To pay homage to the legendary music composer, director, singer and organiser Abdul Ahad, Star Melodies, a regular initiative of The Daily Star promoting Bangla music, hosted a special musical programme titled “Anek Brishti Jhorey Tumi Ele” to celebrate his 100th birth anniversary.
Prominent and promising singers performed at the event held yesterday evening at The Daily Star-Bengal Arts Precinct of The Daily Star Centre. The featured singers -- Sujit Mustafa, Anupama Mukti, Nandita and students of the Government Music College performed several adhunik and patriotic songs composed by the timeless musician Abdul Ahad.
Eminent lyricists –Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, Gazi Mazharul Anwar, Mohsin Reza, Santosh Sengupta, Shahidul Islam, and Shamsur Rahman wrote lyrics of the scores. Sadya Afreen Mallick, Chief, Culture Initiatives, The Daily Star, hosted and coordinated the programme sponsored by Dhaka Bank Limited.
Brig Dr. Shahjahan Hafiz, also a Tagore singer, shared his personal memories with Abdul Ahad. Among others, former secretary Masud Ahmed spoke at the event.
“Half of today's featured songs are written by my father Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal,” said Sujit Mustafa before starting his performance. The artiste beautifully rendered four songs including Amar Priya Jokhon Elo, Tomar Kajol Kesh and Anek Brishti Jhorey.
Noted singer Anupama Mukti soulfully presented three songs – Ami Sagorer Neel, Amito Amar Galpo Bolechhi and Haat-er Kakon Phelechhi Khule while promising artiste Nandita mellifluously rendered three songs -- Modhumoy Prithibike Neelakash Daakbe, Tomar Alor Brintey and Bhromorer Pakhna Joto Dur-e Jakna at the event.
Students of the Government Music College started off the event with a choral patriotic song Amar Desh-er Matir Gondhey. Soloists -- Shyamama, Bikash and Asha -- from the college melodically presented three songs –Tumi Ami Dui Teer, Moneto Porey Na Konodin and Shei Chithi Ajo Lekha Hoyni respectively.
Renowned Tagore singer Roquaiya Hasina Neely, also general secretary of Abdul Ahad Smriti Parishad, performed Dur-e Kothao while Monir Chowdhury sang Kichhu Bolo.
Born in Rajshahi, Ahad evinced a great interest in music at an early age and took lessons from Ustad Bali and Ustad Manju Sahib. He took part in the All-Bengal Music Competition in 1936 and stood first in the Thumri and Ghazal section.
In 1938, he bagged a prestigious scholarship from Shantiniketan as the first Bengali Muslim student. In 1941, he joined HMV, Calcutta (Now Kolkata) and grew to be a popular music director working for both the recording and film industry.
After the 1947 Partition, Ahad joined Radio Pakistan and became a key person in the musical arena of Dhaka. He launched the careers of many singers, composed numerous songs and authored books on Bengali music.
In Santiniketan, he sang the song Diner Por Din Je Gelo and was blessed and beloved by Rabindranath Tagore. After spending four years at Santiniketan, he joined Master's Voice in Calcutta in 1941 as a music teacher. Famous artistes like Pankaj Kumar Mallick and Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay recorded Tagore songs under his direction. He was also very popular as a music director in feature films such as Duhkhe Jader Jiban Gada, Asiya, Nabarun and Dur Hyay Sukh Ka Gaon.
The government of Pakistan awarded him Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 1962 and Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1969 for his contribution to music.
The Government of Bangladesh awarded him the Shadhinata Padak in 1978.