Andrew Kishore belongs with the stars

His impeccable voice and matchless singing style made his journey almost smooth sailing and gave him unparalleled success. His peers always acknowledged his rehearsal and practice with deep devotion, commitment and professionalism.

Shamim A. Zahedy

Says someone that it is impractical to choose the best 10 numbers Andrew Kishore had rendered, from a collection of his numerous songs. True, as a playback singer whose career spanned almost four decades, he sang to his audience of all generations, high and humble, holding them tuned, captivated and spellbound.

With the passing of the singer with some 15,000 songs to his credit, his fans and followers are hymning to their music maestro: “Jibaner Galpa Achhe Baki Alpa” (Tale of life is little left, see whatever you want to, say whatever you want to, you don’t have much time); “Haire Manush Rangin Fanush” (O poor humans, you are like colourful balloons, when they go off, you are no more, yet no one does care); “Dak Diachhen Dayal Amare” (I’ve received the call from my lord, I’ll not be among you for long); “Amar Sara Dehya Kheyo Go Mati” (Oh soil, whenever I am sent to you and at your disposal, take all my body, everything, save the two eyes; I want to continue to behold her, my thirst for loving her won’t be quenched in a life).

Andrew Kishore’s popular mystic songs remind the music connoisseurs and all alike of the briefness of beautiful human life: life is left hanging in the balance, humans stand between the life and death.

Not that he only lent voices to lyrics with other-worldly themes; he also embodied the tune of happiness, mirth, love and sadness. Yet like his popular lyrics, his thirst for more would not be quenched. Once asked if he had any longing unfulfilled in the music, he said he did not get enough opportunities to sing patriotic songs.

Andrew Kishore was an out and out down-to-earth man, always candid in what he said and believed, making him a loving person among his peers. Once he was asked to say about his thoughts on music in general, he unequivocally said he did not have enough command over tune, composition and lyrics, admitting frankly that he only knew how to sing a song! That was the unambiguous answer that he gave as to why he did not peep into the job of a song writer or a music composer.

Dubbed as the playback king, Andrew Kishore was bestowed with National Film Award eight times. But artistes or artists cannot be judged by the worldly rewards and medals they receive. It was true for him also. While reminiscing about a memorable moment of his past, he mentioned that once he went to a remote village to attend the marriage ceremony of one of his friends where he came across a young lad singing one of his popular numbers. “I realised then what the satisfaction of an artiste was,” he told his interviewer.

Andrew Kishore was a full time professional singer despite the fact that it was not easy to become thoroughly professional in the music industry of Bangladesh. His impeccable voice and matchless singing style made his journey almost smooth sailing and gave him unparalleled success. This was all possible because of his passion for music as it has been expressed in one of his well admired numbers: “Ei Gan-i Amar Jiban Maran, Gan-i Jena Pran” (This music is my life and my death, this music is my soul).

Success does not come easily. Andrew Kishore’s accomplishment came through dedication and perseverance, becoming a Midas touch when it came to singing blockbusters, one melodious number after another. His peers always acknowledged his rehearsal and practice with deep devotion, commitment and professionalism. 

True to his roots, Andrew Kishore tried to give back. He founded a cultural organasation in Rajshahi in 2011 after Abdul Aziz Bachuchu, his music guru. Taking time from busy schedule, he would visit the organisation once in three months routinely. He was an inspiration for young talents in the quarterly cultural function in his home town.

He was a humble, a family man; his neighbours’ near one and friends’ friend. All of his peers and friends considered him their friend. One of his university friends recalled that at the university he was already a known face for his playback singing; nevertheless he was always modest as he mingled with friends and others. Even he would attend the annual gatherings organised by Rajshahi District Association in Dhaka to meet his old friends, enthusiastically take part in all activities, and happily join photo opportunities requested by fans.

He had all the love for his hometown Rajshahi, where he was born on 4 November, 1955 but with time he transcended the boundary of family, friends and neighbours, making him available for all in Bangladesh.

He returned to Rajshahi right away when he was told by his doctors in Singapore that they had little or no hope for his recovery. After his 10-month battle against cancer, he yearned for spending his last days in his loved town where he studied in Bholanath Bisweswar Hindu Academy, Rajshahi City College and Rajshahi University. In the town’s Mahishbathan area he grew up. He took his first music lesson at Surbani Music School under the tutelage of master Abdul Aziz Bachuchu in the town and began his music career in Rajshahi Radio.

He breathed his last in his favourite place on 6 July 2020 to come full circle: he ended his stint in the place where he started: dust to dust. Matir Deha Mati Habe, Matir Niche Thikana (the body made of dust will return to the dust, the last resting place below).

Yet, brilliant and creative minds find their places up in the heaven, becoming light for the earth they once treaded.

With Andrew Kishore now belonging with the stars, his numbers will continue passing down from generations to generations in the unforeseeable years to come.

The writer is the executive editor of The Independent. He can be reached at


First printed:

9 July, 2020 05:16:19 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 July, 2020 05:45:16 PM

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