Google is celebrating the 96th birth anniversary of legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika with a doodle. Hazarika, who died in 2011, was a musician, singer, poet, filmmaker, and lyricist. Besides, he also served as an MLA in the Assam assembly during 1967-72. Popularly known as ‘Sudhakantha’, he has worked in hundreds of films in his career spanning six decades.
The doodle, featuring Hazarika playing the harmonium, was created by Mumbai-based guest artist Rutuja Mali.
Hazarika, who was born on September 8, 1926 in Assam, grew up surrounded by songs and folk tales about life along the Brahmaputra river. He recorded his first song at the age of 10.
The singer completed his Intermediate in Arts in 1942 and MA from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1946. Soon after, he left for New York where he lived for five years and received his doctorate (PhD) in Mass Communication from Columbia University in 1952.
After completing his studies, Hazarika started singing at All India Radio in Guwahati. He also used to translate Bengali songs to Hindi and lend his voice to those songs.
Over time, Hazarika created numerous compositions, having a penchant for telling people’s stories through songs – stories about happiness and grief, of unity and courage, romance and loneliness, and even strife and determination.
Over the years, he became the voice of many hearts as he sang songs in superhit films like ‘Rudali‘, ‘Mil Gayi Manzil Mujhe‘, ‘Saj‘, ‘Darmiyan‘, ‘Gajgamini‘, ‘Daman‘, and ‘Kyun‘.
Hazarika won several prestigious awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Shri, and Padma Bhushan, for his outstanding contribution to music and culture. He was honoured posthumously with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2019.