Remembering a legend

[ Tasi Darang ]

In early 2000, when I had just completed my school life and I was readying for college life, one afternoon, one of my elder brothers came to my room and presented me one audio cassette which contained radio recorded songs of late legendary singer Talut Mize.

Those were the days when there were no pen drives or CDs. People used tape recorders and radios to listen to music. I was a lover of Bollywood music. At first, my enthusiasm to listen to songs on the radio was not so positive. However, after a few weeks of receiving the cassette, I played it. After a few moments, I started loving it. In fact, local songs have their charm. You can connect to the emotions of the song which is the crux for any song as you can understand the lyrics better in the local dialect.

Immediately after going through his songs, I became his diehard fan. Late Talut Mize was a great and legendary artist of the Adi community. I was mesmerised by his works. All of his songs were unique and the lyrics were so strong that anyone could connect the song’s content with their lives. All the songs were excellent and my heart was automatically captivated by his songs.

Legendary late Talut Mize was a very famous singer for every generation of the Adi community. He was also very popular in other communities also. He was a first-generation radio artist from the Adi community. He delivered many evergreen and classic Adi songs. His impeccable pronunciation, simple language and flawless delivery were powerful enough to evoke all kinds of emotions. His control over his voice, his versatility, his capability to sing any type of song, his melodious voice, and the right notes have earned a huge fan following. He has a great talent and a passionate artiste whose songs emit emotions which the listener can connect with. His songs were like a medicine to heart and ears. It was so melodious. He was the Mozart of an informal Adi music industry. If our state had one language, definitely he would have achieved the status of the great singer late Bhupen Hazarika of Assam.

To his credit are many hit songs. He was a versatile singer. His famous song, ‘Yenam em yeyin tobong, Minam em mila rumape, sisang appun e no, lekoda punkumaye’ speaks about the passing of life of individuals. It states that old people complete their living with lots of unfulfilled wishes. Even if they repent and cry, the days that are gone cannot be brought back.

His song ‘Aike gida sime kaayem, kayum siye, nesi neyang appun e punkosim, nane babu buluk doying lunam em tatlinge’ is about praising one’s own motherland. In the song, the singer states that when he sees his motherland – birthplace – he is very proud of it. A place which is very green; where the spirit of the people is tall like a mountain, and has a tender heart like that of the mighty Siang river.

In one of his love songs, he sings, ‘Miksi pe mila ngom, Dimo mapeka, eling pe mila ngom, Barmopeka’ which means, Don’t break the heart, assuming that it is a stone; don’t let go just like that tears roll down from cheeks.

In his song, ‘Donyi Polo Pedong esar, bulum seko solo piton’, written by his father, the late singer questioned god about who built natural objects like the sun, the moon, air, water, etc. According to him, it is beyond our imagination.

The biggest hits of the late legendary artiste which we can categories as a chartbuster song is ‘Moteng among lokke aadungku silo, kalinam takam em kaayeku’, which describes a young man who is coming back to his village after staying outside for many years. In the song, the young man states that he will soon be able to meet his beloved people, so he is in a hurry towards his village. Even nature is greeting him with flowers, a bright moon, and waves of cold wind.

The main motive of writing this article is to give tribute to the late legendary artiste. As society is a plural system and it consists of different sub-systems, of which art and culture are parts. Artistes give their life to entertain and boost our morale. With their music, they play a significant role in our life. Though I have never met the singer in person, this article is based on the experience I have perceived as an ardent fan. I pray to god for the eternal peace of his soul. The singer died on 11 May, 2022. The Adi society in particular and the state in general has lost a gem in the field of music, art and culture. (The writer is DSP, Ziro, Lower Subansiri district.)