Noted singer Kakoli Dewan passed away yesterday night in Dhaka. The artiste was admitted to Mugda Medical College and Hospital. She was suffering from chronic kidney complications for some time, and had also tested positive for Covid-19 in the last days of March this year, according to her son, beatboxer Moktadir Dewan. Kakoli Dewan started her career with stage performances, and became a regular radio singer at Bangladesh Betar from Chattogram, in the early 80s.
"She initially received treatment under Nephrologist Dr Arup Ratan Dutta in India, and was doing fine until we had to start her dialysis from this February, as there was a significant rise in her creatinine levels. Her diabetes and blood pressure problems only added to the complications," Moktadir Dewan adds.
Born in Pukurpar of Chattogram's Rahmatganj on December 14, 1958, Kakoli Dewan learned Rabindra Sangeet from noted singer Mihir Kumar Nandi. She also won over audiences with Lalon Sangeet and other folk songs.
She was married to mime actor and interior designer Dewan Mahmood Ahmed. The duo was closely associated with the band, Shoikotchari in the early days of their careers. "Ayub Bachchu, Tapan Chowdhury, Partha Barua, Subrata Barua Ronny, and Naquib Khan, among many others, used to be a part of this band," says Moktadir Dewan.
They later moved to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Even after migrating to the Middle East, Kakoli Dewan kept practicing music. "She had also released an exclusive magazine programme called 'Binodon', through VHS along with various artistes back then. She performed the song, 'Graam Chara Oi Ranga Matir Poth' beautifully in the programme. It was a defining moment for the cultural arena in Riyadh," recalls Moktadir Dewan.
In her spare time, the singer used to teach music to kids and spend time with her peers.
"We had lived as neighbours in Riyadh for over a decade until we moved to another area but the distance never came between our friendships," says famed actor Masum Basher. "She was one of the simplest and most welcoming people I knew — a pure soul by heart who was humourous and earnest at the same time. We would spend hours chatting over tea during evenings and often performed together back in the day. Our rehearsals mainly took place at their house or ours. I pray for her and her family."
"She was very sincere when it came to her music and she never turned down out any song requests during our evening chit-chats," says noted actor Mili Basher. "She was a great cook and an amazing friend."
Kakoli Dewan was laid to rest at Baish Moholla graveyard in Chattogram. She has left behind her husband, son, and a host of admirers.