As part of their solemn tribute to eminent singer Nilufar Yasmin, Bengal Foundation launched a book of reminiscences titled “Kanthashilpi Nilufar Yasmin” and a video documentary “Shurer Swajan” at Bengal Café, Dhanmondi, in the city on August 20.
Eminent Tagore singer Rezwana Chowdhury Bonya unveiled the book while renowned singer Sabina Yasmin uncovered the video documentary on the occasion. The duo then delivered brief but pointed comments.
“Nilufar Apa was my colleague in the department of 'Natyakala O Sangeet' in Dhaka University. We, the university authority, could not pay her the honour that she deserved. An artiste has two options: one is an easy-going and light approach that leads to mere popularity and another is deep, ecstatic and devotional that makes for a true artiste. Nilufar Yasmin chose the second option,” said Rezwana Chowdhury Bonya.
“I am the fifth among our five siblings. Nilufar Yasmin was my immediate senior and I addressed her as Nilamoni. I still cannot come to terms with her untimely demise. We all know Nila apa' s worth as an artiste but as a human being she is unparalleled. We heartily thank the Bengal Foundation for publishing a book and launching a video documentary on her. She did not get due honour in her lifetime. We hope that it will never be repeated in the case of any artiste, ” said Sabina Yasmin.
The book “Kanthashilpi Nilufar Yasmin” consists of a number of articles and write-ups contributed by the eminent personalities like music exponents Shudhin Das; Karunamoy Goswami; economist and music exponent Mohammad Anisur Rahman; Nazrul exponent and Vice Chancellor of University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh, Dr. Rafiqul Islam; Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman; educationist and litterateur Abdullah Abu Sayeed; researcher Abdul Mannan Syed; eminent journalist Syed Badrul Ahsan; noted journalist and Nazrul singer Sadya Afreen Mallick; grand daughter of Kazi Nazrul Islam Khilkhil Kazi, Professor Mridul Kanti Chakraborti and a number of established singers.
Five articles by Nilufar Yasmin, two interviews, the artiste's biography and a number of photos are also included in the book.
Born on February 13, 1948 in Kolkata, West Bengal, Nilufar Yasmin completed B.A. (Honours) with M.A. from the Department of Sociology of Dhaka University in 1970. She took classical musical lessons under eminent ustads including Ustaad Sagiruddin Khan and Ustaad A. Daud. Nilufar Yasmin was adept in all the genres of music like classical, Nazrul, adhunik, kirtan, play back and songs of Atul Proshad, D.L. Roy. Rajonikant and Rabindranath Tagore.
She received BACHSAS award (1975), National Film Award (1986) and Ekushey Padak (posthumously) in 2004. Nilufar Yasmin was married to the multi-talented Khan Ataur Rahman. Their son Agun is a popular singer-composer. Yasmin died on March 10 in 2003.
Bengal Foundation also released a video documentary titled “Shurer Swajan” featuring the life and works of singer Nilufar Yasmin. The 25- minute documentary is scripted and directed by Fahmida Munni.
After the launching ceremony, a student of Nilufar Yasmin Mofizur Rahman rendered several Nazrul numbers that he had learned from her. Sabina Yasmin also rendered “Jiban Sey Tho Paddo Pataye Shishir Bindu”, a favourite number of Nilufar Yasmin. While rendering the song, she became so emotional that she could not complete it.