Monthly Archives: April 2010

Bhupen Hazarika

About a month ago, somewhere I read an article about Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. The author was a student of mass com in St. Xavier’s, Mumbai. He started off with a professor’s quote (now I don’t remember the professor’s name. All I can remember is, he was a south Indian). The professor, in one of his lectures, said how unique Hazarika is in his songs to convey so strong messages about political and social issues. The professor also mentioned Bob Dylan’s comment about Dr. Hazarika. According to Dylan, he was greatly influenced by Hazarika and he felt that it is really sad that Hazarika decided to come back to India instead of staying permanently in the U.S and had he decided to stay back, he (Hazarika) would have made a large fan base that could even make Dylan himself jealous! Dylan also added that the most unfortunate thing about Hazarika is that he belongs to a country like India!

And I take pride that I grew up listening to Bhupen Hazarika!

Initially I heard him because my father was a hardcore fan of him and I had no choice but to listen to his songs. But when I grew up and started to understand the meanings of his songs, it really amazed me. Just to mention, once a worthless critic had said that Bhupen Hazarika is like the flower that has no fragrance; it is only good to look at. And the reply that Hazarika gave to that good-for-nothing politician made an evergreen melody, “Modaror Phool”! His words and his voice are his main weapon, only with a harmonium, an acoustic guitar and a synthesizer; he can create such a strong music that could make any true music lover go gaga. Whatever song you name, all of them revolve around 3 main themes- revolt, reformation and romance! You are a God sir!

Last time when I visited home, I saw how the All Assam Student’s Union (AASU) paid respect to the legend by erecting a statue of him in a very famous recreation spot in Guwahati and also paid tribute in many other ways to this living legend. It was such an emotional moment that Dr. Hazarika himself broke down along with his thousands of fans. It was like telling the maestro that he is not gonna be with us for too long now! Gosh, I’m still getting goose bumps even while writing it! And in that very trip, on my way back to Pune, I was reading an Assamese digest I had bought in Guwahati airport only because of an article about Dr. Hazarika. It said about the author’s meeting with Hazarika at his residence in Mumbai and about his deteriorating health! I felt so bad that it made my eyes moist! But in the same flight, I met some Assamese students who are studying in Pune. In fact 2 of them- a boy and a girl came in the same cab with me. When they saw me reading with such an interest about Hazarika, they asked if I listen and like his songs. Hell yes! But they gave me an awfully disgusting look and kept themselves busy in discussing about each and every pub and disco in Pune! Grow up kids!

I really pity those who can understand the language but are still ignorant about Bhupen Hazarika and at the same time feel bad for some of my friends who, unfortunately, cannot understand his songs because of the language. I can boast that I have 2 copies of almost all of his songs- one in Assamese and one in Bangla in the same hard drive that has discographies of international favorites like Metallica and Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath for that matter. I love and respect them all. But I still feel something different whenever I hear Bhupen Hazarika’s songs and that sends a chill up my spine!

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PS: A few lines from my latest post: 21:

“The departure

At last, the sad demise of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. I feel too humble to write anything about Him (yes, with a capital ‘H’). He was not just a poet, nor just a singer. He was a visionary. He was, and will always be a great inspiration for many people living around the mighty Brahmaputra. I still remember when my father had told me about ferrying the bard in our Fiat Premier Padmini.  I used to feel so proud about the car! And you know, when my mom used to sing some lullabies to me, I used to insist that my father should sing those, and he used to sing some of Bhupen Hazarika songs and I used to love that. I love you, father.”

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Dreams and Nightmares

Nothing in this post is logically arranged or neatly written. I request you not to follow this one. I was feeling like writing and so I am typing whatever is coming to my mind randomly. You have been warned! I actually wanted to write some poem or whatever not-so-rhyming short texts I used to write. But I’m not able to write anything now. I guess the pain is not that copious till now. (Really? BTW, how much pain do you need to write a poem- something to figure out! )

Just when I stopped talking about Lucifer and returned to ‘Him’, he turned my whole world upside down. Even in my most horrible nightmare I had not seen this situation that I am going through! Or it is itself a nightmare? But then, will it ever end? Oh Mr. Sandman, please help me out!

Talking about dreams, it just occurred that I really dream rarely these days. Really, I don’t remember having a dream in ages. Does that mean that I always have the most profound sleep? Lucky dude! Whatever it is, last night I had the most beautiful dream that I could have in this desperation. But then I woke up! I wanted to dream that dream many times before, but not getting it. that makes me think- what if we could control our dreams- what I want to see and what I don’t, just like the 11 pm movie! But again, when the sweetest dreams end and you realize that it was nothing but a dream and you cannot really help to get back whatever you have lost, then you have the worst feeling. You won’t even get a good sleep after that. When something goes terribly wrong, it does not matter how many times you shout James Blunt’s “I won’t lose a sleep on that coz I’ve got a plan”, but you actually have no plan B. You can never have a plan B! At least, for me there was never a “Plan B”. I’m gonna lose a lot of sleep on that and it’s like an infinite loop, unless someone comes out of pity and inserts a “break” into the code!

Damn! What’s wrong with me?? What am I writing!

Okay, here I would contradict my generalization that even the most beautiful dreams leave us with the worst feeling. They always don’t, I agree. But sometimes they do, and it is the most frustrating moment when you wake up. That’s why nightmares are better- you feel bad when you are having one, but as soon as you wake up, you feel so relaxed! And I’m talking about that relief- Aah! Have some water, light a cigarette if you want and go back to sleep. They are good, of course until you start having them regularly. I used to have some real scary dreams during my childhood; like I’m being hunted or being constricted by a huge snake-like creature or I’m being butchered and sorts, being hunted down were the most common ones. And of course, after I passed out of college, I saw a dream many a times- after three years of graduation; I’m going to collect my degree certificate only to know that I have a lot of back-papers! How absurd, but it used to scare the crap out of me! They say, you do not become an engineer unless you get a backlog. I followed this saying and did manage to get some those days. But it was in a “controlled manner”:P , never  abundant (interpretations may vary)! And apart from yesterday’s dream, the second best dream that I had in recent times was about 1 and a half years back- the one where Metallica was performing live on a cliff exclusively for me. It really did leave me with an awesome feeling when I woke up. And so I still remember it, vividly. But when I woke-up yesterday, I was really dismayed. So which one is a better dream to dream- that which leave me with the ‘bestest’ feeling, or that which leaves with the ‘sadest’ feeling?  Or should there be any other categorization of dreams as “dreams that leave you with happiness” and “dreams that leave you with desperation” rather than simply “Nightmares” and “Good Dreams” (whatever the antonym is)!