Monday, 23 March 2009

For the singer...

His was rare voice, blended of classical and typical Santiniketan gharana of Rabindrasangeet. Many an evening we aptly listened to his songs — sometimes live, sometimes on CD. Mostly i met him at Ratan Palli’s Nabadwip and a few occasions at Subernarekha too where he would fill the ambience with an aura inexplicable in a few words.

One evening, during the usual adda at Nabadwip, he told me how a piece of Ganesh Pyne thrilled him at the wash room of a person known to most of the Bengalis. He was invited by them to present a song at a memorial ceremony of Ashok Kumar Sarkar, an editor who took the family business of morning dose of newspaper to a new height. Tomorrow, March 24, would ironically be the memorial service of Vikram Singh Khangura, Vikram da for us, where probably everyone would sing “tomaro aseem e prano mon loye”, except the voice that gave us a new meaning of Rabindrasangeet for years.

His “gayaki”, the way of singing a song, could only be compared to that of his father’s, Mohan da. But Vikram da made a different and bold presence that was identified only with his voice.
It was a montage last Saturday, March 14, when I got the news of his untimely death at the age of only 36. Images of Vikram da at the addas, Vikram da at the wheels of an Indica, Vikram da with a Havana cigar, Vikram da humming some tune and many others just drift by.

Suddenly i remember Vikram da wanted a picture of Pt Malikarjun Mansur. A few weeks before he died of a massive cardiac arrest, he even told me that if i could take a printout of any picture of the classical vocalist from our digital library. Unfortunately, we did not have a good picture of Malikarjun. I called him up to inform that only to get a satiric comment with a VSK-signature laugh: “Journalists can’t unravel anything! Not even a photograph of a classical singer.” He hung up but not before asking me when i was coming next to Santiniketan.

Last week i went. Around 8.30pm, I was sitting alone waiting for others to come at Nabadwip Sweets. I made a call to Partha da, one of the regulars at the adda. Just browsing the names of who the other people i could meet that Thursday night, i stopped at one “Vikram Singh”. What should i do? Should i call him and expect to be here within half-an-hour on a Kinetic Honda?
I just deleted the entry number 236.

©Supratim Pal, 2009

24 comments:

pansyboy said...

:'(

Anonymous said...

Heart touching..

Anonymous said...

What happened with him?
How he died?

Supratim Pal said...

he was being treated in peerless hospital for some trivial issues. suddenly, he had a massive heart attack after lunch. within a few minutes, it was all over.

suvodip said...

I missed most of him earlier but i get him often nowadays. I heared that was a road accident, is it true? U say, of cardiac arrest ?

Anonymous said...

respected sir,
when he was in peerless[in 2009],i met with him regularly for some reason...he was God Gifted Genius...he touched me deeply...he had rare touch of painting...my life quote-"always live in present.",but only for Vikram,i missed him till now...that melancholic heavenly voice with classical flavour.his rabindrasangeet gives me the strength in life.thank you for your blog.

Atindra Sarvadikar said...

Hello, I am a Mumbai based vocalist, I saw Vikram's video on YouTube. I am not Bengali, nor I understand language or intricacies of rabindra sangeet... I like his voice and wished to connect on Facebook... While searching his information I fall here ! I am very sad that he is no more.. don't know but I strongly feeling if he was alive, we were good friends :) deepest condolences to this friend whome I never met ! - Atindra Sarvadikar...

Sourav Sengupta said...

Its an earnest appeal to the admin ....if anyone can publish a biography of the great singer.....or if it exists please share the link....Like me I think after hearing his voice many would like to know him...but Alas its too late...

Sourav Sengupta said...

Its an earnest appeal to the admin ....if anyone can publish a biography of the great singer.....or if it exists please share the link....Like me I think after hearing his voice many would like to know him...but Alas its too late...

Anonymous said...

The story of life and death is so peculiar. In 2009 I was also in Kolkata and my place was so close to Peerless Hospital and I still live in the same place but tonight when I'm listening to these songs both Tagore and the singer are infinite light years away from me and perhaps in some other heavenly & melodious world of light & song they have met each other soulfully in a sky full of consciousness and living their new lives together in either a musical or a silent reality beyond all the conditions and constraints of time & space.They now belong to eternity.

tarun bandyopadhyay said...

vikram singh is a singer of a very very rare quality,his early death reminds me of another great singer pannalal bhattacharya,who also died early

Swaprava Nath said...

He deserves a wikipedia page. If there are enough people reading this blog who can provide all the information one may need for a wiki page -- I can help creating it.

Sourav Chakraborty said...

What a great loss! I am simply mesmerized at his renderings. He surely deserves a Wiki page.

Arka said...

I had grown up never hearing about anyone named Vikram Singh until two years back when I heard one of his songs and I fell in love with him. Then I searched and discovered more of his music only to love his voice more and to grow a want to meet him until 2-3 months later when I read an article about his death. I was shocked and heart-broken at the same time. It's so unfortunate. He deserved to be. I discovered him after he was no more.

Anirban Laha said...

Someone just said - "listen to Mohan Singh's son's songs - u'll get them on youtube" - today listening mesmerised and tearful by the heart wrenching tones of Bikram -- wonder is God so cruel or so benevolent?? May you sing on forever.
Anirban Laha

goutam dutta said...

আমি গত কাল প্রথম বিক্রম এর গান শুনলাম।
এতটাই মুগ্ধ হয়েছি যে আরও জানতে চেষ্টা করলাম।
শুধু চোখ দিয়ে জল বেরিয়ে এলো।
কত গান যে শোনা হল না, কত গান যে সে গেয়ে গেল না.........

Anonymous said...

His legacy won't be forgotten

Tathagata Sen said...

Just when Rabindrasangeet in its pure form was being distorted by so called innovative & experimental interpretations, Vikram Singh's powerful voice effortlessly established Rabindrasangeet in its traditional style,making the modern experiments sound gimmicky and redundant. The deep emotional content of his voice loads every song with an irresistible appeal.Though trained and nurtured by stalwarts of Shantiniketan he had developed a style of his own. His demise leaves a void never to be filled up again.

Tathagata Sen said...

In his brief musical career of about 5 years he earned himself the position of a consummate singer of Rabindranath's tappa style compositions,which he sang with enviable ease! I had the rare fortune of hearing him sing Punjabi Sufi songs as well with equal spontaneity with his father.

senescent said...

I discovered both him and Mohan Singh, when I was looking for a rendition of "Noyon tomare pay na dekhite". Even at 55 yrs (2014) of age I still come across songs that I have only read in my Gitabitan. I must admit, I was shocked to learn that he had already passed away.

LET US STAY CONNECTED said...

For so many years, this thread has remained alive and active .... we, who loved his rendition of RabindraSngeet come here to convey our admiration for him.

Wish some of his close friends will take the initiative to create a Wikipedia page for him.

subrata majumder-sodepur said...

I also discovered him after his death. Awesome. No words to comment. Get immense piece and strength in mind hearing his songs. It is right that no wikipedia page is not available to know him.

Unknown said...

Ishwar er protinidhi ra kom somoyer jonyoii pritibi te asen...Vikram Singh temonii akjon... Khub kom somoy nijer protibhar porichoy diey gechen... Tar udatto kontho monta bhoriey daye...moner kosto chokher jol hoey jhore pore...amon akjon Shilpi k aro sobai chinuk... Tai amio chai Shilpi Kobi Vikram Singh er akta Wikipedia Page toiri hok...

Unknown said...

A great singer died so early -- a great loss.