Famed music composer and singer Bappi Lahiri’s demise in Mumbai late on Tuesday night has plunged in gloom the members of the Choudhury family of Ashutosh Bhavan near Baghajatin Park here.
Lahiri visited the house where two of his cousins reside, a number of times, the last time being 2017 for a family function.
“Bappi Kaku was like a father to me. His visits to our house were like festivals. Whenever he came to north Bengal, he stayed with us. We have spent unforgettable moments with him,” said Mayukh Choudhury, a member of the family and Lahiri’s nephew.
On Wednesday morning, they got the news of his demise from a relative in Calcutta.
Known as the Disco King, Lahiri, the composer of hits like Raat Baaki, Baat Baaki and Yaad Aa Raha Hai, however, stayed true to his Bengali roots. His nephew Mayukh said that the composer had a special fascination for the hills and forests of north Bengal. Many times, he, along with the Choudhury family, would visit places like Gorumara and Jaldapara National Parks, Murti and Lataguri or Kurseong and Darjeeling.
He was also a fish lover.
“He loved fish on the menu. During his visits, I had the responsibility to bring a variety of fish which my mother Shankari Choudhury would cook for him. He would relish every bit of the fish while lamenting that such varieties were not available in Mumbai,” said Mayukh, who later on Wednesday flew from Bagdogra to Mumbai to be in time for the late composer’s last rites on Thursday.
Like the Choudhurys of Siliguri, the Bagchi family of Silpasamitipara in the neighbouring town of Jalpaiguri also remembered their days spent with their favourite “Bappida.”
Although related distantly, they were his close family friends.
“He has visited our house a number of times. During his stay, he would surprise us by using a water-filled glass, a brass plate or even a spoon to create music, while humming the tunes. It was a different experience altogether. On many occasions, he would take us with him to his shows,” said Rupa Bagchi, a member of the family.
Additional reporting by our Jalpaiguri correspondent