Who was Hemant Mukherjee?
Hemant Mukherjee, the star of the world was born on 16th June, 1920 in a Bengali family of Benaras (now Varanasi). His father was an ordinary clerk, and mother – sensitive family lady. He was born in poverty and grew up among limitations, but with his notes of music, he reached that height which he had never thinks of.
He was so shy by nature that whenever he wanted anything from his father, he asked his mother to get it him and mother tried to get his demand satisfied. He had great love for music from his childhood. He was overjoyed or intoxicated with music almost every moment. One day, he was turned out of the class in Mitra School because he was humming music in the class room.
Hemant Mukherjee, the uncrowned kind of the music world, and lovingly called Hemant Da departed forever on the night of 26th September. 1989, and with it, the voice of music has become feeble. In his voice was magical attraction, whose every part of the body was drenched with music, in whose songs soul of Bharat and in notes the pride of Bharat were reflected.
His tones were over enjoyed in singing the songs of nationalist. His voice had supernatural magnetism. His every step was on a rhythm of music. It will not be a hyperbole to say about him that his routine daily life was full of music. In one word Hemant Da lived music.
On account of these qualities, he ruled over the hearts of lovers of music for regarding forty years. Corers of people of the country were enamoured of his captivating music as the name of Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard, is famous so his name will be remembered for centuries as a music charmer. No doubt, the Rabindra Sangeet Mandal was honoured by his grandeur. Expressing sorrow at the death of this great personality, Jyoti Basu, the then chief minister of West- Bengal said’ in his death, the nation has suffered a beyond patch up loss.
In lessons of time, his family shifted from to Varanasi to Bengal. His father had the aspiration of making him an engineer. Therefore, he got his admitted in the engineering course in Jadavapur university of Bengal. Here, his love for music increased all the more. On account of love for music, he could not pay due consideration to his studies, and leaving the engineering, he caught up himself in music.
First Song by Hemant
At the age of 15 years, he sang his first song at the radio and began his journey in music in public life. Hearing his song, his parents and connections were highly happy. Those days the names of Pankaj Malik, R.C. Boral and Kundan Lal Sehagal were over shadowing the world of music, the Bangala film ‘Nimayi Sanyas’ proved a milestone for him. A song sung by him made him famous all over the country.
Hemant delightful voice enchanted the people. Having worked for some time as an assistant of Hari Prasanna Das. He gave for the first time an independent music programme in the film ‘Purva Raag’ in 1945. The film ‘Priya’ added to his fame.
The next step of Hemant Mukherjee’s life began when he was called by Hemant Gupta to Bombay, for composing music for the film ‘Anandmatha’. After singing ‘Vandemataram’ for the first time in the Hindi film Anandmatha, he never looked back.
In 1951, he joined Filmistan. The credit of success of the film ‘Nagin’ in 1954 was given to songs of Hemant Mukherjee. And now, he was at the top of progress. He slowly but surely earned reputation as a singer besides being a musician.
His name will always be in the forefront among those persons who touched great heights through sheer labour. He got poverty in heritage but struggling with it, he joined the world of great musicians.
In his auto bio ‘Anand Dhara’, he has written, “We were very poor. My father was an ordinary clerk in school, I was charged concessional tuition fee. After leaving college, I had to do tuition for meetings my pocket expenses.
In the beginning, only two girls came to learn music from me. But when four records of music came in the market, my music from me. But when four records of my music came in the market , my fame increased, and I began to get more tuition’s ‘ Having been brought up in poverty, through my labour and devotion, reached the top, but he never lost touch of the ground.
During 1987, the ornament of Padamshree was offered to him by the central government, for his expensive role in the field of music, he declined it saying ‘it is too late now’. The award which was offered to him is much late, even after many junior artists had received it, was rightly declined by him, as by that time, it had lost good manners.
The physical body of this famous play back singer and musician mingled with the earth of Bharat on 26th September, 1989. With his death of powerful tone of music became quiet. Although, Hemant Da is not among us in physical form, yet the notes of music, which he gave to us, will continue deep for the ages to come. He will keep unblemished as the polestar in the outer space of music forever.