Chakma Music Maestro Retired From Service: Abhik Kumar Chakma

Kamalanagar, October 1: The pioneer of Chakma Music Shri Abhik Kumar Chakma retired yesterday from service under Chakma Autonomous District Council after 33 years of long service. A grand and memorable programme, of the scale ever given to an employee of CADC, was staged today to bid him farewell and was moved to tears. Later, the Art & Culture Officer Shri Digambar Chakma said, Shri Abhik Kumar Chakma deserves such tributes for the invaluable contribution made by him to usher in a new era of Music for the Chakmas.

He was honoured with a cheque of Rs.50,000.00 and a set of traditional attire which was worn to him on the stage. The Art & Culture Officer said that a society is only complete if it has the four basic elements, a language, script, religion and a culture of its own and Shri Abhik Kumar Chakma has been instrumental in enriching the Chakma culture with his works. Shri Abhik Kumar Chakma was also asked to do the honour to release an Audio Visual CD of Chakma song on the day. The significance of getting the CD released by him lies in the fact that it shall bear to imply to carry forward his legacy by the budding artists, as told by the Art & Culture Officer.

The programme evoked an air of nostalgia with numbers, from the maestro, being recreated by young budding stars in his tribute who are his own legacy. Some of them were so touching and heard after a long spell that they produced goosebumps. Particularly, the number, ‘Tawr Mawr Hawdani Hingeri Git Awlaw Hijeni…’, ‘O Mawr Porani Hudu Agawsh Tui, Tawre Mawr Nitto Mawnot Tai…’still resonates in the hearts of the romantics. ‘Ei Phibir Phibir Boyerot, Dua Meli Pek, Utton Agasot, Hon Sawbawnot…’, ‘Langel Digoli Boyeraw Hawrot Monani Aji Naji Adi zar…’, ‘O Amar Aojor Tarum Zar…’, ‘Ei Moan Muro Sora Sori Rejyo…’ evoked longing for the old days when nature was in its pristine beauty. ‘Mawr Jibawnot Sugot Agosh Tui Ar Dugot Tui…’, touched a note of poignancy. ‘Hawnaw Jawnawr Ei Jugot Bol Nawtele, Hawnaw Jawnawr Ei Jugot Dawn Nawtele…’ gave a clarion call to the people to be of service to the society and one’s country.

His diehard fans got to relish a live performance by their maestro on the day with numbers from his earliest compositing while tracing his growth and evolution as an artist. He recalled his first performance at AIR, Agartala, Tripura in a duet with Mrs. Sobita Chakma on a composition by Mr. Bimal Momen Chakma – ‘Tawr Ar Mawr Mawnot…’– at the age of 22. Impressed with his performance he was approved by AIR, Agartala as a folk music artist of the station. It was in the year 1979 he came to Mizoram on the invitation of friend and classmate Shri Pulin Bayan Chakma and later got appointed under CADC as Forest Guard while doing the duty of a music artist. Later, when CADC was entrusted the Art & Culture Department his service was transferred as a cultural artist and subsequently promoted to senior cultural organizer. It was by the sheer effort of his and the drive he had for music, the first ever Chakma Audio Music Cassette, “GIDO HUONG-1”, solely sang by him, could be produced in the year 1990. The cassette was an instant hit and Shri Abhik Kumar Chakma became a household name. The success of the “GIDO HUONG-1” made the authorities of CADC bring out its sequel in 1991 where Shri Nagendra Sen Chakma and Mrs. Sobita Chakma joined him.

He was the first Chakma artist to learn to prepare notation for songs own his own with help from books. As a young boy his formal training in music was only for 21 days. He has prepared notations of about 38 of his compositions so far, for which he received acknowledgement of his ability from Pub Guwahati Music College, Guwahati, Assam an institute affiliated to Bhatkhande Sangit Vidyapith, Lucknow and from Rabi Sangeet Bharati, Dharmanagar, Tripura. He passed the Prathama and Maddhyama in vocal in the year 2007 and 2008 respectively from Pub Guwahati Music College, Guwahati. He made an attempt to open a Music school at Kamalanagar and established one by the name ‘Sangeet Argani’ in the year 2005 with the intention to introduce formal learning of music to budding students but failed to keep it up and finally had to close in 2008, for which he expressed his regret.