the most famous and the most loved singer of Bengal. Salil said once that if God
could sing he would have a voice like Hemanta. Bengalees all over the world lovingly
call him Hemanta or Hemantada. In the rest of India he is known as Hemant Kumar. Bengalees
really fell in love with him when he started singing Rabindrasangeet. His wonderful
deep voice, his delivery and his perfect pronunciation gave Rabindrasangeet a
totally new dimension. Besides recording for most of the Bengali composers, he
himself was an accomplished composer. His first song for Salil was 'Gaanyer Bodhu'.
Rumour has it that when 'Gaanyer Bodhu' was released Salil wasn't even around.
He was hiding from the police somewhere in the Sundarbans due to his associations
with the communist party. Anyway, 'Gaanyer Bodhu' immediately established Hemanta
as an important singer in the Bengali music scene and Salil as the new composer
and lyricist. It was going to be one of the most important and long lasting musical
partnerships in Bengal. I don't think there will ever be another composer like
Salil who would create songs like 'Moner janaala dhorey' or 'Amaay prosno karey
neel dhrubotaara', and any other singer who would be able to sing these songs
like the way Hemanta did.
Hnd = Hindi; Mal = Malayalam; Tam = Tamil; Tel = Telegu; Kan = Kannada; Bng = Bengali; Oth = Other
Hemanta-Salil combination revolutionised bengali modern music completely. Bengalees were stunned after the release of "Gaanyer Bondhu". Never before such a song was composed in bengali. With Hemanta's rich and melodius voice with perfect pronuciation and Salil's unique and unparalleled lyrical and compositional superiority changed the course of bengali modern music for ever. Salil achieved another milestone by composing some of the famous poems of his dear friend the revolutionary poet Sukanta Bhattyacharya. These songs have since become a part of the Bengali culture and the poems are not read as poems anymore. They have metamorphosed into songs. Such was the power of Salil's composition. There is an amazing version of "Abaak Prithibi" recorded by Debabrata Biswas - so completely different to Hemanta's rather laidback version of the same song. There's also a hindi version of Gaa.nyer Bodhu. This song was recorded by Hemanta
most probably on his own initiative. The opening melody line is different and
so is the arrangement. Doesn't sound like Salil at all. And the lyric ( no idea
who wrote it) is pretty pathetic.