Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a connoisseur of poetry and music, was a great fan of Bhupen Hazarika and once requested the iconic singer-composer to sing a famous Assamese song when he was performing in the national capital.
Hazarika was on the stage at the Ramlila ground in the late 90s when he received a small chit with Vajpayee’s name written beneath it.
Kamal Kataki, Hazarika’s long-time associate who played the guitar at that concert, recalls that they were about to pack up when a man came with a small piece of paper. “On it was written Bhupenda’s popular song “Moi eti jajabor” (I am a wanderer) and beneath it was Atalji’s name,” he recounts. “On Atalji’s request, Bhupenda sang the song. Later on when we met him, he said that he was sitting in the front row waiting to hear that number,” Kataki told PTI.
“Woh gana sunne ke liye tadap raha tha isliye ye request bheja (I was waiting to hear that song, so I sent the request),” he quoted Vajpayee as having told the singer.
In 2004, Dadasaheb Phalke winner Hazarika was named as a BJP candidate from Guwahati for the Lok Sabha elections. Vajpayee introduced him at a rally in Guwahati.
Vajpayee passed away on Thursday at the age of 93 following prolonged illness.