Written by Audita Bhattacharya
The Assamese diaspora in Pune held a tribute for Bhupen Hazarika on his death anniversary at the ELTIS auditorium, Model Colony recently. The Marathi versions of some of Hazarika’s songs, translated by Vijaya Dev, were released at the event. Classical vocalist Priyal Sathe beautifully rendered the Marathi versions of Dil Hum Hum Kare from the film Rudaali and O Videshi Bandhu from the film Chamelee Memsaab.
“As a singer, Hazarika was known for his baritone and diction, as a lyricist, he was known for poetic compositions and parables which touched on themes ranging from romance to social and political commentary, and as a composer for his use of folk music,” said Samiron Phukon, president of ASOMI and Rajib Borkotoki, general secretary of Asomi, while introducing the event.
Some more musical numbers such as Manush Manusher Jonno, which was chosen as the second most favourite number after the national anthem of Bangladesh, were sung by members of Asomi.
Dr Hrishikesh Kashyapa, an audience member, said, “Today’s event was a great step towards an intercultural exchange of regional music through translation, leading not only towards better understanding of cultures but also towards the preservation of such masterpieces in the literature and hearts of other communities across the world.”
The project was initiated by Jyotirmay Das, Dipak Das, Robin Borthakur and Umar Majid of the Mumbai Samnnanay group, in collaboration with Devika Borth-akur, well known Sattriya dancer.
ASOMI is working towards bridging the gap between the northeast and Maharashtra by undertaking such socio-cultural activities. The activities are organised by members of the Assamese community residing in Pune and also by involving artists and prominent personalities from Assam and other states of the northeast to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region. “We believe, through cultural exchanges, we can foster a great relationship between both the regions, and also bring the much required visibility and cultural integration,” said Devika Borthakur.