BIRTH CENTENARY CELEBRATION OF HEMANTA MUKHERJEE BY RABINDRA BHARATI SOCIETY
As a part of their 75th Foundation Day Celebrations, Rabindra Bharati Society virtually organised this Budhbarer Boithaki Adda on the Birth Centenary of legendary singer, Hemanta Mukherjee on 16th June, 2021. Siddhartha Mukherjee, General Secretary, welcomed all and gave a brief talk on the life of this great son of Bengal, who was instrumental in popularising Rabindra Sangeet among the masses after Pankaj Kumar Mullick. The star attraction of the evening was none other than his daughter-in-law, the reputed “Balika Badhu” famed star, Moushumi Chatterjee. She said she missed her father-in-law every moment and reminisced about him with short anecdotes that had entwined their lives, pointing out that he was a very simple man who helped innumerable people without anybody’s knowledge and was much loved and respected by all. He did not do much rewaz as he had a God-gifted voice and was passionate about singing Rabindra Sangeet. At the request of Siddhartha Mukherjee, his grand-daughter, Megha sang a song for the viewers. Dipankar Chattopadhyay, Hemanta’s cousin and a reputed singer of yester years, who was present, recalled some incidents and sang a few songs citing the stories behind them. Present was Sagnik Sen, a young talented artist who is reputed for having a voice quite like Hemanta and sang one of his songs. Saikat Mitra, the son of legendary singer, Shyamal Mitra, grew up seeing Hemanta Mukherjee and narrated few events which took place in his life in context to this great persona. Abhijit Ghosh, a diehard fan of Hemanta, who celebrates his birth anniversary in a big way, sang one of his songs. Brahmatosh Chattopadhyay recollected a few happenings of his life in regard to Hemanta Mukherjee. He too sang a famous song of this stalwart. Also present was Soumitra Bandopadhyay whose mentor was Hemanta Mukherjee and who had multiple interactions with him. He thus had a lot of snippets to share regarding this great man for whom punctuality was of utmost importance. He sang Hemanta’s first song that he rendered in All India Radio and became famous overnight, a much loved Rabindra Sangeet and the last song that Hemanta recorded before his death, which nobody had heard before. Dr. Gopal Chaudhuri also spoke of his interaction with Hemanta Babu as a student of Jawaharlal University in Delhi while organising a programme. Satyakam Bagchi remembered the tall, handsome, down to earth, serene bespeckled man in his typical signature half sleeved spotless white ironed Panjabi with plastic buttons and crisp dhoti with a melodious voice. Reputed singer Haimanti Sukla was supposed to join in but unfortunately could not connect because of internet issues. Member Jharna Barai rendered the vote of thanks by reciting few lines from Kobi Guru’s poem. The evening came to an end with the General Secretary, Siddhartha Mukherjee thanking all speakers and members present across the globe for giving their valuable time to make this programme a grand success. The curtain fell after a song sung by Hemanta Mukherjee on the premises of Jorasako Thakurbari.