“I have an inseparable bond with this soil, my birthplace. I will visit Bangladesh whenever you call me for the cause of music. My happiness would know no bounds if my parents were alive now. It's a great honour for me, that all of you have come here today,” said an emotional Mitali Mukherjee after receiving “Gaan-e Gaan-e Gunijon Shongbordhona”, conferred by Citi Bank, N.A. at its annual grand programme held at Radisson Blu Water Garden hotel Dhaka on October 9.
This year Citi Bank honoured renowned singer Mitali Mukherjee with an award to celebrate the diva's lifetime contribution to music. Eminent filmmaker Amjad Hossain complimented Mitali who received a National Award in 1981 for her record of a track in Hossain's film “Dui Poyshar Alta”. Legendary musician Alauddin Ali wrote and composed the timeless song “Ei Dunia Ekhon Tho Ar”.
“Can't we do something for artistes who need medical treatment or are in need in other ways? Can't we form a trust fund for the betterment of artistes? I will be so happy if Citi Bank uses my cheque towards the treatment of Alauddin Ali,” added Mitali Mukherjee.
Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury graced the occasion as special guest. She along with Rashed Maqsood, Citi Country Officer for Bangladesh and Amjad Hossain presented Mukherjee an honorary crest, a portrait of the singer and a cheque.
“With her melodious voice, she has made noteworthy contributions to the promotion of Bengali music throughout the subcontinent. We are proud to honour Mitali Mukherjee this year,” said Rashed Maqsood.
Since 2004, Citi Bank has honoured eminent artistes like Nilufar Yasmin, Farida Parveen, Feroza Begum, Sanjida Khatun, Sohrab Hossain, Ferdousi Rahman, Sabina Yasmin, Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, Subir Nandi, Shahnaz Rahmatullah and Syed Abdul Hadi for their outstanding contributions to Bengali music and culture.
To pay her musical homage to the honoured artiste, singer Kona rendered two of her hit songs, songs of Mitali Mukherjee and a popular number “E Shudhu Gaan-er Din”, originally recorded by Sandhya Mukherjee. Kona inadvertently said that the song was recorded by Lata Mangeshkar.
Mitali Mukherjee performed several of her hit numbers. She set off the rendition with the song “Janina Ki Diye Tumi”. Her repertoire included “Harano Din-er Moto”, “Je Tuku Shomoy Tumi Thako Pashey”, “Ei Dunia Ekhon Tho Ar”, “Shukh Pakhirey”. She earned accolades with folk song “Ami Bombay Thaklam”, written by her. She also performed her own song “Keno Asha Bendhey Rakhi” that she recorded after her brother Dipak's (a tabla artiste) untimely demise. Mitali Mukherjee wrapped up the soiree with Tagore song “Bhora Thak Smriti Shudhaye”. The artiste also praised the accompanying instrumentalists and introduced them to the audience.