Voice of Mahalaya musical, Bhadra was synonymous with Durga Puja: Mamata

Kolkata: Amidst the countdown for Durga Puja in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid tribute to Birendra Krishna Bhadra — the legendary voice behind the Mahalaya musical — on his birth anniversary on Saturday.

Setting the drums rolling for the Durga Puja festivities, the Chief Minister tweeted: “Homage to Birendra Krishna Bhadra on his birth anniversary. He is synonymous with #DurgaPujo for Bengalis, all thanks to the iconic radio programme Mahishasura Mardini that airs on Mahalaya.”

Mahishasura Mardini, a 90-minute musical piece, was first composed in 1931 and is immensely popular even today. Bhadra was the narrator whose soulful rendition of slokas caught the imagination of the listeners.

Born on August 4, 1905, the legendary presenter passed away on November 3, 1991, at the age of 86. But his sonorous voice has been immortalized through this composition.

Even now the recorded version of this musical drama, that celebrates Goddess Durga’s arrival on Earth, is aired on the day of the Mahalaya, which is observed a week before the start of the Durga Puja.

Bhadra was also a playwright and director. His works include ‘Mess No. 49’, a theatre production and ‘Saheb Bibi Golam’, authored by Bimal Mitra.