To make a peaceful transition into the flow of eternal life, Bari Siddiqui, the eminent folk singer, songwriter, flautist, musician, and above all a bona fide Baul, has departed from the world, defying the terrestrial life support he was put on some six days ago.
The demise of our very own “Showa Chan Pakhi” caused an outburst in his own realm. Siddiqui may not get a stately burial, tears, however, have fallen for the austere aficionado of spirituality and harmony around the country.
Born to a respected musical family in Netrokona, Siddiqui entered into the world of music at an early age. The crooner, who entered the musical realm with a flute, mastered his musical skills under the guidance of some of the finest musical gurus in Bangladesh and India, including the likes of Ostad Aminur Rahman, Ostad Gopal Dutt and Pandit VG Karnard.
Siddiqui kicked off his career by joining Bangladesh Television in 1985. But after being inspired by author Humayun Ahmed, he entered into the music arena in the 1990s and made his debut television music program “Ronger Baroi,” which was produced by Humayun Ahmed.
However, Siddiqui got his first breakthrough with his songs in Humayun Ahmed’s 1999 film “Sharaban Megher Dine.” The songs “Amar Gaye Joto Dukkho Shoy,” “Pubali Batashe,” “Showa Chan Pakhi,” “Ogo Bhabijan,” “Manush Dhoro Manush Bhojo,” introduced Siddiqui to broader audiences. Most of the songs became commercial successes and eventually landed him the “Bachsas Award” for his music direction and song “Showa Chan Pakhi.”
The singer never had to look back after that and continued to sing in films and tele-films, as well as performing at concerts and on TV.
The folk maestro has voiced around 160 tracks throughout his career and released a folk album “Lokhkho Tara” in April 2000. With a moving voice that tells of heart-felt pains and the pleasure of love, existence, humanity and more, Siddiqui earned the admiration of millions both in and out of Bangladesh.
The singer also extended his artistic quest to the screens and appeared in the drama “Pagla Ghora,” directed by Amol Palekar, in 2013.
In order to ensure the continuance of the Baul tradition of music and culture to younger generations, Siddiqui established a Baul research centre, “Baul Bari,” near his village.
Siddiqui was an emotional human being, whose life was all about music. He felt what he sang and vice-versa. “After the composition of the track “Chotto Ekta Matir Ghore,” Bari bhai came and sang the song. The performance made him so emotional that he asked me whether we could be buried beside each other,” said Shahidullah Farayezi, a close acquaintance of the Baul artist who penned around 80 of Siddiqui’s songs.
The enticing flutist departed the world at midnight on Thursday, but left us with the everlasting gift of the new dimension in Bangla song he created. For his contributions to spiritually enriched folk music, Siddiqui will live among us forever, Farayezi said.
Bari Siddqui’s songs will live in the voices and minds of the audiences he enticed, and they should further be diffused among the generations to come, as they are too valuable and exquisite to lose.