, the organizers specially awarded Shakya Shamik, Tanmoy Sharma and Rim Pathak. A special portrait of Bhupen Hazarika, digitally sketched by Manik Pathak in one night was released by Manoj Kumar Das and was later handed over to the Assam Association for its public display. After this all the small children along with Sri Nitya Saikia, Dr. Reena Sharma came to the dias for the cake-cutting ceremony on the occasion of Bhupen-Da’s birthday. It was a huge 5 kg cake specially ordered for the occasion.
The event took an emotional turn when Dr. Hazarika’s immortal creation “Mor Gaan Houk” was being sung at the background by Sri Sarat Barkakati during cake cutting. After the emotional cheering up, the main cultural programme got underway with “Moi Jen Ajiwan Uroniya a Mou..”, a musical odyssey written and directed by Sarat Barkakati. An outstanding melodious anchoring or the flow of the programme by Sri Indrajit Das and Smt Trishna Barkakati enchanted the audience with the beautiful aspects of Dr. Hazarika’s creativity and genius. Bhupenda’s numerous fans were captivated with the mellifluous renditions of his superhit numbers by M/s Robin Kalita, Devanga Pallav Saikia, Dipakshi Kalita, Marilyn Bordoloi, Ankur Dutta, Raj Ballav, Nabamallika Bhagabati, Chandralekha Thakuria and Murchana Barkakati. While the presentation of “Aah Aah Olai Aah’’ captivated all for a moment, talented Sattriya danseuse Mridusmita Das’s performance to the rhythm of “Bistirno Parore’’ gave momentum to the show. A theatrical performance to the song “Prochondo Dhumuhai ..” by Nabamallika Bhagabati and “Snehe Amar Xhata Xhravanar” by Dipannita Das captivated all. The wonderful musical play came to an end with the singing of Hazarika’s most famous song “Manuhe Manhuor Babe”.
Musicians that greatly contributed in the successful presentation of the musical play were: M/s Debojit Das (Key-Board), Kalyan Bania (Guitar), Bhargav Bhushan Bhuyan (Tabla). The grand event concluded at 10 PM with the singing of the National Song of Assam (O’ Mor Aponar Dex…). Notably, the event began on a sad note with one minute condolence on Sri Pranabiram Barua’s sudden demise. He expired after singing a song on the occasion of Bhupenda’s birthday in Delhi.
All the Assamese residents of Delhi prayed for Bhupen-Da’s good health and wished the living legend on his Birthday singing ..We are on the same boat brother….”
May the legend live forever..!
Photographs by: Achyut Hatimuria and Amlanjyoti Nath