Volume 6 | Issue 19| October 06, 2012|


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   Behind the Scene
   Feature 1
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Behind the Scene


Demise of an Baul

Majrora Gaan, a style of baul song that involves debate using baul songs is immensely popular amongst the folk music lovers. Baul Kofil Sarker, a major patron of such style departed this year leaving many mourning, and leaving many wondering whether if this loss can ever be filled.

Iqbal Siddiquee

Baul Kofil Uddin Sarker performing

An exponent of 'Maljora Gaan', baul Kofil Uddin Sarker was a close associate of the great artistes like Shah Abdul Karim and Durbin Shah. He had travelled widely in the remote villages in the greater Sylhet region. He was instrumental in grooming most of the folk artistes of the region. A good number of his disciples are staying abroad, and practicing the music.

Composer and musician of many of popular songs like; 'amar bondhua bihoney go, sohena porane go', 'ami chailam jarey, pailam na tarey', 'ator golap, soa chandan sajailam' 'sajailam ful bichhana', etc.

Kofil Uddin Sarker passed away on the 23rd of September, 2012 at a private hospital in Sylhet city – he was 82. Along with age-related complications, Sarker had been ailing from liver cancer.

Sarker composed about 10,000 songs, but has only 2 publications, 'Ratnabhandar-I' and 'Ratnabhandar-II', containing about 4,500 songs.

“With his demise, we lost an era of great artistes around Shah Abdul Karim”, a number of artistes said while paying tribute to his departed soul. He was dedicated to songs of the land, mankind and mysticism. Especially he was a known face on the events of 'Maljora Gaan', a popular variety of folk songs of greater Sylhet region. The 2 lead artistes with Ektara or Dotara stand face-to-face and lock in debate through songs on the issues of importance. Both present sufficient arguments, in support of their own subject or topic for defeating the other. However, co-artistes with instruments join them for long hours. People from long distant places also used to enjoy event. Hundreds, even thousands used to attend those events for hours at night.

A number of his songs are used as welcome tone or as phone ring tone – as cell phone operators provide them for public. Besides, singers of Sylhet regularly sing his songs on the radio.

Born in Madhabpur upazila of Habiganj, Sarker settled at village Akilpur of Doarabazar in Sunamganj district after being a disciple of mystic poet Durbin Shah. He was laid to eternal rest at his village at Doarabazar. His first Janaja was held at the premises of the mosque of Hajrat Shahjalal (RA) in Sylhet city.

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