Tapas Das, the only living member of the era-defining Bangla rock band 'Moheener Ghoraguli' breathed his last yesterday (25 June). Lovingly known as Bapi Da amongst his fans and admirers, the 68-year-old was fighting lung cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.
Tapas Das, along with his band, which was formed in 1975, revolutionised the course of Bangla music. Almost 48 years onwards, the youth of today still resonate with their music as some of their songs are still at the tip of everyone's tongues. Bapi Da was one of the founding members of the band. Being one of his kind, he was rightfully called 'Moheener Adi Ghora.'
Bapi Da's music transcended borders. That was evident in the words of legendary Bangladeshi musician Shafin Ahmed who spoke briefly with The Business Standard. He said, "I was personally familiar only with Gautam Chatterjee [Chattopadhyay], the leader of the band Moheener Ghoraguli. The others, I knew through their music. That's how I knew Bapi Da."
Shafin went a bit deeper into the nuances of Bapi Da's contribution to Moheener Ghoraguli. He said, "Bapi Da's name is closely associated with most of the songs of the band. There is something amazing in the lyrics and melodies of his songs that captivate the listeners. Bapi Da dedicated his whole life to music and I am truly devastated by his departure."
Moheener Ghoraguli transcended through generations as well. Samin Yasar, guitarist and composer of the up-and-coming Bangladeshi band 'Firoze Jong' had quite a unique introduction to the band as it was not through their music that Samin got to know about them.
"I discovered Moheener Ghoraguli quite late. Not even through their songs but through some other sentimental context like people naming their bands after Moheener Ghoraguli songs, uncountable artwork tributes and whatnot. The platform of Moheener Ghoraguli was one of those larger-than-life outcomes because a few marvellous minds got together," stated Samin.
When asked about the impact Bapi Da's music had on him, Samin said, "I say it was larger than life for I have witnessed the profound impact they have on musicians around me, before me and after. And this impact will be transcended through the ages.
Another thing, every avid Moheener Ghoraguli listener I know is somehow a genuine songwriter. Their impact is a wave you cannot escape. If you're listening to Bangla music today, Moheener Ghoraguli has paved a massive path for everyone in the game."
Bapi Da and Moheener Ghoraguli will live on through classics such as 'Telephone,' 'Tomay Dilam' and 'Manush Chena Dai.'