| Samar Hazarika, his wife and daughter at Nizarapar on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos |
Nov. 6: Everyone here woke up to a morning and a world without Bhupen Hazarika.
The people at Nizarapar, after days of anxiety, were prepared for it.
Kohua bon mur oxanto mon... is Kuwolis favourite song and just like her uncles lyrics, every moment with her uncle is now like eti eti khyon jen mukutar dhan. The 16-year-old niece of Bhupen Hazarika is the youngest of her generation. Clad in a white kurti, she was a picture of composure.
Bordeuta was a father figure. I still remember the moments when Bordeuta used to babysit my brother Dawor and I whenever he paid us a visit and my parents were not aro-und, said Kuwoli, daughter of Shobha and Samar Hazarika.
The realisation that her bordeuta was no more sank in only this morning.
I got the news when I was returning from school yesterday. At first I could not believe it; only this morning, we woke up knowing that he is no more, said Kuwoli.
The faint fragrance of agarbatti and hushed voices filled the Nizarapar residence. The garlanded photograph on a table where the balladeers well-wishers paid their tributes was a reminder that he would no longer return.
Prabhat Talukdar spent three decades with the maestro. He was the man Friday, the helper who knew what the legend wanted, be it food or what to wear before a programme.
I came here in 1978 when I was eight years old. I not only grew up knowing what he wanted, but doing everything for him without being told, said Talukdar. Talukdar left the place in 2007 and today he waits for Bhupendas body to arrive so that he could pay his last respects.
For neighbours Ramani Das, Bijay Talukdar and Pradip Dutta, assembled in the sutal (frontyard) where they played cricket along with the children of Hazarikas family, fondly remembered Bhupenda occasionally bowling an over or two.
This morning, however, the cricket pitch was replaced by a white shamiana.
He was fun-loving. More than a legend, he was part of our family. He played cricket with us, brought us chocolates and was there for us whenever we needed him, said Pradip Dutta.
Family members and neighbours were not the only ones who mourned his death. Actors Biju Phukan, Indra Bania, MLA Robin Bordoloi, littérateurs and activists were all at Nizarapar — they all wanted to be there where the maestro had once lived.