July 27, 2019

Bornali Kalita Completes 20 Years in the Music Industry

She has been winning the hearts and applauses of her audiences over the years with her lilting numbers like ‘Hira doi’, ‘Sokut souk tholu’, ‘Hasoti loi lang’, ‘Priya’, ‘Maina’, ‘Gori tere yaad main’, ‘Hira hira doi’, ‘Pokuwa xuta’, ‘Sapoon’, ‘Dorika Disang’, ‘Nodit ga dhubole’, ‘Lahe lahe gopane’, ‘Nila nila akakhote’, ‘Piya Saware’, etc. Conferred with the prestigious ‘Sangeet Ratna’ title from the Sarba Bharatiya Sangeet And Sanskriti Parishad of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, Assam’s popular songstress Bornali Kalita has recently completed 20 years in the field of professional music. 

It was 2009. After establishing herself as a singer of repute in Assam, Bornali Kalita went to Mumbai to prove her musical capabilities and talent. At that time, noted music director Annu Malik was working on the movie ‘Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hain’, where he had composed a song ‘Yeh kyun’, rendered by popular singers Shaan and Shreya Goshal. In that particular song, there was an English part to sing and that part was sung by a relatively new singer in Bollywood, Bornali Kalita.

After witnessing Bornali’s talent, Annu Malik was highly impressed. After refusing to take remuneration for her work, Malik had told her then, “We don’t know what happens in your Assam, but here nothing is for free.” Her hard work and perseverance paid off when earned ten thousand rupees as her first income in Bollywood. Soon after, she started singing in various programmes. 

This singer shared with us some of her memorable incidents that remained etched in her memory.

My song ‘Asinayang’ was frequently played in the car of the great Dr Bhupen Hazarika. I remember an incident that took place during a function held on the occasion of the first anniversary of News Live. While Dr Hazarika was listening to my song ‘Asinayang’ sitting right in front of me, he asked Manisha Baidew to bring me to him. I went up to him after completing my performance and took his blessings as I touched his feet. He told me that he really liked my song and that I have a really beautiful voice. I can never express how I felt after knowing that Dr Bhupen Hazarika was keenly listening to my song. As I was about to leave, he called me and told me that he wanted to whisper something in my ears. He insisted me to come closer to him and so I sat right beside him to lend him my ears. He whispered to me that if chubby girls can be so endearing, he would not mind falling in love again. I was a little red-faced, but also proud. In my 20 years of musical journey, this heart-touching encounter with Dr Bhupen Hazarika will forever remain a cherished moment in my life.” 

Once there was a show featuring the likes of singer JoJo and popular music director Bappi Lahiri in Jalpaiguri, where we were the last act of the day. After reaching the venue, we saw an ocean of more than 5 lakh people crowding the area. When they found out that the ‘Chal Gori’ team was there, they started gathering around our car. We called the committee, but even when they could not do anything, an ambulance was called. We crossed the distance from the road to the stage in the ambulance! Even when the ambulance was stopped near the stage, people tried to reach my hand, they were crying and there was so much chaos that the ambulance was about to flip over. The committee members somehow managed to get us out of the vehicle and brought us backstage. In my 20 years of musical journey, I will never forget that sight, that love and that desire.

It was in 1998, when Bornali, then studying in Cotton College, made her entry into the music industry with the album ‘Ki Rong Dila’, which also featured eminent artiste Dwipen Baruah. Thereafter, she has rendered almost ten thousand songs in various languages. Two Bollywood movies, twenty Assamese movies, songs for various mobile theatre troupes of Assam, more than forty albums, among others, have ornamented her long musical journey. 

Bornali was born in Dibrugarh district’s Namrup, to parents Ananta Kumar Kalita and Anuradha Kalita, who instilled in their child a love of music. In fact, Bornali was just two years of age when she underwent musical training under late Rokha Baruah. She completed her studies from Cotton College, Handique College and Gauhati University. She has been conferred with various awards and honours, which include the Sudhakantha Dr Bhupen Hazarika award, Assam Sahitya Sabha’s Asom Silpi Award, Assam Lekhika Santha’s Xur Silpi Award, etc. Bornali, clearly, has a voice and a talent which is God-given, and she feels extremely lucky to have fans who have listened to her music for the last twenty years. Currently, Bornali Kalita has got two new albums waiting to be released. 

Prantik Deka.


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