Kolkata mourns Bhupen Hazarika death

Kolkata: Maestro Bhupen Hazarika`s death was condoled by the music and intellectual world in the city which was his centre of activities in the early 50s that saw his close association with Hemant Kumar, Salil Chowdhury and many others.

"I lost a great friend. I met him when he returned from the USA. He was suffering a lot. It is sad to think he is no more," filmmaker Mrinal Sen said.

Reminiscing that he was very fond of legendary music director Salil Chowdhury, Sen said the singer was to direct the film "Nil Akasher Niche", a Bengali feature film of 1955-56, but the responsibility ultimately fell on him. Sen`s wife Gita recalling Hazarika`s attachment to their family while he was residing at Manoharpukur Road said, "All great ones are leaving one by one. It is difficult to accept."

Another music legend Manna De told a Bengali TV channel from Bangaluru that Hazarika`s songs were a blend of folk. "Whenever I used to sing music directed by him, I felt good. I used to tell him that there is a different feeling and sensation when I sang his songs at his direction. There was something in his songs," the 92-year-old De said. "His talent spread from Assam all over India. His music enthralled everyone. What should I say? He was suffering for a long time. I thought he will overcome, but he has left us. I pray for the peace of his noble soul," he said.

Singer Usha Uthup said Hazarika had given a lot to Indian music. "His contribution is immense in integrating India. "He belonged not only to Assam but to the whole of India," she said.

Singers of yesteryears like Banashree Sengupta and Nirmala Mishra recalled their association with Hazarika.