Today, Google celebrates the 96th birthday of Assamese-Indian singer, composer and filmmaker Bhupen Hazarika who composed music for hundreds of films. The eldest child of Nilakanta and Shantipriya Hazarika, Bhupen Hazarika was born on 8 September 1926 in Sadiya district of Assam.
During his childhood, Hazarika grew up listening to songs and folk tales about life along the Brahmaputra river. One of northeast India’s leading socio-cultural reformers, Dr Hazarika’s compositions and creations united people from all walks of life. Later, he was dubbed ‘The Bard of Brahmaputra’. The artwork celebrates the work Hazarika did to popularize Assamese cinema and folk music. Rutuja Mali, a Mumbai-based guest artist, created the artwork.
Bhupen Hazarika: Early Life
When Hazarika was a child, his musical talents attracted the attention of lyricist Jyotiprasad Agarwala and filmmaker Bishnu Prasad Rabha, two of Assam’s most renowned cultural figures. Hazarika started his music career at 10 years old after they helped him record his first song.
The 12-year-old Hazarika had already written and recorded two songs for two films: Indramalati: Kaxote Kolosi Loi, and Biswo Bijoyi Naujawan.
The compositions Hazarika created over the years tell stories of happiness and grief, unity and courage, romance and loneliness, strife and determination. Hazarika wrote numerous compositions over time.
Bhupen Hazarika: Education
The child prodigy was not just a musician, but also an intellectual. After graduating from Banaras Hindu University in 1946, he studied mass communication at Columbia University and earned a PhD in 1952.
Following his studies in America, he returned to India to continue popularizing Assamese culture on a national and international level through songs and films.
Bhupen Hazarika: Awards
For his outstanding contributions to music and culture, Hazarika won several prestigious awards over the course of his six-decade career, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. The Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, was awarded to him posthumously in 2019.
The Indian government’s National Film Development Corporation was among his numerous boards and associations.
Mumbai-based guest artist Rutuja Mali shared her thoughts about Dr Hazarika, saying she studied his work and life, and analyzed his brilliance in the field.
Having the opportunity to honor someone’s art, legacy, and story is always so special and inspiring.” Feeling honoured to have had the opportunity to do Doodle, Mali said that to try her best to capture Dr Hazarika’s charm in the doodle, she went through some of his songs, photos and videos.
After going through the doodle, Mali hopes that “people get curious about Dr. Bhupen Hazarika and his work, and revisit some of his songs”.