R.I.P. Bhupen Hazarika

Music maestro Bhupen Hazarika passed away in a Mumbai hospital yesterday.

Bhupen Hazarika had a genius for weaving a magical tapestry out of traditional Assamese music and lyrics, is regarded as one of the greatest cultural communicators of South Asia. He was a poet, journalist, singer, lyricist, musician, filmmaker and writer…

I grew up listening to him. Here are two of my favorites …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDvWbKUABww

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl4wt2EbqG0

Perhaps the English translation will convince many why he was a genius…

Ganga why do you flow?

the spread is immense and
subjects on both banks are in turmoil
always quietly O Ganga, Ganga why do you flow?

morality stands destroyed, humanity stands corrupted
Why do you flow shamelessly?

Chorus: The call of history, roars
O stream of Ganga
turn powerless people into forceful strugglers
marching forward
Why don’t you?

illiterate people, unlettered
innumerable people, without food
sightless, why are you silent seeing this?

individual stays self-centered
entire society  characterless
lifeless society why don’t you abandon?

Why aren’t you the listener anymore?
you are definitely not animate
why don’t you fill inspiration in life
exhilarated earth has become Kurukshetra (a battle ground)
Ganga, O mother, in modern India
Why don’t you give birth to
a victor, a son like Bhishma (whose loyality lay with the state)

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