Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, is one of the legendary female Bengali singers and musicians. She is also known as Gitashree Sandhya Mukherjee. She is by far the best known female Bengali singer to the lietener for her voice and presentation of songs she sang. She has been specialized in the clssical music also. Among the greats who taught her classical music were Pandit Santosh Kumar Basu, Pofessor A.T. Kannan and Pandit Chinmoy Lahiri. But her guru, was none other than Ustad Bare Ghulam Ali Khan, whom she used call Baba. After the demise of Ustad Bare Ghulam Ali Khan, she was tutored in classical music by his son Ustad Munawar Ali Khan. She was born on 4 October 1931 at Dhakuria, Kolkata. Her father's name was Sri Narendranath Mukhopadhyay and mother's name was Hemprova Devi. Her grand-father was a police officer, and they used to live in Dhakuria since 1911. Her father used to work in railways. Being the youngest child of her parents, she had three brothers and three sisters including herself. Her youger brother and second sister died at an early age. She wrote an autobiography entitled Ogo Mor Gitimoy of 432 pages and was published in 2001 giving a vivid narration of her colourful life. She retold to us that when she was seventeen or eighteen years old, she had to suffer a rare disease called Mumps. After a long treatment she was recovered from the disease but it damaged her right ear permanently. Throughout her long professional career, she occassionally felt difficulties with her right ear.
She stood first in the Gitashree Examination on 6 April 1946, a very prestigous Degree in the music world. At the same time she stood first in the Bhajan competition. Ustad Alauddin Khan, Ustad Md. Dabir Khan nd Rathindranath Thakur were the examiners and signatories of her Gitashree Certificate. She started her career in Mumbai in early fifties of the twentieth century and started singing Hindi songs for the movies but later settled in Kolkata. Her voice is so transparent that every word she sang was crystal clear and lucid to hear that remains in the mind of the listeners for quite a while. She sang in many Indian languages and in variies of fields, but her Bengali Modern songs are unparalleled.
Discography of her songs are too long. Her playbacks in Bengali movies are phenomenal. Almost all of her playback duets, particularly with Hemanta Mukhopadhayay were super-hit songs and are stll very popular. In Bengali films her voice was recognised as the voice of the legendary actress Suchitra Sen. Her songs lip synced by Suchitra Sen - 'Gane Mor Kon Indro Dhanu', 'Fhuler Kane Bhromor Ane', 'E Sudhu Ganer Din' and 'Ei Modhu Rat Sudhu Phool Papiyar' were unique. Apart from the songs from the movies, the other modern Bengali songs like, 'Hoeto Kichui Nahi Pabo', Modhur Modhur Bangshi Baje', Choiti Phuler Ki Badish Ranga Rakhi', Tara Jhilmil Swapna Michil', Gun Gun Mun Bhomora, and 'Aye Brishti Jhepe, Dhan Debo Mepe', are immortal. Among her Rabindra Sangeet, 'Jete Deo Gelo Jara', Ogo Ke Jabi Pare', 'Amar Se Din Bheshe Geche', Dip Nibhe Geche Momo', and Dibasha` Rajani Ami Jeno Kar', are noteworthy. Her classical based voice suited Nazrul Geeti and the following songs are very popular till today - 'Janam Janam Gelo Asha Potho Chahia', 'Horir Rang Lage aji', 'Amar Aponar Cheye Apon Je Jon', 'Anjali Loho Mor Sangite', 'Harano Hiyar Nikunjo Bone, 'Kemone Rakhi Akhi Bari Chapiya', and 'Bidaye Sandhya Ashilo Oi'. Her two Rajanikanta's songs, 'Amito Tomare Chahini Jibone', and Tumi Nirmolo Koro Mongolo Kore' will live forever to the listeners.
She is married to the famous composer Shyamol Gupa. They have a daughter called Jhinuk and a grandson called Rahul. From Bangladesh, we wish Gitashree Sandhya Mukhopadhyay a very Happy Birth Day and wish her a long life.
Professor Mesbah-us-Saleheen teaches Environmntal Science at Gono Bishwabiddalay, Savar