Musical Minds

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Anandiram Das

The architect of Bongeet, Anandiram Das was born in 1902 in Guwahati. He introduced the unique ‘Bongeet’ in Assamese music with his first soong ‘Konenu Sokhi Jogale Mati, Sewali Phoola Jonali Rati’. Mixing the Bihu songs and traditional folk songs he created Bongeets, which depicts the nature and its beauty. Known as ‘Bonkonwar’, he was also the pioneer of the Dance Drama in Assamese culture. Some of his popular bongeets are, ‘O Moina Tore Uroniya Chit’, ‘O Bandho Moru Jen Lage Tat’, ‘Mor Ore Jibon Kori Jola Kola’, ‘Bhor Duporiya Duti Horini’.

Anima Chakravarty
An Assamese musical icon of yesteryears, Anima Chakravarty became popular in 1960s and 1970s under the guidance of ‘Luitkonwar’ Rudra Baruah. She has to her credit a number of popular tracks suc as ‘Sil Pai Jopiyai’,’Kuhipat Jen Kumoliya’,’Gosor Patot Bhu Ahil’,’Bihu Nahil Monot’ etc, and different Bihugeets with folk flavor.

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Dr. Bhupen Hazarika

Considered as a living legend in Assamese music, without Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Assamese music would always be incomplete. Since 1939, the musical journey of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika is incomparable. The only living pioneer of Assam, Dr. Hazarika is truly hailed as the uncrowned emperor of Assamese music.

Dr. Birendra Nath Datta
Known as a gret research scholar in folklore, Dr. Birendra Nath Datta created some exceptional compositions along with his splendid voice. The ‘Nabakanta-Birendranath’ duo created a popular wave in Assamese music. In Nabakanta Baruah’s lyrics, he shaped some outstanding songs which are still popular among masses. ‘O Dhun Dhuniya’, Akashe Botahe’, ‘Akash Amak Okoni Akash Diya’, ‘Bogoli Boga Phoot Di Jaa’, ‘Rohimola Uronir Majere’ are some great contributions to Assamese music by them. Some of his other popular tracks are, ‘Bohudin Bokoluor Gondh Powa Nai’(Lyric: Tafajjul Ali), ‘Sita Bonobash’ (Lyric: Nirmal Probha Bordoloi), ‘Sou Sirish Dalot’ (Lyric: Hiren Bhattacharyya),’Mon Daponot Moi Ketiyaba’ (Lyric: Lakshyahira Das) etc.

Bishnu Prasad Rabha
Along with Jyotiprasad Agarwalla, Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha also gave a new dimension to the modern Assamese music. From Romance to Patriotism, from labour to social issues, all these were reflected in his songs. Known as ‘Bishnu Rabhar Geet’, his songs are still popular among masses.

Brajen Baruah
Known as a renowned music director of Assamese cinema, Brajen Baruah started his professional musical journey with the film ‘Smritir Porosh’ as a music director. He composed many evergreen Assamese tracks in various Assamese films. ‘Ei Jon Jonali’ in Amar Ghor, ‘Jonbai E Suma Eti De’ in Maak aru Morom, ‘Joubone Amoni Kore Chenaidhon’ in Lachit Borphukan (with Khirada Kanta Bishaya) are some evergreen tracks in Assamese music.

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Dipali Borthakur
The evergreen melody queen Dipali Borthakur, started her singing career with All India Radio, Guwahati in 1957 with her song ‘Mor Bopai Lahori’ and then her popular song ‘Joubone Amoni Kore Chenaidhon’ in film ‘Lachit Borphukan’ in 1959. That was the beginning of Dipali Borthakur’s short musical journey which gifted some great Assamese tracks such as ‘Chenai Moi Jau Dei’,’ Sonor Kharu Nalage Mok’, ‘Konman Borosire Chip’, ‘Jondhone Jonalite’, ‘Bondhu Somoy Pale’ etc.

Dwipen Baruah
One of the all time popular singers of Assame, Dwipen Baruah’s voice still rules Assamese music. He started his Assamese film journey through Dr. Bezbaruah in 1969 after which, he contributed his evergreen voice in films such as ‘Opoja Sonor Mati’, ‘Baruar Songsar’, ‘Lolita’, ‘Mukuta’, ‘Sontora’, ‘Kokadeuta Nati aru Hati’, ‘Ojola Kokai’, ‘Aai Mor Jonome Jonome’ etc. Some of his evergreen tracks are, ‘Moina Kon Bidhatai Sajile’, ‘Eikhoni Gaon’, ‘Dhou Tuli Nachile’, ‘Kak Bulilo Kune Nije’, ‘Jiliki Jilika’, ‘Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Sipare’, ‘Laaj Laaj Laaj’ and many more. 

Dwijendra Mohan Sharma
Penned for some of the most mellifluous voices of Assam, Dwijendra Mohan Sharma’s compositions consist of as many as 500 evergreen hits. He came together with Jayanta Hazarika and the evergreen ‘Alo Bhubon Heral Keniba’, that wafted into the hearts of music connoisseurs. ‘Mah Halodhire Nowale Dhuwale’, in the voice of Beauty Sharma Baruah and ‘Hey Udash’ by Baikuntha Gogoi are still popular among Assamese music lovers. Some of his other popular tracks are ‘Jilmil Jon Jwole Kopalot’ (Artist : Charu Gohain), Porichoybihin Jajabor Nogori (Artist: JP Das), Sipare Jomunar Bali (Artist: Beauty Sharma Baruah) etc. 

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Hemanta Dutta

He is known more as an actor and dramatist than as a lyricist, but Hemanta Dutta’s lyrics are great contributions to Assamese music. With more than 500 lyrics to his credit, Hemanta Dutta started his professional lyrical journey through the film ‘Notun Asha’ in 1977. His ‘Ei Akash Bor Bishal’ is still an evergreen song from that film. He contributed lyrics for the films Sadori, Sonmoina, Jibon Surabhi, Bohagor Duporiya, Sewali, Mon Mondir, Iman Morom Kiyo Lage, Ei Morom Tumar Babe, Hiya Diya Niya, Nayak etc. Some of his popular compositions are ‘Moi Ji Batere Ulalu Aji’, ‘Gose Bone Seujiya’, ‘Bohag Bohag Buli’, ‘Matise Nupure’, ‘Moi Eti Mukoli Pokhi’ etc. He wrote the song ‘Bondho Koribo Haat, Bondho Koribo Maat’ in the film ‘Pita Putra’, which contained 116 lines and considered as the longest lyric in Assamese music.

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Jayanta Hazarika
One of the most popular singers/music directors of all time, Jayanta Hazarika is one of the pioneers who westernized the Assamese music. He was pioneer in introducing numerous western instruments in his songs and those songs till mesmerize the Assamese society with its melody and expressive lyrics. Started his musical journey with his first recorded song ‘Agoli Botahe Kopale Kolore Paat’, his first film as a music director was ‘Bonoriya Phool’. Jayanta Hazarika directed music in five Assamese films, those were Bonoriya Phool, Bristi, Dharma Kai, Notun Asha & Niyoti. He started his career as a playback singer with the film Maniram Dewan in 1963. ‘Dekha Nai’ & ‘Tomar Morome Mor’ (Bonoriya Phool), ‘Surat Mogon Bhoyal Raati’ & ‘Rombha Menoka’ (Bristi), ‘Ek Dui Tini’ & ‘Bhorir Toluwar Pora’ (Dharma Kai), ‘Ei Akash Bor Bisha’l (Notun Asha), ‘Mohila Mohila’ (Niyoti), ‘Saar Pam Moi Puwoti Nishate, Mayamoy Rupali Jonak, Moi Ji Batere, Luitor Boliya Baan are some of his evergreen compositions in Assamese music with his magnetic voice.

Jitu – Tapan
Famously known as Jitu-Tapan in the music industry, Jitu Sharma & Tapan Bhattacharyya were popular music directors of the 70s & 80s. The duo created some great compositions for Assamese films. They directed music in nine Assamese films. The musical debut of Jitu-Tapan was amazing with two splendid compositions, ‘Asomire Chotalote’ & ‘Mor Dristit Tumi Dhora Porila’ by Md. Rafi in the lyrics of Nurul Haque are two big hits of all time. ‘Chinaki Chinaki Kone Ringi Mare’,’Girip Garap’,’Nidanor Songi Tor’ and ‘Eikhoni Gaon Bukur Apon’ are some of their beautiful compositions.

Jyotish Bhattacharjee
With a melodious voice, Jyotish Bhattacharjee was a popular singer of 60s and 70s, especially as a radio artist. ‘Chompaboti Tomar Ghatot Chopalo Mor Nao’ (Lyric: Tafajjul Ali) is an all time popular Assamese song. Some of his other harmonious tracks include ‘Kino Koi Duti Mugdho Mugdho Noyone’ (Lyric: Hemanta Goswami), ‘Borshasikto Ei Basundhara’ (Lyric: Hemanta Goswami), ‘Jodi Kash Khoni Sagor Sagor Lage’ (Lyric: Tafajjul Ali) etc.

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Kula baruah

Kula Baruah started his professional musical journey as a regular artist of All India radio Guwahati. A popular singer composer of yesteryears, Kula Baruah is known for some evergreen Assamese tracks with his charismatic voice and great compositions, such as ‘Tenekoi Nasaba Ejoni Suwali’ (Lyric: Prashanta Borodoloi), ‘Phool Nufulilei Ba Ki Hol Tate’ (Lyric: Hiren Bhattacharya), ‘Moi Jen Eta Batoruwahe’ (Lyric: Nabakanta Baruah), ‘Jumi Jumi Sowa Tumi (Lyric: Satish Das) etc.

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Dr. Lakshyahira Das

A great singer of 50s & 60s, Dr. Lakshyahira Das was a scholar, poet, lyricist and a singer. Started her film career with Soraapat in 1955 as lyricist and singer. Some of her popular tracks are ‘Ethengiya Bogoli Hoi Nase’,’Dhol Bai Kot’, ‘Dalim Oi Dalim Amaloi Aniso Ki’ etc.

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Ramen Baruah

One of the most popular music directors in Assamese cinema, Ramen Baruah created some fabulous songs. From Dr. Bezbaruah to Ajala Kokai, almost all of his songs are still popular among music lovers. In his music direction, the movie Dr. Bezbaruah created a musical magic in Assma. All the four tracks of this film were a huge hit at that time. Still popular among listeners , those tracks were, ‘Phool Phool Phool’, ‘Jiliki Jilika’, ‘Ki Nam Di Matim’ and ‘Moina Kon Bidhatai Sajile’. Music directors of more than 20 Assamese films, some of Ramen Baruah’s other evergreen tracks are, ‘Ga Ga Aji Gai Ja’, ‘Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Sipare’, ‘Kone Aji Abeli’, ‘Soku Meli Nasaba’, ‘Pohoniya Choraiti Urile’ etc.

Rudra Baruah
Rudra Baruah’s songs always portrayed a clean picture of rural Assam and its people. Simplae lyrics, but an extraordinary song is the specialty of Rudra Baruah’s compositions. ‘Poka Dhanor Maje Maje’, ‘Haal Bao Moi Halowa’, ‘O Tultul O Bulbul O Seuti Tora’, ‘Tator Dorepoti’, ‘Hoyera Jetuki Bai’ etc are his evergreen songs.

Tafajjul Ali
One of the legendary Assamese lyricists, Tafajjul Ali was born in 1911 in Darrang district of Assam. Singer, Composer, Poet, Dramatist, Writer Tafajjul Ali had more than 1000 compositions to his credit, had a strong inclination for music since his early days and is endorsed to have penned his first song at the age of eight. Tafajjul Ali’s most applauded contributions were witnessed in the fims Putola Ghor, Sonor Harin, Mrityuhin Jibon, Anol and Kazirangar Kahini. Some of his best works as lyricist were ‘Bohudin Bokulor Gondh Powa Nai’, ‘Chompawoti Tomar Ghatot’, ‘Jodi Akashkhoni Sagor Sagor Lage’, ‘O Moinajan Panite Mukhoni Sai’, ‘Kheyali Mor Monor Akash’ etc.

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Dr. Upen Kakati
Lyricist, Composer, Singer, Film Director, Music Director Upen Kakati directed music in five Assamese films and his compositions in these films hit the Assamese music. In his first film ‘Rashmirekha’, he created some of his great compositions. ‘Mon Khyone Khyone Binai’ in the voice of Bhupen Hazarika, ‘Paharor Juriti’ & ‘Polash Rangoli Hol’ by Khagen & Archana Mahanta, ‘Chondo Herai Gol’ by Santona Baruah, were big hits.  Some of his other evergreen compositions were ‘Moina Choraiti Maat Maat Maat Mitha Maat Ti’, ‘Bisarilo Sonor Khoni’, ‘Agloti Kolapat Lore Ki Chore’, ‘Mor Aunshir Raati fesai Kuruliyai’ etc.

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Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla

The pioneer of Assamese modern music, Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla composed more than 300 songs which gave a new direction to Assamese music. He mainly composed songs for his different plays such as ‘Sonit Kunwori’, ‘Karengor Ligiri’, ‘Lobhita’ etc., which are popularly known as ‘Jyoti Sangeet’. He also composed different patriotic songs in the pre independence era.

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Purushottam Das
Born in 1918 in Barpeta, Purushottam Das was one of the pioneers of modern Assamese music. He directed music in three Assamese films; those were Badan Borphukan (1947), Paarghat (1949) and Nimila Onko (1955). 

Parbati Prasad Baruah
Lyricist, Poet, Film maker and Dramatist ‘Geetikobi’ Parbati Prasad Baruah was one of the architects of modern Assamese music. Parbati Prasad Baruah’s songs had found pride of place amongst the masses because his compositions had a unique feel to them which tugged at the hearts of the listeners. 

Pratima Barua Pandey 
Born in 1935 in Calcutta, Pratima Barua Pandey is known as the Queen of Goalporiya folk songs. She established the Goalporiya folk songs in the world music. In 1956, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika gave her the chance to sing two folk songs for his film ‘Era Bator Sur’. That was the beginning of her musical journey. Goalporiya folk songs got the recognition in the Assamese mainstream music only because of her tireless effort. In 1962, she performed ‘Hostir Konya’, ‘Kenehe Radhibo Tor Biroh Mon’ and ‘Ekbar Hori Bolo Mon Rosona’ for the first time in All India Radio and these songs became popular among the listeners. Pratima Barua Pandey was awarded the ‘Padmashree’ and ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi’ for her revolutionary efforts in popularizing Goalporiya folk songs.

Pulak Banerjee
Popular for his classical pitch in songs, Pulak Banerjee was born in 1950 in Guwahati. Started his professional music in All India Radio, Guwahati as a regular singer in 1969, he gave his melodious voices in different Assamese films such as Duronir Rong, Srimoti Mohimamoyee, Sewali, Ponakon, Maa, Sonskaar, Mon etc. His two sets of music albums ‘Soworoni’ are still popular. Some of his evergreen tracks are Akash Jetiya Sondhyatoraye, Phoolor Ei Melate, Tumi Onek Kothai, Phoolor Dore Morohi Jowa etc.