“Coffee houser shei addata aaj aar nei”, “Maago, bhabna keno, amra tomar shantipriyo shanto chhele” and many other songs by lyricist Gauri Prasanna Mazumder ring through the hearts of Bangalees across the world.
But his legacy in Pabna's Faridpur upazila is fading, with his ancestral home demolished decades ago. Yesterday was his 94th birth anniversary.
Born on December 5, 1924, at the Mazumder estate (then landlord) of Gopalnagar village, the famed lyricist migrated to India in 1965.
In 1974-75, the Bangladesh government acquired 33 acres of land at the village, including the residence of Gauri Prasanna Mazumder, to set up the Faridpur Upazila Health Complex. Now, it is a 50-bed health complex and residential establishments.
All structures of the Mazumder estate from the early 19th century have been demolished, said Ratan Kumar Roy, Faridpur upazila health and family planning officer.
“There was a beautiful three storied building with 19th century heritage where Gauri Prasanna Mazumder was born and grew up. But now there is nothing of the historic house. There is a pond and three palm trees inside the hospital compound carrying the fading memory of Mazumder and nothing else,” said Bablu Lahiri, an elderly resident of Gopalnagar.
Mazumder visited his ancestral home in 1972 after the Liberation War, when the land became an abandoned vested property, said Bablu, also a relative of Mazumder, pointing at a piece of land inside the compound.
His some other noted songs include Akash keno daake, Aj ei dintake moner khatay, Amar swapno tumi, Asha chilo bhalobasha chilo, Eito hethay kunjo chhayay, Ek polokey ektu dekha, Ki ashay bandhi khelaghor, Aj dujonar duti poth, Ei balukabelay, Ei raat tomar amar, Ei poth jodi na shesh hoy, and O nodi re.
“As a member of the Mazumder family, I feel proud of my uncle Gauri Prasanna Mazumder. But it is also unfortunate that we didn't keep his memory at his ancestral home alive,” said Chandan Mazumder.
He urged the government to do something, like building a memorial or a library in his honour, for the future generations to remember him by.
“The youth in Faridpur know that Gauri Prasanna Mazumder is originally from here, but no one can identify his ancestral home,” said Abu Sayed Moula, a businessman in the village.
They have seen some parts of the dilapidated building in the early 80s, but there is no sign of it now to remember the legendary composer, he added.
Mazumder died on February, 12, 1986, in Kolkata.
“The government must take steps to educate the youth on his early life and works at his ancestral home,” said Abdul Matin Khan, a leading cultural organiser in the district.