100th birth anniversary of Hemant Kumar

Ranjan Das Gupta pays a tribute to Hemant Kumar the man with the golden voice.

Those were the days when the singer Pankaj Mullick ruled hearts. A young man, with a splendid voice of his own, was such a fan of his that he tried emulating the senior musician’s somewhat nasal way of singing. Mullick, who knew him well, encouraged the young singer to develop his own style — and the world was introduced to Hemanta Mukherjee’s golden voice.

The year 2019 ushers in the 100th birth anniversary of Mukherjee, known as Hemant Kumar in the Hindi music world. The bespectacled musician — who was most often seen in a dhoti with a long white shirt — was born in June 1919, though some believe he was born a year later. More than 30 years after his death, his voice and music are still alive. Yet, few know that it was Mullick who had urged Mukherjee to rely on the strength of his voice.

What songs, what music, what an era!

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