Amidst the shouting of ‘aschey bochor aabaar hobe…’ (next year will again celebrate), the idols of Goddess Durga is immersed in the river. With the pain in eyes, yet another that year of waiting starts.
Indeed, a sad day for all Bengalies across the globe as the four day of festive celebrations are over living the faithfulls in tears as Goddess Durga or Maa Durga embarks on her voyage to the Kailash.
In Bengal, there are a few well known families like Sovabazar Rajbari, Hathkhola Dutta Bari, Laha Bari, Sabarna Roy Choudhury, Mallick Bari, Chatu Babu and Latu Babu, Bhawanipur De Bari, Raja Nabakrishna Deb, Badan Chandra Roy, Haldarbari to name a few. Apart from these are are few ‘rajbari’ (palace) where still Durga Puja is organised like Jhargram Rajbari, Krishnanagar Rajbari, Nimta Rajbari, Burdwan Rajbari among others.
These families have their own tradition in bidding adieu to Maa Durga. Some fire canon as the immersion is done while another fly Neelkantha bird. As per the ritual, it is believed that in those days, the bird would fly to Kailash and inform Lord Shiva that immersion has taken place and Goddess Durga with children were on their way safe and sound. As time passed by, the Neelkantha bird became extinct and as a symbolic ritual, now the family fly a replica of the bird.
Today (September 11, 2022) is the birth anniversary of Noted Bengali ‘folk musician’ Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee, known for his immense research in the field of folk and tribal music. He was often called the encyclopedia of music. The man who simply loved to talk about music died in a car accident in Hooghly district’s Gurap town in 2017. His death snatched the voice which continued to enthrall us from ‘kun kange’ to ‘dekhechi roopshagore’ and even the remake of the iconic number by Rudra Mohammad Sahidullah, ‘bhaalo aachi, bhaalo theko…’
Barely a week after iconic singer Banasree Sengupta had left for her heavenly abode, another iconic Bengali singer Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee left this world at a prime age of 47. Kalika Prasad is a well known name among Bengali households for his immense contribution in the field of Bengali Folk Music. Kalika began his musical journey with Bengal Folk Music Band “Dohar” in early 90’s. Before that most of the bands would feature rock, acid rock and fusion music in Bengal. The only exception was Bengali band ‘Bhoomi’, which was a mix-bag of folk and modern Bengali music band. ‘Dohar’ was the first to infuse age old ‘nostalgic’ folk numbers (Procholito in Bengali) taking people by storm. Later Dohar had split and became ‘Mokam’.
Kalika had done immense research and extensive study in Music. Kalika would explain and narrate the details of the songs from reason why it is sung to the region where it belongs to and even at time would add the attire or habitat of that particular region. Most recently Kalika was seen as a mentor in the Bengali SaReGaMAPa on Zee Bangla channel.
Kalika and three others were on their way to hit by a truck. Following the collision, his car fell into a ditch on Durgapur expressway at Gurap, Hooghly. He was in the front seat beside the driver. According to preliminary reports, the Inova car in which they were travelling had hit a metal strip after which its presumed that the Inova car in which they were travelling had smashed into a series of fencing and had hit a culvert before failing into a 20 feet ditch from where the locals had recovered him and other. Others travelling with him had survived but God was not so kind for Kalika who was taken to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. The news of his death had spread like wild fire taking entire music fraternity and his fans crying and mourning his untimely death.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who shared a cordial relationship on personal level had tweeted that she has lost a friend. She also paid her tributes to the singer while his mortal remains were brought to Kolkata. Banerjee had come out of Nabanna (Secretariat) and waited for the hearse to arrive on the Kona Expressway. His mortal remains were taken to his house and then to Rabindra Sadan where it was kept for people to pay their last respects. Around 6 PM his mortal remains were take to Keoratala Burning Ghat in Kolkata where his mortal remains were consigned to flames. On entering the crematorium, he was given 21 gun salutes. Twitter and Facebook was filled with messages and condolences.
With that an era came to end, era of folk music. He will be missed by those who love and admire folk music. Kalika Prasad will be missed more in the days and years to come since Folk and Tribal music has remained largely untouched. There are not many people who take the initiative to work in the the field of tribal and folk music. The new generation will always be benefited from the immense research work done by him. Kalika is survived by his wife and five-year old daughter.
Kalika Prasad was full of life and infused energy in others with his music, he will be always remembered through his music…
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