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Mullick again



A tribute: Pankaj Kumar Mullick

In the centenary year of the legendary singer Pankaj Kumar Mullick, whose birth anniversary fell on May 10, Doordarshan presented a special programme of music. Doordarshan indeed, has a special bond with this much loved singer, since it was Pankaj Mullick, along with Bharatanatyam danceuse Vyjanthimala, who was the star performer at the nationwide launch of the State channel in 1959.

Pankajda, as he was known, found a special place in the hearts of Rabindra Sangeet lovers, as he "liberated" it from the confines of Santiniketan to a wider public. Being close to Rabindranath and Dinendranath Tagore helped him in this endeavour. He even set to music one of Tagore's poems, "Diner sheshey ghumar deshey", which the poet not only approved of but also permitted the singer to use in P.C. Barua's classic "Mukti". Born in 1905, Mullick was associated with All India Radio, Calcutta since its inception. He conducted "Sangeet Shikshar Ashar", a programme for women, from 1929 to 1975. He composed the orchestral background for two silent films, "Chasher Meye" and "Chor Kante" for International Film Craft, which later became New Theatres with Mullick as one of its two music directors. He made a smooth transition to playback singing and composed music for 100 films, giving opportunities to singers like K.C. Dey and K.L. Saigal. Not surprisingly, he received the Dada Saheb Phalke award for his contribution to Indian cinema.Equally adept at the theory of music, he authored four books on Indian classical music.

DEBU MAZUMDAR

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