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News & Information From Northeast India

Nightingale of Assam, Dipali Borthakur’s last journey

Hundreds thronged at the Nabagraha Crematorium in Guwahati on Saturday to pay their last respect to Dipali Borthakur who was also popularly known as ‘Nightingale of Assam’.

Borthakur, one of the widely loved and admired voices, passed away on December 21 at the age of 77 at a private hospital in Guwahati.

Before her mortal remains were cremated at Nabagraha, it was taken to the All India Radio station where she made her debut as a singer as a teenager in the mid 1950s, Rabindra Bhawan, Assam Sahitya Sabha office and the office of All Assam Students’ Union (ASSU) where hundreds offered their tribute.

Her last rites were performed with full state honours. She left behind her husband painter Neel Pawan Barua who has been her companion for the last four decades.

The goodwill and love which she used to spread through her melodies could well be sensed at the crematorium. People from all walks of life – starting from politicians to activists – thronged at the venue to pay their respect to the voice which they grew up listening.

Though her music career was cut short in 1968 after she was detected with a rare motor neuron disorder and she was left wheel-chair bound, she continued to enjoy a huge fan following.

Many even suggested that December 21 should be observed as day of love as a mark of respect to the couple. “It’s a great example of love. It’s admirable and I believe, if we can observe the day of her demise as ‘Day of Love’, it will be a fitting tribute to the couple,” said musician Manash Robin.

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