Birendra Krishna Bhadra: The Man Without Whom Durga Puja Is Incomplete

  New Delhi: There cannot be another ‘Birendra Krishna Bhadra’, this is how Bengalis from all around the globe remembers the man without whom the pious day of ‘Mahalaya’ would have been incomplete.

Birendra Krishna Bhadra, who is known for his sky high voice, unblemished Sanskrit pronunciation and unmatch voice modulation has been captivating the souls of every Bengali on the day of ‘Mahalaya’.

From ‘Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu to Jago Jago Maa’, each word of his chanting injects a sense of excitement and happiness in the soul of every individual who wakes up at 4 o clock in theto listen to Mahishasur Mardini.

It is believed that Mahalaya is the day when Devi Durga starts her journey from heaven to earth and with these chanting we welcome the Goddess to her parental home.

On Mahalaya, devotees remember their ancestors and pay homage to them and offer foods, clothes and sweets to the Brahmins. People wake up early in the morning, spend the day reciting prayers and hymns from the Devi Mahatmya scripture. Foods which are offered to the ancestors are usually cooked in silver or copper vessels and typically offered on a banana leaf or cups made of dried leaves.

Birendra Krishna Bhadra was born on 4th August 1905 in Ahiritola his maternal home, in north Kolkata. Bhadro was a known Indian broadcaster, play writer and theatre director from Kolkata.

Born in a musical family, Birendra Krishna always showed his inclination towards acting and singing. Many would not known that at a minor age, he was diagnosed with life threatening disease diphtheria. An English doctor whom they consulted, after examining Birendra Krishna said he can save his life but won’t be able to safeguard his vocal cord.

After this horrific incident, Bhadra become different from all other boys of his age. But as the saying goes, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. Birendra Krishna was adept in almost all forms of broadcasting. He was at once a sports commentator, singer, script writer, drama producer, drama artist, announcer, & special programme presenter.

One of his program ‘Sabinoy Nibedan’ became immensely popular. ‘Birupakheyr Asar’, another humorous commentary on the travails of the common man, is still fondly remembered by many for its breezy language & clever dialogues.

Image Courtesy: Aveek Basu Photography

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