GUWAHATI, Sept 23 - Her dream to make a film on the life of her closest friend Dr Bhupen Hazarika and to promote the work of the Bard of the Brahmaputra across the world remained unfulfilled.
Kalpana Lajmi, long-time companion of Bhupen Hazarika, passed away this morning at the age of 64 at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai.
“Her health was deteriorating for the past four months. She had serious kidney ailments and went through a number of dialyses. For the past four days, she was in a very critical condition. Last night, doctors performed an MRI and detected infection all over the body. Finally, she breathed her last early in the morning,” Abani Das from Assam and a neighbour of Lajmi in Mumbai, who was present during her last moments, told The Assam Tribune over phone.
Lajmi’s last work, Bhupen Hazarika: As I Knew Him, an autobiographical book which deals with her relationship with the music maestro, was released on September 11. She started her career in the film industry as an assistant director to Shyam Benegal. Her first cine work was a documentary film named DG Movie Pioneer in 1978. She then directed two other documentaries namely A Work Study in Tea Plucking in 1979 and Along the Brahmaputra in 1981.
“Her assistant director informed that a producer is ready to produce Lajmi’s dream project of making a film on the life of Bhupen Hazarika. May her assistant director fulfil her dream soon,” violinist Sunita Bhuyan Khaund from Assam, who was present during the last rites of Lajmi at the Oshiwara crematorium, told The Assam Tribune over phone.
“During her last moments, her mother Lalita Lajmi and her brother were by her side. After her death, many of her friends and followers from the film industry rushed to pay their last tributes. Her health was critical for the past many days as she had both diabetes and kidney ailments,” said Abani Das.
Filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt, Shyam Benegal and Jahnu Barua, actresses Shabana Azmi and Soni Razdan, sound engineer Amrit Pritam, Joint Resident Commissioner of Assam Bhawan in Mumbai Devashish Sharma, were among many people who were part of Lajmi’s last journey.