Music doyen Bhupen Hazarika dead

Mumbai: Legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika, who wove a magical tapestry out of traditional Assamese music and lyrics, died here on Saturday following a prolonged illness. "It was a multi-organ failure. The end came around 4.30 pm," Jayanta Narayan Saha, in-charge of media relations at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here, told PTI.

The 86-year-old Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner was undergoing treatment at the hospital since June 29, after he complained of breathlessness. Since then he was confined to the hospital bed. He had an infection and was on medical support and dialysis. Hazarika`s health deteriorated on October 23, after he developed pneumonia. He had to undergo a minor surgery whereby doctors placed a food pipe into his system.

The balladeer who composed his own lyrics and music last lent his voice to the film "Gandhi To Hitler", where he sang Mahatma Gandhi`s favourite bhajan `Vaishnav jan`. Hazarika was regarded as one of the greatest living cultural communicators of South Asia. He had been a poet, journalist, singer, lyricist, musician, filmmaker and writer.

The Padma Bhushan awardee had celebrated his birthday this year in the ICU of the hospital on September 8 when he cut a cake and fans sang his favourite numbers.

According to the doctors, Hazarika died due to pneumonia- led multiple organ dysfunction. "He was in the ICU for the past four months. His condition was fluctuating. For the last three or four days his health deteriorated and he became weak. He was on ventilator and dialysis," said Dr Ram Narain, CEO of Kokilaben hospital.

Hazarika`s body remained in the hospital on Saturday and would be flown to Assam today, said Saha. Meanwhile, the hospital in a statement said, "Hazarika was in the ICU for the last 4 months, on and off requiring ventilator support.

"Over the last three-four days, his condition deteriorated with him being on the ventilator and also requiring dialysis due to kidney failure. His level of consciousness also deteriorated with multiple organs not functioning. His condition slowly took a turn for the worst and he succumbed on Saturday at 4:37 pm," it said.