By Deepanita Bora
There has been the rise of many singers in the world of Assamese music. Their voices and their music touch our moments and linger on. These immortal compositions lend us happiness. Those creations of the lyricists and compositors bathed in the amorous voices often create a melodrama. Few days back my friends from Delhi, Anupam and Mrinmoy sent a collection of old songs. I cannot get tired of them even after repeated listening. I was elated. I have no words to thank them. Music- you give language to the heart!
At this moment, I remember an amazing singer. Her voice still bemuses me. I get absorbed and fascinated listening to those songs.
One of the creations of lyricist Alimunita Piyar “Khoj Lahekoi Dibi Sokhi” with music by Birendranath Phukan was immortalized by the voice of Parveen Sultana in the early years of her musical career still strikes a chord for many. This song speaks in volumes about the emotional outbursts of a young girl who was to get married and leave her parents and go away to her husband’s family. The whole scenario is so well presented as one of her closest friends advices the betrothed about her new life.
Assam’s own daughter and internationally famed classical singer Parveen Sultana was born in the district of Nagaon. Parveen’s father Ikramul Mazid was a singer and lyricist. At the tender age of eight, Parveen was sent to Kolkata for taking lessons on classical music under the famous classical music maestro Chinmoy Lahiri. In 1973, she started learning music under Ustaad Dildar Khan, Ustaad Gul Mohammad Khan and Ustaad Baje Gulam Ali. Also, she trained herself under acclaimed classical singers of Assam namely, Deven Sarma, Biren Phukan and Hiren Sarma. Parveen Sultana met many famous and acclaimed singers of Nagaon of that era such as Tarikuddin Ahmed, Malin Bora, Durga Bhuyan, Yousuf Hazarika, Vivekananda Bhattacharjee etc who helped her in her formative years. In the year 1962, at the age of just twelve, Parveen Sultana achieved a miraculous feat by winning the “Sangeet Sanmilan” of Kolkata with a gold medal which brought her at the national stage. It is her quest for excellence that has conquered the hearts of people far and wide. In the voice of Parveen Sultana, some of the immortal songs are : “Dhunia dhunia buli nokoba misai”, “Sokhi madhobi”, “Nila sorai nila sorai”, “Kotodin aaru amar sopun”, “Rupkonyak rup ujole”, “Sou kuwolir aatorot”, “Kun nirjon parot bohisila”, “Borose saunor baridhara”, “Dhunia dhanoni”, “Ekabeka batot palu dekha”, “Moumakhi gungun kori jai”, “Nilim gagan dhuwai dhuwai”, “Sopun rongin palash bonot” (‘Morom Trishna’ motion picture), “Notun tumar soron dhoni” (‘Sunma’ motion picture) etc. Singing at various national and international stages, she has received much recognition.
Parveen Sultana’s husband Dildar Khan is also a classical singer of repute. She has performed at many places with her husband. She has sung for Hindi motion pictures and has earned accolades. Couple of her songs from the movie “Pakeeza”, namely “Kaun gali gaye Shyam” and “Hume tumse pyar kitna” are the top favorites of audiences.
Parveen Sultana’s singing bears a unique significance. Her correct and precise singing of Khayal, Thumri, Ghazal, Bhajan, Tappa and other classical songs and various singing performances has won the hearts of many music lovers. She has represented India at various musical events around the world. At the very bottom of her success lie the support and blessings of her father Ikramul Mazid and her husband Dildar Khan.
Some of her recognitions as an artist includ : ‘Padma Shri’, ‘Cleopatra of Music’, ‘Mi Al Tansen Award’, ‘Sangeet Natak’ award by the Govt. of Assam,’ Srimanta Sankardeva Award’, ‘Sangeet Natak Academy Award’ etc.
She currently resides in Mumbai. We as admirers expect new Assamese compositions from her.
Translation by Arunabh Sharma for enajori.com