Remembering Shah Abdul Karim on his 12th death anniversary
Be it in buses, the radio, or on i-pods, Shah Abdul Karim's songs have always managed to make it to the playlist of almost every Bangla-speaking listener. His simple and life-based lyrics, paired with the tabla, harmonium, and dhol still echo in the ears of his audience.
Today marks the 12th death anniversary of the cherished Baul musician Shah Abdul Karim.
Shah Abdul Karim had to face a lot of hardships in life, as he was constantly battling poverty and hunger. Even amidst such a crisis, he had composed over five hundred songs.
Some of his most cherished numbers are "Bonde Maya Lagaise", "Ashi Bole Gelo Bondhu", "Gari Cholena Cholena", "Ami Koolhara Kolonkini", and "Agey Ki Shundor Din Kataitham", among many others.
Abdul Karim had spent most of his last days beside the grave of his wife Baisakhi whom he called Sarla. Sitting by the grave of loving Sarla, Abdul Karim had expressed his emotions through the song "Keno Piriti Baraila Re Bondhu", among many other such numbers.
"My wife Sarla has been my biggest and strongest supporter and if a man could have been a murid (spiritual guide) of a woman, I would have been a murid of my wife" he had said when asked about his inspiration in an interview with The Daily Star.
Shah Abdul Karim received the Ekushey Padak in 2011 for his ingenious contribution in treasuring the folk culture of Bangladesh, especially in music. The singer was also honoured with the Meril Prothom Alo Lifetime Achievement Award.
With time, he grew to become a preferred topic for writers and numerous documentaries have also been made on his life over the years. Aiming to globalise his universal appeal Bangla Academy took to translate his Bangla songs into English.
The legend passed away on September 12, 2009, due to respiratory problems.