8 September 1926 - 16:37 IST, November 5th, 2011 ; 

Old man river… keeps rolling along

November 4, 2002 – 10:27 am
You don't have to be a rich man's son to move around the world. You don't have to compromise on your principles to carve out your own following in Bollywood. You can just be Bhupen Hazarika and watch fate take you places. ZIYA US SALAM speaks to the veteran composer, still singing aloud the song of life... . Photos: V.V. Krishnan. Bhupen Hazarika... good old times, good old melody. IT SHALL remain one of the delicious ironies of fate that Anu Malik - now Maliik, now Mallik, now Annu as per convenient numerology - remains Bollywood dream merchants' favourite, notching up double digit films every year while an infinitely more talented Bhupen Hazarika still has to rely on "Dil Hoom Hoom Kare" from "Rudaali" (1993) to establish an acquaintance with posterity. Malik might copy "Come September," Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and others with bravado bordering on impudence, yet for the common man, he ...

The song of Bhupen Hazarika’s life

October 19, 2002 – 9:25 pm
His voice speaks a language which communicates melody without the crutch of words. This Padma Bhushan recipient is as complex in the interpretation of his messages as he is simple in the spontaneity of his feelings. For this singer, composer and poet, life is resonant with the rhythm of recognition. Yet, he has also suffered the jarring notes of destiny. Sanghita Singh unplugs the philosophy of a man who is as much a moving force for music as music is a moving force for him I was born into a family of teachers: I was born in 1926 in Sadiya, a village in Assam. We were six brothers and four sisters. My grandfather established the Bankshidhar Hazarakia School at Sibsagar. My father, Neelkantha Hazarika, taught at this school and, later, at Cotton College in Guwahati. I grew up in a family of teachers and was always inclined towards journalism. I was the ...

Interview: The negligence has been so long that people have lost all faith

August 23, 1997 – 10:29 am
It is believed that neglect is the reason for the prevailing insurgency. What is the primary reason for this neglect? It is due to the lack of leadership from the North-East. Those who got power have not utilised it properly. It was a colonisation principal. I understand in those good good days, traders from the North-East used to buy MPs in order to prevent them from improving communication. They ensured that there was always some bottleneck. So even the people of Assam are responsible... Yes. They have not improved their agriculture patterns. They work on paddy fields for six months and sit for the next six months. The people who have come from outside like Nepal, Bangladesh for various reasons are very poor, but are good agriculturists. They are also living and are not exploiting. But our peasants, maybe because the food and ...

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