GUWAHATI, Sept 8 - Around 25 years ago, Dulal Talukdar, an ardent fan of Dr Bhupen Hazarika, left his home located in the Barnibari area of Nalbari district, looking for greener pastures in Guwahati.
But, in November 2011, Dulal�s life took a new turn. Like any other fan, Dulal, too, was taken aback by the news of Dr Hazarika�s death. He immediately rushed to Dr Hazarika�s Nizarapar house to pay his last tribute to the maestro.
However, unlike other fans who got back to their routine work, Dulal could not get over the loss and eventually decided to volunteer his service to the cause of Dr Bhupen Hazarika Memorial located at Jalukbari.
�I just could not get back to my day-to-day life. It was a personal loss. The call was from within. No one appointed me to look after the place. I started working on my own. Ever since I lost my father, I considered Dr Bhupen Hazarika as my second father. Unfortunately, I could not attend the funeral of my father and there is always a feeling of guilt. So, by working in the �Samadhi Khetra�, I am in a way trying to get relief from this odd feeling,� Dulal Talukdar told The Assam Tribune.
Following in his footsteps, today, all the four members of his family, including his wife Mira Talukdar, daughter Karishmita and son Pranjit also devoted their lives in the maintenance of the Samadhi Khetra.
�My spouse is a housewife and my daughter and son are studying in Class XI and VIII respectively. We live in a house adjacent to this place. Maintaining the Samadhi Khetra has become a part and parcel of our family. We four are committed to keeping the earthen lamp burning at the Samadhi Khetra till we are alive,� Dulal asserted.
Offering his tribute to Bhupenda on his birthday, Dulal said, �He will be always in the heart of every Assamese people. Today I am very happy to witness such a huge crowd at the Samadhi Khetra since early morning. Every day, hundreds of people from across the globe visit the place and appreciate the initiative to keep the memory of Bhupenda alive.�
Recalling his connection as a fan with the Bard of Brahmaputra, he said, �I become a fan of Bhupenda after listening to his songs in radio during my childhood. I got the chance to meet him once at his residence in the city. Unfortunately, I have not got a chance to watch any of his movies.�
Now, for being a caretaker of the Samadhi Khetra, the Gauhati University authority pays Dulal a monthly stipend of Rs 2,500. Along with the maintenance of the place, he was also working as a helper in a private entity in the Jalukbari area till recently. He has since resigned from that job.
�After I quit that job, I have been facing financial problems. So, I now urgently need a job as the stipend is not enough for the survival of my family,� Dulal stated.