The Musical Journey of Jyotirmoy Kakati : Deepanita Bora

Jyotirmoy Kakati is a unique name among the popular singers of Assam. He has that capacity to intoxicate listeners with his voice. He has that tranquility in his voice.

In his own words, “It was 1951. Only after matriculation, I admitted myself in Cotton College, Guwahati. And began to stay at the third mess of the fourth block of the Cotton Hostel. Prabodh Sharma was the monitor of the third mess. He was also the Cultural Secretary of Cotton College at that time. He was a skilled mouth-organist. One day as Prabodh Da listened to me singing, he said that I could try for the radio. He then took me to Tafajjul Ali and introduced me to him. By then, Tafa da was already known as a music artist. With the inspiration of these two people, I gave my first radio audition and just after two months received a modern song program.

Birendranath Datta, Tafajjul Ali & Jyotirmoy Kakati

Now the question arose, from whom do I get the lyrics? I was not at all acquainted with the song writers at that time. Again, I ran for Tafa da. And he gave me the solution. The songs of Lakshyahira Das Baideo were approved by the Aakash Bani as early as in 1948. Tafa Da fixed two of her songs and also gave music to them. And thus in October, 1951 with two of Lakshyahira Baideo’s songs and Tafajjul Ali’s music, I set off with my first radio performance. The songs were, ‘Matir Momota Kun Dina Hobo Xex’ and ‘Xowarai Jodi Xondhiyai ’. I was happy that the people embraced them pretty well.”

Born in Digboi in 1935, Jyotirmoy Kakati received the introductory lessons of music from his father Tarinicharan Kakati. His father Tarinicharan Kakati, whose songs were played through the Gramophone Records in 1937, was also an artist to reckon with. His elder sister, Noni Kakati was also a singer. The urge towards the world of music grew in him listening to the musical lessons of Pankaj Mullick ‘Xongit  Xikhyar Aasor’, a program telecast by the Calcutta Radio Centre during his childhood. In 1951, after coming to Cotton College for his higher education, he met with people like Tafajjul Ali, Birendrantah Datta, et al. Under whom he received his highest inspiration to sing on. In 1961, he joined services in Shillong and thus rendered his voice in numerous songs to come along. His songs have a unique versatility. In the genre of blues, his voice is pleasurable par excellence. Like the profound and sinister voice of a Ghazal singer. In 1964, Tafajjul Ali’s song ‘Mondakranta Mor Kobitar Kon Tumi Modhuchanda’ with his voice for the HMV Records was listed in the top ten highest sold records in assorted languages.  Even today, the song ‘Mondakranta Mor Kobitar Kon Tumi Modhuchanda’ is in the list of popular Assamese songs. Shyamaprasad Baishya’s ‘Jonki Nemelibi Nao…’, ‘Eijoni Onamika Nagini Suali…’, ‘Dure Dure Kone…’ et al songs sung by this singer have a different taste altogether. The Bongeets ‘Sotore Saporit Sakoiye Siyore Sokowa Sorote Nai…’ and ‘Luitore Paarote Duti Ful Bonoriya…’ in his and singer Jnanada Kakati’s voice for the HMV records were both formless and formidable.

Listeners have always had felt a sensational pleasure in Jyotirmoy Kakati’s voice. He is a serious man. In person, he is too polite and gentle. He has judged assorted musical competitions and is pregnant with a lifelong experience with music. In one of Tafajjul Ali’s well acclaimed songs ‘Kheyali Mor Monor Akash’ the voices rendered are of Jyotirmoy Kakati and Jyotish Bhattacharyya’s. Jyotirmoy Kakati is regarded as a unique singer in the world of Assamese music. And that is why he has been conferred upon the Assam Government’s Artist Award. We offer here our well wishes and heartiest congratulations to Jyotirmoy Kakati, who is now a resident of Saraniya, Guwahati.

Translation by Dhrijyoti Kalita, Dept. of English, University of Delhi
©Project Lipyontor, enajori.com

(Published in enajori.com’s march 2013 issue)

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