In remembrance of Amar Paul | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 23, 2019

In remembrance of Amar Paul

Born in 1922 in Brahmanbaria, eminent folk singer Amar Paul was fond of music from a young age. He was trained in music under his mother, Durgasundari Debi. He lost his father at the tender age of ten. Bearing the responsibility of his family on his shoulders, Amar left his motherland, Bangladesh, before the partition and shifted to Kolkata when he was 22.

In Kolkata, he learned classical music under the tutelage of Ustad Ayet Ali Khan, the younger brother of Ustad Alauddin Khan.

Along with lyricist Shachindranath Bhattacharya, Amar went to Akashbani in 1948, where he learned folk music from famous music professors like Suren Chakraborty, Mani Chakraborty and Nanigopal Bandopadhyay. One of his songs, Kotoi Rongo Dekhi Duniyay, from Satyajit Ray's Hirak Rajar Deshe, is still very popular. Famous singer Anup Ghoshal introduced Amar to Ray.

Apart from Ray, he worked with renowned film directors like Dibaki Kumar Basu and Rituparno Ghosh. In 1951, one of his songs aired in All India Radio. Amar, who was best known as a Bhatiali singer, is considered to be the first folk artiste to be featured at the broadcaster. He also composed folk songs for numerous Bengali films. Besides being a singer, Amar was a researcher and collector of folk songs.

At a time when West Bengal's music scene was dominated by the likes of Manna Dey, Hemanta Mukherjee, Satinath Mukherjee and others, Amar remained true to Bhatiali songs, performing at many programmes in Kolkata.

The eminent musician died of a cerebral attack at SSKM Hospital in Kolkata recently, at the age of 97. Even in his last days, he actively worked as a music teacher. His music shall remain immortal in the hearts of Bangladeshis. 

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