Bidding Farewell to a Teacher
Dr Mridul Kanti Chakrobarty
The sudden death of Dr Mridul Kanti Chakrobarty shocked the music lovers in the country, especially his students and noted artistes in the music scene. A noted singer, instrumentalist, writer, researcher, music critic and professor at the Department of Music, Dhaka University, Dr Chakraborti died last week at Labaid Cardiac Hospital in the capital. The 56-year-old teacher was severely dehydrated, which caused a heart attack. He was then rushed from his Fuller Road residence to the hospital where he succumbed to death after an hour.
Thanks to the decades of teaching music basics and history, plenty of students today remember him as the soft spoken teacher who had plenty to share. "He was very humble, as a person," says Kanti Ananta Nuzhat, one of Dr Chakraborti's students presently completing her PhD in Australia. "He was never rude to his students and would explain everything in his polite manner. I was very young when I started studying Tagore compositions under his supervision and still remember his deep baritone and the passion he had towards teaching the young minds."
Not only was Dr Chakraborti a well-spoken teacher who inspired students into growing an interest towards Bengali music, he was also a bundle of knowledge when it came to music history. "Unlike other teachers, Mridul sir knew a lot about the history of the compositions and songs he would teach us and would talk about them all the time," says Nuzhat. "Because he would research with music, we used to learn interesting facts and listen to anecdotes as well!"
Apparently, the doctors and medical staff at Labaid had not realised the urgency of the situation, which is why Dr Chakraborti actually received medical attention 30 minutes after he reached the hospital. "I can still remember him wearing his woolen cap and a simple fatua," adds Nuzhat. "Because of lack of medical emergency facilities in Bangladesh, we lost a great teacher and a music researcher. I truly believe that to inspire young people to learn and listen to Rabindra Sangeet and eventually take it to a certain level in the country, Mridul Kanti Chakraborti was the perfect teacher."
Dr Mridul Kanti Chakrobarty's remains were brought to the Central Shaheed Minar premises where students and music lovers thronged to pay their last respects. His funeral was held at his ancestral home in Sunamganj.