The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Bhupen down but not out
- Recuperating icon will stop singing only when he wants to

Guwahati, April 18: The mild cerebral stroke on Sunday night may have taken Bhupen Hazarika away from music for a while, but it seems nothing can take music out of the maestro’s life.

“I will stop only when I want to stop,” he told The Telegraph from his bed at the ICU of Guwahati Neurological Research Centre (GNRC) Hospital today.

Hazarika, who was laid low midway through a soiree at the Noonmati Refinery Bihutoli, said he had a lot more to offer to Assam and would continue singing.

N.C. Borah, chairman-cum-managing director of GNRC Hospital, added to the balladeer’s optimism by announcing that his condition had improved over the past 24 hours. If the trend continues, Hazarika should be able to resume “normal activities” shortly, he said.

Hazarika was put through a battery of tests, including an MRI, a Doppler test and echocardiography, during the day. The results of these tests were not disclosed.

Doctors monitoring the folk music legend said he was able to have his breakfast, lunch and evening tea. “He has been in a jolly mood. Today, he even hummed his favourite songs,” one of the doctors said.

A patient who was discharged from hospital turned emotional while leaving. Hailing from Tezpur, the man touched the maestro’s feet and wished him a speedy recovery. “I will always cherish meeting you,” he said while taking leave.

The singer-composer, who stays in Mumbai but visits Assam often, said hospitalisation had been a blessing in disguise in a way.

“I was was a long journey from Mumbai to Guwahati via Calcutta. Then there were meetings with friends, relatives and the social dos on Rongali Bihu. Finally, I took to the stage to sing for my dear people. I needed this rest. It has made me stronger,” he said.

The maestro revealed that he had penned a special song that beseeches the youth of Assam to rediscover their identity. Hazarika said he intended to sing the new composition at bihutolis.

News of the singer’s hospitalisation had dampened Bihu celebrations across the state. Yesterday, teary fans waited outside GNRC for hours in the hope of getting an entry into the hospital.

The singer-composer saluted “the people of Assam and outside” for their love and prayers for his recovery. “It is their blessings which will see me through,” he said.

On what he would do first after fully recovering his health, Hazarika said: “There are many things that I will say once I recover fully. Right now, all I can say is that I will be back in the midst of my people very soon.”

Email This Page