Pratima Barua Pandey was born to the much acclaimed Kumar Prakitesh Chandra Barua on October 3, 1935 in Kolkata. She studied at the Gokhale Memorial School in her young age. Later, she came to Assam and studied at the Girl’s High School, Gauripur. She had learned Rabindra Sangeet in some classes; however, she never took any formal training in music.
Career of Pratima Pandey:
The turning point in Barua’s life came when Bhupen Hazarika visited Gauripur once and heard her Goalparia Geet at a local function. He was highly impressed by her songs. His further efforts made Goalparia Geet a part of the Assamese Music. He returned to Gauripur the next year to include Barua’s song in his film “Era Bator Sur”. Dr Hazarika also took the initiative to broadcast the songs of Barua in the year 1961.
Barua was also closely associated with IPTA. She was a regular feature at the annual conventions of Assam Sahitya Sabha and All Assam Students Union. Barua also sang Paul Robenson’s “We are in the same boat brother” in stage shows. Barua was married to Gauri Shankar Pandey, a retired school principal.
The songs of Barua were a part of the cultural community, largely the Rajbobgshis. The Goalparia Geet of Pratima Barua became extremely popular with the masses. Her most famous songs include “Aaji danrao kala”, “bail machhe kheil kare”, “Dhick Dhick”, “Dui diner bhalobasha”, “Ek bar hori bolo rasona”, “hastir kanya”, “komola sundari nache”, “matir manush”, “matir pinjira” etc.
The Princess of Gauripur passed away on December 27, 2002.
Awards and Recognition of Pratima Pandey:
Pratima Barua Pandey was awarded the Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for popularizing the Goalparia Geet. “Hastir Kanya”, a documentary film, was made on the life and works of Barua by filmmaker Prabin Hazarika. It won a National Award for best biographical film in 1997. It also created waves at the South Asia Film Festival in 1998.
The Entire Nation
(FAN OF Mrs. PRATIMA BARUA PANDEY)
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