Today marks the 99th birth anniversary of Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, a legendary singer and composer of the subcontinent. He was born in Varanasi in 1920.
His family came from Jayanagar of West Bengal. They went to Bhawanipur of Calcutta in the early 1900s. While studying in Mitra Institution, Hemanta met his long-time friend Subash Mukhopadhyay, who later became a renowned poet. Hemanta was also known for writing short stories.
Hemanta’s father wanted him to become an engineer and enrolled him in Bengal Technical Institute of Jadavpur. However, he was destined to be a singer and a music composer of repute. He dropped out of the institution to pursue music professionally. Hemanta sang for All India Radio in 1935. His first gramophone record was under the label of Columbia Records with the songs Janite Jodi Go Tumi and Bolo Go Bolo More. Hemanta’s first film song was for Nimai Sanyasi (1941).
Hemanta is also known as a celebrated exponent of Rabindra Sangeet. His first recorded Rabindra Sangeet was for the film Priyo Bandhobi in 1944. The song was Pother Shesh Kothay.
The 1940s was the period when Hemanta’s career made a breakthrough. He was associated with the left-oriented Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA). Noted songwriter and music composer Salil Chowdhury was also a member of the association. Their partnership gave the world some brilliant music. Other popular songs of Hemanta include Dekho Woh Chand Chhupke, Ye Raat Ye Chandni Phir Kahan, Ye Dil Ki Suno Duniya Walo, Hai Apna Dil To Awara, Muchhe Jawa Din Gulo, Ei Raat Tomar Amar, Nil Akasher Niche and several others.
After suffering from a stroke in 1980, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay passed away on September 6, 1989.