Kolkata, July 29 (PTI) A digital archive on the legendary singer, late Feroza Begum, who straddled the Indian subcontinent's music world, has been launched on her 91st birthday.
The famous singer who was born in Faridpur now in Bangladesh in 1930 and lived both in India and Bangladesh was famous for her Urdu Ghazals such as ‘Tum bhulaye na gaye’ (You cannot be forgotten, even if I tried) and Nazrul (compositions of Kazi Nazrul Islam) numbers ‘Shukno patar nupur paye’ (Wearing an anklet of dry leaves), would have turned 91 on Wednesday.
The Feroza Begum Archive (www.ferozabegum.com), a digital repository giving a glimpse of her life and works, was launched at the initiative of Shusmita Anis, the singer’s niece in Dhaka.
Her followers and members of the singing fraternity in India, Anup Ghosal and Haimanti Shukla from Kolkata and singer Arati Mukherjee from Mumbai were present during the virtual launch of the archive on Wednesday.
Arati Mukherjee said, " I miss her. She was such a great artiste. I feel sad whenever I think that she is no more. This archive was a much-needed one." Haimanti Shukla remembered the days when Feroza was in Kolkata and they came across each other.
"Those days she used to come to programmes wearing Benarasi sarees with gold embroidery," she recalled.
The archive has a biography, a list of awards, a treasure trove of songs ranging from Nazrul songs, Rabindra Sangeet, modern Bengali songs, and ghazals - rendered by the mellifluous singer.
""We are very honoured and proud of this work. It is a privilege to have such a legendary artiste as a member of our family. This work can also be called my ‘Gurudakshina’ (repaying one’s guru after the completion of formal training) to her," the singer's niece explained from Dhaka.
Pointing out that creation of the digital archive was a labour of love, she said "It was a very difficult task to document her works under one single roof. It was possible with the cooperation of the family. This archive is a treasure trove and will be helpful for researchers.” There is also information about the songs like the release year, names of composer-lyricist, publisher company details and so on, a spokesperson of the archives said.
"The archive also has a rare collection of her programmes, her interviews in television and radio, and various stage performances," the spokesperson said.
Besides interviews published in various Bengali and English newspapers, the digital archive has programme reviews, a collection of rare photographs, photo gallery having pictures with her family members and with stalwarts of various professions.
"Various celebrated artistes cutting across generations talk about her. There are also plans to add information, videos or songs from her admirers who have them in their collection, to this archive.
“In addition, there are hand-written notebook copies, notations, letters and much more. There will also be a biography of her husband, renowned composer Kamal Dasgupta, transcripts of songbooks, reports published in newspapers, songs and pictures," Anis said, Begum, a recipient of several awards including the coveted Independence day award by the Bangladesh government and the ‘Bongoshri’ award by the West Bengal government, died in Bangladesh in 2014 at the age of 84.