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George da The Legendary Rabindra Sangeet Singer
The talented artist
Humorous & captivating
“Why do you want to make foray into singing? You should better build good quality bridges that do not collapse”. The upright singer told my brother Sri Barun Kanti Chatterjee bluntly when as a first year engineering student, an admirer of the famous singer and an accomplished photographer he went to his residence to learn Tagore songs. He was totally mesmerized by his strong personality and straight forwardness spiced with an excellent sense of humour besides his rich captivating voice and perfect intonations . So much so that his respect for the great artist lingered and he began to capture his every performance on camera which could keep the audience spell bound and enraptured. Though he has subsequently risen to become an engineer of repute and represents a big US company as a sole Indian representative that is another story but like millions of Indians all over the globe he devotes his spare time to listen to his Tagore songs and even has made a website in tribute to the great artist. Tremendous worldwide response to the site is an eloquent testimony to the envious popularity of the singer who never had any bigotry relating to religion, caste creed or even musical notations.
Forging a life long bond
Great yet humble
A Legend in His Lifetime
That was Debabrata Biswas the finest exponent of Rabindra Sangeet who became a legend in his life time. He was born in 1911 at Kishoreganj now in Bangladesh and passed away at the age of only 69 years in Kolkata. He was a bachelor and an asthmatic patient. But his handicap could not dim his love for songs and he continued to sing using inhalers. Unlike other orthodox or un orthodox singers, Georgeda as he was fondly called by his endless admirers sang almost 800 Tagore songs. Listeners who heard him singing devotional songs like Prabhu Amar Priyo Amar or Jatobar Alo jwalatey chai were touched by his rendering & expressions of offering to the almighty. Georgeda sang duets with famous singers like Kanak Das, Suprova Sarkar, Geeta Sen, Aditi Sengupta, Ruma Guha Thakurata, Indrani Sen. The list includes Kanika Bandyopadhyay, Banani Ghosh & Purabi Mukhopadhyay as well. He used to sing Nrityero Taley Taley, Akash Bhora Surya Tara, Jetey Jetey Ekla pothey rhythmically with dance recitals by Manjushri Chaki Sarkar, Sadhan Guha, Padmini Dasgupta. He sang duets like EMNI KORE JAAY, AJI KAMOLO MUKULO DAL with Kanika Bandyopadhyay as well.
. The Eminent film maker Rittwik Ghatak took help of Georgeda for song selection & play back of Tagore songs. Debabrata Biswas was actively engaged with IPTA group for a long period. He sang a few songs set to music by Salil Choudhury, Hemanga Biswas, Jyotirindra Moitra and recorded songs during the liberation movement of Bangladesh. Kazi Najrul Islam himself was the trainer when George da recorded Songs by Najrul. Two Books were written by this celebrated singer of Rabindra Sangeet - Bratyojoner Ruddha Sangeet & Antorango Cheen.
He had no formal training on songs but learnt the art by following boatmen, wandering minstrels, beggars as they would sing in their typical ways. Even he kept glued to the songs of her mother who would sing in between household chores. So he never became a very puritan but gradually got the delight of his spirit from Tagore songs. Debabrata Biswas is the only singer who sang Rabindra Sangeet in Sanskrit, English, German, French, and Russian. He got trained at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata for learning rudiments of foreign languages .Even after 34 years of his death, he remains the most popular singer now among the true lovers of Tagore Songs from the age 8 to 80! Still he was very modest. When Hemanta Mukherjee another great singer felicitated him at Rabindra Sadan in 1980 few months before his death, Georgeda returned the Garland to Hemanta saying it was Hemanta who had contributed more than him in popularizing Rabindra Sangeet.
a sketch on the performing artist
- 103rd Birth Centenary of the legend Debabrata Biswas - YouTube
স্মরণে মননে দেবব্রত বিশ্বাস ২১শে আগষ্ট শিশির মঞ্চ সন্ধ্যা ৬.০০ টা
His untimely demise has caused an irreparable loss to the music lovers all over the world
2. Ami Bratya Ami Mantrahin-a commemorative book published by Debabrata Biswas birth centenary celebration committee comprising eminent citizens of India with monetary support from the Government of India
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