GUWAHATI, Aug 27 - Veteran singer Archana Mahanta, wife of legendary singer late Khagen Mahanta and mother of singing sensation Angaraag Papon Mahanta, breathed her last at a private hospital here today. She was 71 and had been ailing for some time.
Doctors said she was suffering from multiple ailments. Last month she had also suffered a brain stroke. Besides Angaraag, she is survived by a daughter and a host of relatives.
She was a familiar voice with her evergreen songs and together with her husband the singing duo set a new trend in Assamese music. Her demise has not only created a vacuum in the cultural arena of the State but also brought an end of an era.
Recalling her contributions in the field of culture, veteran flautist and musician Prabhat Sarma said, �Archana Mahanta was a very curious artiste who always wanted to learn something new. She was a hard worker and sang a number of songs under my music direction. I witnessed her entire journey as a singer from Archana Das to Archana Mahanta.�
Sarma said she used to dedicatedly practise the folk songs of Assam. He also termed Archana Mahanta as the best mother for whom Assam got a talent like Angaraag Mahanta and as the best wife who had immense contribution behind the success of Khagen Mahanta.
Known for her soulful rendition of borgeet, lokageet, Bihugeet, tokarigeet and other forms of folk songs, Archana Mahanta was a recognised artiste of Akashbani. She also sang songs in Assamese movies, including Lalita, Upagraha, Rashmirekha, Ganesh, Pranganga, Ratanlal, Sonti, Meghmukti, Moinajan, Chokori, etc.
From the hospital, her body was first taken to her Nigaji Pam residence and then to Seuj Sangha, AIR, Guwahati and Rabindra Bhawan. In the evening, she was cremated with State honours at the Navagraha crematorium here.
Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Asam Sahitya Sabha president Kuladhar Saikia, State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Pradesh Congress president Ripun Bora, the AGP and various other personalities and organisations have condoled the singer�s demise.
Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, members of New Art Players, the cultural affairs department, Indian People�s Theatre Association, etc., also mourned her demise.
The All Assam Students� Union paid floral tribute to the late singer at the crematorium.