Vol. 5 Num 568 Sat. December 31, 2005  

In remembrance...

The cultural arena of Bangladesh has lost some its brightest and most talented stars in the year 2005. This is a tribute to the gifted artistes whose demises have left an irreparable void in their respective fields:

Abdul Latif (1927-2005): Revered versatile folk singer, lyricist and music composer Abdul Latif passed away on February 26 after prolonged ill health.

His musical talent flowered during the 1950s and 1960s, the time that saw the rise of our nationalism. He simultaneously performed folk music, gono sangeet (people's songs) and regional songs.

His first written song, Shyamol boron meyeti, became very popular for its simple approach and superb melody. He wrote over 1500 songs and some of them fetched him accolade.

Abdul Latif is especially linked with the Language Movement of 1952. He set Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury's Amar bhaiyer raktey rangano to tune first in 1953. However, later Altaf Mahmud's tune was adopted as the song of Ekushey. Abdul Latif's songs like Ora amar mukher bhasha kaira nitey chaay, Dhakar rasta roktey rangaili, Daam diye kinechhi Bangla, Shona shona shona and many others generated immense inspiration among the Bangalees at different times, especially during the Liberation War.

He was awarded the Ekushey Padak in 1979 and the Swadhinota Padak in 2002.

Khalid Hassan Milu (1950-2005): Popular adunik singer Khalid Hassan Milu passed away on March 29. He was suffering from liver cirrhosis.

Khalid Hassan Milu started his singing career in the 1980s. He had rendered about 5,000 songs, including popular adhunik songs and playbacks. His first album was Ogo Priyo Bandhobi, released in 1980.

Among his 12 other solo albums Protishodh Nio, Neela, Shesh Bhalobasha, Ayna and Manush are noteworthy. He had performed songs in about 250 films, including Shajani o shajani, Anek shadhonar porey, Je prem and others. He received the National Film Awards in 1994 and also many other prizes, including BACHSHASH awards.

Imran Ahmed Chowdhury Mobin (1969-2005): Musical prodigy Imran Ahmed Chowdhury Mobin was killed in a road accident near Comilla on April 20. The accident occurred while returning to Dhaka, in a microbus after a concert, along with members of the alternative rock band Black.

Most musicians regarded him as one of the best sound engineers as well as a creative music instrument player in the country.

Mobin's close friends emotionally described him as passionate and bohemian. An instinctive musician, Mobin created wonders with sound without any official training whatsoever. He was not only a sound engineer but also a groovy guitarist who played bass in Winning's album Ochena Shohor. Creating amazing sounds for hit albums like Tajmahal ,Dukhini Dukhho Korona and the first time feat --unplugged album Ferari Mon.

Abdur Rahman (1937-2005): Renowned film actor Abdur Rahman popularly known as Rahman died of old-age complications on July 18 in Dhaka. He was 68.

Rahman made his debut in the role of a villain in the film Ei Desh Tomar Amar directed by Ehtesham. His performance in films such as Talash, Chanda, Darshan and others made him one of the most popular actors in the then East and West Pakistan. In fact, he was the only Bangalee actor-director who reigned in the erstwhile West Pakistani film industry.

Rahman-Shabnam was a popular duo at that time. After the Liberation War he continued his film career in Pakistan. Chahat, Doraha, Lagan are the films he made in Pakistan. Later he returned to Dhaka and renewed his acting career.

Following an accident, he made only a few appearances on the silver screen. He made his last appearance in the film Aamar Shongshar by Ashok Ghosh. He was the recipient of the prestigious Nigar Award in Pakistan.

Subal Das (1928-2005): Prominent composer and music director Subal Das passed away on August 16. He was 77. He was suffering from cancer.

Das dominated our music arena during the 50s and 60s. Born in Brahmanbaria on December 26, he stepped into the world of music through receiving tutelage in sitar from Ustad Israel Khan, nephew of legendary musician Ustad Alauddin Khan.

He was the music director of the first film developed in FDC, Akash aar Mati. He had directed music for about 300 films including Swaralipi, Darpachurna, Anirban, Tansen, Jog Biyog, Grihalakshmi, Bhalo Manush, Alo Tumi Aleya. He was also the music director of popular Urdu films Pyaasa, Kaajal and Preet Na Janey Reet.

Das started working for the radio in 1963. He joined TV as a music composer and director in 1967. Among his memorable compositions, Gaan-eri khatae swaralipi likhey, Tumi jey amar kobita, Ek ontobiheen swapno chhilo and Bhalobashar swapney ghera are still equally popular among artistes and masses.

His death marked the end of an era in Bangla music.

Abdur Razzaque: Master sculptor Abdur Razzaque passed away on October 23. He died of cardiac arrest in Jessore.

Razzaque was basically an abstract and geometric artist in his sculptural work. He was a purist in painting and print making too. He worked in oil, acrylic and water-colour as well.

Proficient in graphics, sculpture and painting, he is specially remembered for his role in establishing the Department of Sculpture in Fine Arts, Du, in 1959.

Although sculpture was close to his heart he also spent a lot of time in painting. One of his memorial works is The Garden done in yellow, red and blackish brown. It was exhibited in the Fifth Asian Biennale.

He had six solo shows in USA and Bangladesh. His joint shows, 30 in number, were held at USA, UK, Germany, Poland, Norway, Turkey, Iran, Brazil, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.

He won the Ekushe Padak in 1987, and the Bangla Charu Shilpi Shangsad Honour in 1989.