We won`t have another Hazarika again: Kalpana Lazmi
Mumbai: "He was extraordinary. We won`t have another Hazarika again." This his how filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, a long-time companion of Bhupen Hazarika, summed up the loss of the legend.
The music and cinema world came together to pay tribute to the cultural icon, who passed away today at the age of 86 after a prolonged illness.
Remembering Hazarika, a tearful Lazmi said, "I have lost my father, my brother, my lover, my husband, my friend, mymentor and guide. I had a relationship with him for 29-years and he is gone now."
Lazmi, who collaborated with the musician on her films like `Ek Pal`,`Rudaali` and `Daman` said Hazarika was not just a singer but a "great social reformer".
"He created national integration. He brought together North-East India, Bangladesh and Eastern India together on the world map."
Hazarika`s friend Hemant Barua said the legend`s passing away was a great shock to his friends and family.
"His music will remain in hearts and minds of people," said music director, Shantanu Moitra, who composed a music video `Our Northeast, Our Star`, featuring Hazarika.
"We are losing giants after giants in performing arts. There was so much he gave to folklore," said actor Farooq Sheikh, referring to the recent demise of ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh and actor Shammi Kapoor.
"It is very difficult to confine a genius to a family. He was born for every listener. Huge loss not just for me but for every listener all over the world," said Mayukh Hazarika, his nephew.
"We would spend hours together in studio when he came to record. The capacity he had of bridging the generation gap was phenomenal," singer Usha Uthup said.
"When we hear `Jan gan man`, when his voice comes up, I get goose bumps," she said, recalling how Hazarika held his audience spell bound by his range. "He was a lovely guy. He used to tell me that people called him hawk nosed. Kalpana Lajmi has lost a marvellous friend."
Music director Pritam said, "I tried meeting him three times when he was in hospital. I have no words to express my grief."
Radio commentator Ameen Sayani described Hazarika as a master of Assamese folk music. "I read a few weeks ago that he was recovering, but this tragic news comes as a shock," he said.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said, "Bhupen was a giant among dwarfs, rooted in real India. He articulated his concerns about the North East and bridged the difference with mainstream India."
"We lost Jagjit Singh recently, prior to that we lost musical star Shammi Kapoor. I feel like fighting with God, who is snatching away the people, who have introduced music to us," said Bollywood singer Abhijeet.