Guwahati: Assam on Monday paid rich tributes to legendary musician Bhupen Hazarika as his body was flown into the city from Mumbai. Hazarika died on Saturday from multiple-organ failure at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
A sea of humanity lined all along the 25-km route from the airport to Hazarika’s residence at the Nizarapar area with people showering flower petals, offering wreaths and the traditional Assamese gamosa (a hand-woven scarf greatly revered in the cultural milieu of the state) on the cortege carrying the gilt-edge brown casket.
People cried and sang his songs/ballads as the body was carried in a procession. People of all ages cutting across caste, creed and religion lined up by the road to pay their last respect even as Hazarika’s everlasting songs were played on loudspeakers all across the city.
A disciplined and organised crowd chanted Bhupenda amaar majot xodai thakibo(Bhupenda will always be amongst us), Bhupendar abihone Asomor naksa nohoi(There can be no map of Assam without Bhupenda) among other eulogies.
The procession was halted briefly at a number of places, including Hazarika’s ancestral home at Nizarapar. The body will be kept at the Judges’ Field in the city till Tuesday afternoon to allow people to pay their last respect to the Dadasaheb Phalke awardee who showcased Assam’s folk music to the world.
Guwahati literally came to a grinding halt on Monday with all roads leading to the MG road, the route the procession marched on. People put up posters, banners and cut-outs of the maestro and lit lamps to pay their homage.
Hazarika’s last rites will be performed with full state honour at the campus of Gauhati University. His only son Tez, who lives in the US with his mother Priyamvada, will arrive on Tuesday to perform the last rites. Priyambada is not coming due to ill health. The state government has declared a state holiday on Tuesday in honour of the legendary musician.