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Obituary: Ranabir Neogi Remembers Late Eminent Bengali Singer Sabita Chowdhury

A look back at the life of a musical luminary

Sujit Nath |

Updated:June 29, 2017, 5:58 PM IST
Obituary: Ranabir Neogi Remembers Late Eminent Bengali Singer Sabita Chowdhury
Singer Sabita Chowdhury (Image courtesy: Youtube)
Famous singer Sabita Chowdhury - wife of the music legend Salil Chowdhury – passed away at her residence in Kolkata on Thursday; she was 72. She had been undergoing treatment for cancer since January of this year.

Her friend Ranabir Neogi recalls her as an expert in bringing a quality of “madakata” (mind altering) to songs. “I was not even 10-years old when I heard Sabita di’s song Surero ei jhar jharna on the radio for the first time, in 1958,” said the 70-year old Neogi, adding that she sang more than 250 songs since 1958 in Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Assamese and Oriya.

“After that, I started following her songs and became a big fan of Sabita di. I was finally able to meet her in the ‘60s, through Utpal da (Chakraborty) the owner of ‘Melody’ music record shop on Rashbehari Avenue. The music shop is still there and one can find some of the best collections of Sabita di’s songs there. Since then, I used to go to her Rowdon Street House in South Kolkata. Her husband Salil da also used to love me a lot. All three of us used to chat for hours, on everything from music to philosophy,” he said.
While unable to recall many facts due to his old age, Neogi shared, “As far as I remember, she was brought up in Delhi. Her father used to work with Reserve Bank of India (RBI). She told me once that it was because of her mother that she got into music. She met Salil da at Bombay Youth Choir. She sang her last song in 1981. Some of her famous songs are Mori Haay go Haay, Ghoom Aay Ghoom Aay, Sudhu Tomaari Jonney, Jaa re Jaa Jaa Mono Paakhi, Aaj soroter dine baansi baajlo. She also recorded some duet songs with her daughter Antara including Naao gaan bhorey naao. She will be sorely missed.
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