Kolkata: Gloom descended in the Kolkata music and cultural world as news of master balladeer Bhupen Hazarika`s death spread Saturday evening.
Hazarika had a long association with Kolkata, and rendered a rich oeuvre of Bengali songs, which have retained their popularity through the decades.
"Aami Ek Jajabar" "Bistirna Dupare", "Ganga amar Ma", "Manush manusher Jonyo", "Ek khana Megh bhese elo Akashe", "He dola, He dola", "Sagar Sangame", "Sahasra Jone More" are among a few of the many songs which have evergreen appeal.
The soulful lyrics in Hazarika`s unique powerful voice speaking of people, nature and love, were lapped up by all generations and for long his songs played over gramophone discs and cassettes formed an integral part of political meetings.
His song on Bangladesh war of independence "Joi Joi Nabajato Bangladesh" also moved people.
Another legendary signer, Manna Dey, said he always felt great rendering music under Hazarika`s direction. "I told him so many times that there was something in his songs which gave me a different kind of feeling while singing his songs under his direction".
Eminent signer Hiamanti Shukla, who trained under Hazarika while lending voice to films songs in both Bengali and Assamese, said: "It is one of the saddest day of my life. Such a musician comes rarely. I have leartn a lot form him. He was a stickler for perfect pronunciation".
Singer Manmoy Bhattacahrya said "It is an irreparable loss to the world of music".
Hazarika also directed music in Bengali films, such as "Jiban Trishna", "Jonakir Alo", "Mahut Bandhure", "Kari o Komal", "Asamapta", "Ekhane Pinjar", "Dampati" and "Chameli Memsaab".
A multi-faceted genius, Hazarika produced and directed a half-hour documentary for Calcutta Doordarshan Kendra in 1977 on the folk songs and dances of north east India entitled "Through Melody and Rhythm".
He also won several awards in West Bengal for film music direction, and for his contribution to art and culture.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee paid glowing tributes to Hazarika while condoling his death.