Shabana Azmi, Lalit Pandit and Hariharan remember Bhupinder Singh

“Bhupinderji was amazing singer, unique voice which had romance, nostalgia, soothing, caressing, sentimental, soulful all rolled into one. He has sung some of the most classic songs!”, says Hariharan

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@SingerHariharan

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Shabana Azmi: “Bhupinder had a unique voice. The first time I heard him sing was in Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat. The song Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhulaya hoga, which was picturised on him was written by my father Kaifi Azmi and set to music by Madan Mohan. Then I remember another song written by my father Rut jawan jawan raat meherbaan. His voice and his face were a class apart. Many years later I sang a duet with Bhupinder in Muzaffar Ali’s Anjuman. I was nervous and terrified as I have never trained as a singer. But he was very patient and kind. I am sorry for his passing away and offer my heartfelt condolences to his wife Mitali.”

Lalit Pandit: “This is such a sad and shocking news!! Bhuppiji, as we called him was a very close family friend. He has sung the beautiful duet Boliye surili boliyan along with my sister Sulakshana Pandit in Basu Bhattacharya’s Grihapravesh. He had also sung for me in my very first film Yaara Dildara the song, Hamare papa aur hum, milakar rakkhen jo kadam along with Amit Kumar. He was a wonderful artist singer and one of the great guitarists who did a lot many solo acoustic guitar pieces in many of R D Burman’s immortal songs like, Chingari koi bhadke, phoolon ka taron ka, and others had Bhupindarji playing the 12-string guitar solo pieces!! One of Bhupinderji’s most unforgettable songs composed by Madan Mohan ji was a duet with Lataji in the film Mausam: Dil Dhundta Hai. Bhupinderji had at the start of his carrier acted in a film Haqeeqat and sang the song Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhulaya hoga along with Rafi saab, Manna Dey and Talat Mehmood saab! We have indeed lost a legend.I was a fan of Bhupiji also as a guitarist as I knew the wonderful guitar pieces, he played in many wonderful R.D Burman songs I had spoken to Bhupinderji about this and he had agreed to tutor me to play advance guitar during the time he was singing my song for Yaara Dildara. Bhupiji was a great friend to the family during Sulakshana Didi’s reign as a singing actress. He would address her as Munni, Sulakshana Didi’s per name at home. Bhuppiji would add tremendous small meaningful guitar sections in hundreds of R.D Burman’s compositions and I would by ear be able to tell that it was Bhupiji playing. I knew his style so well! He had a unique Punjabi tone in his voice and later over the years he composed ghazals and sang them. He was a wonderful composer of ghazals and enjoyed his music till the very end .He leaves behind a legacy of songs some of which will remain timeless specially the songs with Gulzar Sahab and Lataji.”

Hariharan: “Bhupinderji was an amazing singer, a unique voice which had romance, nostalgia, soothing, caressing, sentimental, soulful all rolled into one. He has sung some of the most classic songs of yester years! He was great composer of Kabir bhajans and lot of ghazals. Very gifted guitar player. A smile so warm, yes, he did smile from his heart. He had a gentle caring soul. I knew him from 1977. I looked up to him. God bless his soul.”

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