Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bhupen Hazarika : The Jajabor Of Assam

Bhupen Hazarkia, the wanderer (Jajabor) of Assam, has passed away at a ripe-old age of 85. It happened just a few hours ago in the vicinity. Probably they would be electrically cremating his body a short while later in the day. Or they might have have already done so. Does it matter anymore? The body becoming ashes. The eternal home of everyone born on this Earth : Death. The dissolution of a physical presence in the memory. Waiting to disappear into an eternal oblivion in the due course of time. The Mahaa Kaal. The abode of the great God Bhairava.

Bhupen lived his life completely. Being a multi-faceted persona, he made his mark in the diverse domains of music, poetry, singing, writing and film-making. He had always attributed his musical roots to the tribal music and its rhythms with which he had grown up. His soul-stirring musical renditions, many of which he had himself rendered in his baritone voice blending with his sonorous lyrics, contain within them the twin elements of simplicity and innocence. The rich folk heritage of Assam got beautifully re-interpreted in a modern idiom through his varied musical compositions spanning across many decades. 

The personal life of Bhupen Hazarika was interesting. He had married Priyamvada Patel with whom he had a son, who is now living in the US. They had separated after 13 years of marriage. After his association with the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), he had adopted Mumbai as his second home. Subsequently in the year of 1977, after crossing 50 years of age, Bhupen met Kalpana Lajmi. She was 23 then. Being a feminist that Kalpana is, Bhupen lived the rest of his life of more than three decades with his director companion, without any 'pact for marriage'. When he breathed his last, she was by his side. Bhupen has now left his compositions to continue to haunt the lonely nights of human beings and make them get more drenched in their longing for communion with their beloved souls. 

Bhupen With Kalpana An Unconventional Companionship


  1. really a touching one! words trembling... to write what i feel.

  2. You said it right. He lived his completely. That is one things that is important.

  3. A Beautiful tribute to the Bard of Brahmaputra..
    The soul stirring music of this song in Rudali which captured the imagination of millions when the film was released , is the apt song to describe the loss today. No one can remain unmoved listening to the voice, lyrics and music of this heart- rending song.

    The deep reverberating baritone voice of the bard in songs like Ganga behti ho kyun, Bistrino dupare is enough to transport the listener to a different world altogether with absolutely no necessity for any form of additional music. Such is the powerful voice of the multifaceted genius..

    Again the 40 year old love story between Bhupen Hazarika and 28 years younger Kalpana Lajmi is as fascinating as the personalties involved themselves. That true love defies all forms of barriers is evident in this story too and one only wishes that all are blessed to spend a lifetime with their soul mates.. That Bhupen rested in peace with Kalpana at his bedside is enough to make one yearn for a similar bliss..

    Hope his compositions give us the solace in the times of trials..

  4. I pay tribute to our beloved immortal legend of Assam.Also feel deeply touched by his unconventional relationship with his real soulmate who was by his side for the rest of his life after his estranged wife.May his glorious soul rest in peace.

  5. An interesting life, soul-stirring music & heart melting lines about a great multi-faceted persona. Your writing on death immediately after he died is poignant.

    The picture of the couple is lovely. These two souls are made for each other and lucky to have a true and complete unconventional companionship.

    I pray for his precious soul rest in peace and with her soulmate eternally.

  6. This is what Bombay can do to you. Not only you get to have an exciting live-in relationship with someone half your age, your age itself gets stretched to the maximum possible in these times. The other view could be that Bombay is situated on condemned and cursed land where you are led astray to your eternal home i.e. an electric crematorium. A very disheartning place for a person, as soulful as Bhupen was. A person who has etched Ganga in our conciousness with his song, should at least have been allowed to rest in its lap. Who are we to complain? We should just enjoy his songs and keep shut.

  7. Last night the words "Teri unchi atari, maine pankh liye katwaye" kept on ringing in my years for a long time. Similar sentiment is expressed by Amir Khusro when he says "Unchi dyodhi mere khwaja ki, mo se utro chhdho na jaye, keh do koi mere khwaja se, mori bayiyan pakad le jaye". Either you get your wings [ego] destroyed or u send a message to Khwaja to take u to his highest abode. It is not within us to reach HIM otherwise. Beautiful sentiments. Hats off to Gulzar and Bhupen and the blogger for this post.