Dr. Bhupen Hazarika - a Tribute by Biman Das

“Bhupen da” an identity to the outside world for us. ‘Bhupen da” an enlightment that changed my thought processing approach towards Assam as an Assamese.

Three months back I realized some changes were shaping my thoughts while I was in Assam. After a hectic phase in Bangalore I opted for home to get rehabilitate.

5th November 2011, the day which I will never forget for the rest of my life; the day when Bhupen Da left this material world to stay with us forever. News started pouring in from everywhere, news channels, face book etc. I still remember the numerous phone calls my dad was attending that day from his friends. My brain was unable to adapt those happenings in my home and all over Assam as frankly speaking I was never a great fan of Bhupen Da until that day.

As a child it was pretty tough for me to understand Bhupen Da and his ideology. Sometimes it was even very frustrating and I was angry because I was not able to play my favorite bollywood songs as my dad used to listen to Bhupendra sangeet whole day. My uncle once told me that my dad used to carry a tape recorder and some blank cassettes in every Bhupen Hazarika concert. He recorded those songs, as those days cd’s and records were not easily available around.

Nov 5th did change me as a person, as an Assamese, as an admirer of art and music. The next few days I was glued to the TV and after that till my stay in Assam I was only listening to Bhupendra sangeet, I was doing a kind of research for myself by going through his works and achievements. Sometimes I think “did Bupenda want all Assamese to get united in that very period of time? May be. That’s why I was there in Assam, I guess and my eagerness to understand this phenomenon of mine increased when I realized that I never planned to go to Assam at that time of the year when every 'puja' was over.

Couple of weeks later, I went to Jalukbari to see some of my relatives, and I found myself near the place where Bhupen Da got his last rites. My intention was to only visit my relatives who moved to Guwahati only few months back. It was so strange, as some heavy emotions were running through me standing in the Jalukbari bus stand. I could not help myself and at last I went inside and I prayed and that moment I felt like he was blessing me. At that very moment, I realized, it was his capability of attracting Assamese people over the years and even after death.

Now, while writing this article in my room in Bangalore I find myself surrounded with all kinds of Bhupen da’s works, his books, songs and photos. And I am getting obsessed over and over. I know, today my approach towards mother land has changed. It took only 5 days to change “not a fan” to “fan forever”. Now I quote “Proud to be an Assamese and proud to born in a place where Bupen Hazarika existed”.

-by Biman Das, Bangalore