Vol. 5 Num 770 Thu. July 27, 2006  

All Time Greats
Komol Dasgupta: An unparalleled composer
July 28 marks the birth anniversary of brilliant singer, Nazrul Sangeet composer and music director Komol Dasgupta. A versatile musical genius, he sang modern songs in Bangla, Urdu, Hindi and Tamil. Another feather in his cap was his composition for about 8, 000 songs. His work was based on classical music and veered towards the thumri style, although he also drew from other sources.

In the course of his 15-year career, Dasgupta also composed music for about 80 Bengali films, including Tufan Mail, Shyamaler Prem and Ei Ki Go Shes Dan. His last film as a music director was Badhu Baran. In addition, he also composed the background score for an American film, titled War Propaganda. According to some reports, he composed as many as 45 songs a month. Particularly popular are songs such as Prithibi Amarey Chai, Gumer Chaya and numerous other songs, which are still recorded by a new generation of artistes. Apart from this, he made a mark with film songs in Hindi, Tamil, Bangla, Tamil and English documentary films.

Born on July 28, 1912, in Narail, Jessore, he married Feroza Begum, the renowned exponent of Nazrul songs.

At the very young age of around 22 years, he transformed into a capable successor of Ustad Zamiruddin Khan as a trainer at HMV Recording Company, Kolkata. The turning point in his musical career was his first modern Bangla song, Ami Sanjher Taroka. This all time hit at HMV led to many other superb compositions.

In 1935, Dasgupta joined the Gramophone Company of India as a music director. In the course of this assignment, he developed a close association with Kazi Nazrul Islam and composed the music for as many as 400 of his songs. The gramophone records for which he composed music reached their peak of popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. Among his evergreen songs are Sanjher taraka ami (I am the star of the twilight), Prithibi amare chay (The world needs me) and Ami bhorer yuthika (I am the jasmine of the morning).

His musical works ranged from kirtan to Mira's bhajan and modern songs in both Hindi and Bangla. His repertoire included Nazrul songs, ghazals, Naat and Shyama Sangeet. In the ranks of these acclaimed songs were Projapoti Proojapoti, Ami Jar Nupurero Chondo, Jobey Tulsi Tolai Prio and many others.

Dasgupta's life ended at the age of 62, on July 18, 1974. To the talented composer goes the credit for inspiring both upcoming and established artistes.

Compiled by Cultural Correspondent