We recently lost one of Bangladesh's most recognisable voices with the demise of Andrew Kishore. Having started his playback singing career with the 1977 film Mail Train, Kishore went on to lend his voice to thousands of songs, in the span of over four decades. Although his importance to our music industry can be talked about for days on end, his greater legacy is that of a person who took music as not just a profession, but as a sacred devotion. That being said, here are only a few of Andrew Kishore's iconic songs.
Bhalo Achi Bhalo Theko: While Salman Shah and Shabnur's acting in Tomake Chai brought tears to the audiences' eyes in the theatres, they left humming Bhalo Achi Bhalo Theko, sung by Andrew Kishore and Kanak Chapa at the peak of their careers. Composed by Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, the evergreen song is a love-letter to the musical generations to come.
Porena Chokher Polok: The 1997 hit song, Praner Cheye Priyo, brought together the duo of Andrew Kishore and Kanak Chapa. This Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul masterpiece was enriched by the singers' incredible voices, as well as Riaz's unending charm on screen.
Beder Meye Josna: The year was 1989. Commercial Bangla cinema, even though past its 'golden age', was still flourishing – and one song was consistently playing on radios across the country – Beder Meye Josna. Andrew Kishore, paired with Runa Laila, gave a stellar performance on par with actors Ilias Kanchan and Anju Ghosh in the track. This song is adored among the masses to this day.
Dak Diyachen Doyal Amare: It is, perhaps, iconic that the lyrics of Dak Diyachen Doyal Amare resonates the most with the artiste's final days. Even though Andrew Kishore knew that he did not have long to live due to his cancer, he wanted to spend his last days in his hometown of Rajshahi, with his family. Composed by Alam Khan, the song was featured in the film Pran Sojoni.
Hayre Manush Rongin Fanush: Another classic composition by Alam Khan, Hayre Manush Rongin Fanush highlights the futility of human beings and the actions that we do to inflate our ego. Originally featured in the film Boro Bhalo Lok Chilo, the song went on to galvanise the two Bengals, instantly becoming one of the most covered Bengali tracks in the generation.
Amar Sara Deho: The 1984 film Noyoner Alo featured fine performances from Zafar Iqbal, Kajori, Suborna Mustafa and Raisul Islam Asad. Amar Sara Deho from the film is arguably one of the most soulful performances from the then peaking Andrew Kishore, mirrored on screen by Zafar Iqbal. Directed by Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, the song remains one of Kishore's finest works.
Amar Buker Moddhekhane: Another song from Noyoner Alo, Amar Buker Moddhekhane tugs at your heartstrings. The timeless classic established that the Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul and Andrew Kishore could do no wrong when paired together. Zafar Iqbal and Suborna Mustafa's soulful acting further injected life in the melodious song.
Amar Babar Mukhe: "Shedin theke, gaan e amar pran" (Trans: From that day, music was my life and soul).
Noyoner Alo gifted the audiences another classic, Amar Babar Mukhe. The song, relatable to any artiste who loves his craft, is hard to listen to without tearing up a little.
Bhengeche Pinjor: The strikingly upbeat song rocked the audience who went to watch the 1987 film Bhai Bondhu, featuring Zafar Iqbal and Ilias Kanchan. Composed by Alauddin Ali, the song was a staple in parties, hangouts and concerts leading up to the nineties. An instant mood-lifter, the appeal for the song is everlasting, much like the majority of Kishore's repertoire.
Tumi Mor Jiboner Bhabona
Salman Shah and Shabnur brilliantly portrayed a love-struck couple in the film Anondo Asru in 1997. The film featured the memorable romantic ballad, Tumi Mor Jiboner Bhabona, sung by Andrew Kishore and Salma. Composed by Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, it is yet another testament to Kishore's versatile and melodious voice.