A Tribute to the Musical Paragon - Zubeen Garg
For a poet, his words won’t be enough to describe him. For a musician his tunes won’t be enough to scale him. And for an artist, his colours as well as the abstract art might also not have the power to sketch him. And that is when the idiosyncratic disposition of an unpretentious person slowly elevates his stature to take that person to that level, where we more often than not address him with that magnificent term which is known as ‘Legend’, something which probably only a few selected individuals could achieve in their entire lifespan. Hence for a legend, all that the bevy has is respect, appreciation, attraction and endearment. Even though words are simply not enough to describe the aura produced by a legend in people’s mind, however in short we have to say that, “A legend is the solitary creation of Nature’’.
The deliberation done above is simply to make people understand the evocative ambience that a legend can create, or else it might become difficult for the mass to perceive the main intention of calling the man about to be described below as ‘The Legend of the Land’. However that unique individual is simply not known as the legend but rather as the ‘Living Legend’, ‘Uncrowned emperor of Assamese Music Industry’, and many other distinctive tags. Moreover if we carefully put our emphasis on such tags and then relate those with a person of present time, then the people of Assam can probably guess as to who that versatile individual is. And undoubtedly, he is none other than the heart-throb Zubeen Garg himself. The name which itself creates a musical ambience in most of the people’s mind. But even then, it would be wrong to just delineate Zubeen Garg as a musical maestro, since people of Assam consider him more as their fervour. Hence someone quite rightly said, “You can love Zubeen Garg, you can hate Zubeen Garg, but you simply can’t ignore Zubeen Garg.’’
Born and brought up in Jorhat, Zubeen Garg was rather different from his coevals right from his childhood days. He was that student who did not want to block himself in the concept of uniform; rather he depicted the true quintessence of his individuality as well as an uncanny love for his culture. He preferred taking a ‘Japi’ during the rainy days rather than an umbrella as well as he studied up above a ‘Bokul’ tree, amidst the nature by constructing a leisurely seat made by net on that tree itself. Indeed that sense of living a life differently ran through his veins, since he was a juvenile. But within all these activities, he even did not forget to enrich his knowledge by reading different books in different languages.
The teenager Zubeen soon became a popular name among the Jorhatians. He started his career by being an instrument player, traveling from one place to another, accompanying different singers, since till then, he did not have the believe that he could shine more as a singer. However, he did collect many trophies by taking part in different singing competitions during those days. But who thought, that one day, this lean and thin spectacle bearing guy would turn out to be the flag bearer of the Assamese music industry.
Zubeen’s career took the most surprising turn, when for the first time he represented B.Borooah College in the Gauhati University Youth Festival. A young guy, with a raw but mind boggling voice did create a buzz, when he won the first prize in the ‘Western Solo’ singing competition in that event. And instantly, overnight, Zubeen became the talk of the tinsel town. And that mega event of his life gave him the confidence to unleash himself as the new musical sensation of the town. Moving ahead, Zubeen thus released his first solo album ‘Anamika’ and in an astonishing way, more than one lakh copies of his debut album were sold in the entire North East region. A musical sensation thus made his presence felt, stimulating the mind of every music lover. And in a way, he became the new messiah of the Assamese Music Industry, which was in the verge of getting destroyed especially after legends like Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Khagen Mahanta almost stopped singing. But Zubeen not only enriched the music industry but his songs also attracted the young and the old to adore Assamese music once again.
Soon after the release of ‘Anamika’, Zubeen went on to release his next albums subsequently, which also became instant hits. Albums like ‘Pakhi’, ‘Maya’, ‘Sobdo’, ‘Sishu’, ‘Jontro’ etc thus became live examples that there was no looking back for this stalwart. And after coming in association with the legendary film director of Assam, MuninBarua, Zubeen scored music for many of theBarua’s films gifting us more melodies like, ‘Mayabini’, ‘Hiya Diya Niya’, ‘Nayok Hobo Khuji’ etc. Even Bollywood accepted this talented individual whole heartedly as Zubeen recorded more than hundred Bollywood numbers, with songs like ‘Ya Ali’, ‘Jaane Kya Chahe Mann’, still rocking even today.
Zubeen is one such multifaceted individual who is at the same time a singer, a musician, an actor, director, script writer and a poet as well. And of late we have also noticed how dynamic he is as an actor, as his film ‘Mission China’, broke almost all records together in Assam. In fact when a person has more than 40 albums under his feather, more than 16,000 songs in his kitty, nothing much is required to be confabulated about his class.
However, the main reason that separates Zubeen from the rest is his golden heart. He is one such person who never backs off when the talk comes about helping the poor and the needy, working for the nature and the land or to speak against the wrong doing. As a result of which he has also faced many criticisms over the years.
Yet, Zubeen stands as an inspiration for many. He is one such person whom the Assamese people adore a lot, at times even stating him to be the predecessor of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. Even Bollywood singer Mahalakshmi Iyer said that, “Zubeen is no less than the great A.R. Rahman’’. Hence its time Zubeen works more passionately to uplift the State’s unique culture as a whole. Last but not the least, for the people of Assam, Zubeen forever remains the ‘Living Emotion’.
- Zubeen Garg