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A born artiste never dies

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On the occasion of the legend of Bengali music and Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra vocal artiste Abdul Jabbar’s first death anniversary (30 August) Md Amirul Islam, lyricist of his only album, has reminiscenced about this great singer

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31st-Aug-2018       
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Md Amirul Islam :
By the sweetness of whose drunken rendition innumerable audience were spell-bound and by the enchantment of whose nectarine voice the golden era began in the history of Bengali music, is celebrated singer Mohammad Abdul Jabbar. I was introduced to him in 2008. He gave voice to a song termed Ekhane Aamar Padma Meghna written by me. After recording he enjoyed the song several times and was so impressed that he expressed his intention to make an album. I penned songs of different genres for album. Of them, a song was about his artistic career as Amake Tomader Bhalo Na Lagleo Amar Ei Gaan Bhalolagbe meaning ‘May I not be loved but this song of mine certainly be.’ Reading the song Abdul Jabbar became too emotional and said, “It’s not merely of mine but also of each artiste’s mind.” He wanted the song to be played after his death.
Golam Sarwar composed the songs. The musical work ended in 2009. The album was titled Maa Aamar Masjid Maa Aamar Mandir. Some leading national dailies published news of the album. Abdul Jabbar did not show any eagerness to release the album although he continued singing the songs in various TV channels including BTV. With the passage of time, Jabbar’s health started deteriorating.
One day I visited his residence at Bhuter Gali in Dhanmondi and discussed about the release of the album. He consented. The album was renamed Kothay Amar Neel Doriya after Abdul Jabbar’s popular song O re Neel Doriya. Finally the album titled Kothay Aamar Neel Doriya was released online on April in the last year after a long hiatus. Abdul Jabbar’s first and sole album of original songs came to light. I got involved in this great work forever.
Bangladesher Hridoy Tumi, Tumi Banglar Mita/Amra Sabai Ekti Jati Tumi Jatir Pita by myself was the last song vocalized by Abdul Jabbar on Bangabandhu. A few days before his death, he told me to write some songs about Bangabandhu. I lyricized a song and the lyric was Bangabandhu Dekhechhi Tomay Dekhechhi Muktijuddho/Hayenader Tumi Tariye Diye Korechho Mati Shuddho. But he could not voice the song.
Before that, he plunged into his dear Neel Doriya (Blue Sea) perpetually. He also wished to release an album of songs on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
I have met Abdul Jabbar closely and known deeper while working on the album. A top to toe patriotic epitomized true patriotism. By dint of this stern and irresistible patriotism frowning at death he vigorously declared, ‘Joy Banla, Banglar Joy’ in the battle field of 1971. He was a great source of inspiration, a rare ideal for the beginners. He most often said to me, “Amirul, carry on writing. Poet Nazrul wrote songs through all hazards.”  
In the current decade perhaps I am the only lyricist who availed myself of being intimate with Abdul Jabbar. I was with him till his death. I have so many memorable events and things with him in this long period. Sometime in studio, sometime in BTV and sometime in his house or others. I grope him in tearful eyes in those memorial processions.  
According to the indispensable law of nature Abdul Jabbar has departed eternally indeed. A born artiste never dies. He was, he is and he will be in this Bengal. Still his ever known voice echoes in skies and air of Bengal, Hajar Bachhor Pore/Abar Esechhi Firey/ Banglar Buke Achyi Dariye.  
Being crores of miles away he would glitter as the Pole Star in the sky of Bengali song throughout the ages removing deadly darkness. I still hear him say, “Amirul, write songs for me.” I will never write any song for him. My pen wants to stop time and again being stricken with pain, sorrow and tears.

    (Md Amirul Islam is a lyricist)

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