The musical legacy of Abdul Alim
Legendary folk singer Abdul Alim (1931-1974) possessed a melodious voice, yet to be surpassed by any other singer of our country. His presentation was simply magical. His songs epitomised the very essence of Bengali folk culture and mesmerised listeners across the country. Indeed, he played an important role in popularising this form of music beyond borders.
People who have heard Alim's presentation of “Naiya Rey Nayer Badaam Tuila”, “Duarey Aishachey Palki”, “Holudia Pakhi Shonar Boron”, “Amare Shajay Dio Nowshar Shajey”, “Porer Jaiga Porer Jomi”, “Mon-e Boro Asha Chhilo Jabo Modina-e”, “Sharbonasha Padma Nadi”, “Shab Shakhire Par Korite Nebo Ana Ana”, “Ujaan Gang-er Naiyya” and countless other songs find it difficult to forget his presentation and artistic skill in voice modulation which was all-encompassing.
To keep alive the rich musical legacy of the legend, Abdul Alim's daughters and sons -- Akther Jahan Alim, Jahir Alim, Asia Alim, Azgar Alim, Haider Alim, Noor Jahan Alim and Zohora Alim –frequently perform the songs originally recorded by the artiste.
Jahir Alim, Abdul Alim's elder son and president of Abdul Alim Sangeet Parisad, loves to render his father's record “Haludia Pakhi”. Jahir Alim is also an Associate Professor and the Departmental Head of Folk Music of Government Music College, Dhaka.
Among four daughters -- Aktar Jahan Alim, Asia Alim, Noorjahan Alim and Zohra Alim -- of the legend, Aasia Alim stands out in rendering her father's songs in a sonorous voice. Haider Alim, the third son, is a tabla artiste who also accompanied his father in his childhood. Haider now accompanies his siblings.
Asia Alim, Haider Alim, Zohora Alim and Jahir Alim are off to USA at the end of this month (July) for a set of performances. The artistes will perform Abdul Alim's songs in New York, Boston, and New Jersey, according to Jahir Alim.