The year 2011 saw many celebrities from diverse fields, particularly the creative world, bidding us final goodbye. They entertained, inspired and have left a void that can never be filled.
Suchitra Mitra (19 September 1924 – 3 January 2011)
Legendary Rabindra Sangeet exponent Suchitra Mitra died in Kolkata on January 3 following cardiac arrest.
Daughter of litterateur Saurindra Mohan Mukherjee, she was a playback singer and acted in Bangali films as well.
Her first long-play records of Rabindra Nath Tagore were released in 1945.
She was a former sheriff of Kolkata and long time professor and head of the Rabindra Sangeet department at the Rabindra Bharati University.
Mitra was awarded the Padma Shri in 1973 and Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1986.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (February 4, 1922 – January 24, 2011)
The iconic Hindustani clasical music vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi passed away in Pune on January 24 at the age of 88 following prolonged illness.
He was the most powerful figure on the Hindustani music concert platform of \\\’khayal gayki\\\’ and was also acclaimed for his Kannada, Hindi and Marathi Bhajan singing.
He also sang for several films, including Basant Bahar, Birbal My Brother, Tansen (1958), Sur Sangam and Ankahee.
He was honoured with the Padma Shri (1972), Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Hindustani vocal music (1975), Padma Bhushan (1985) and Madhya Pradesh government\\\’s "Tansen Samman" in 1992. He was conferred Bharat Ratna in 2008.
Anant Pai (17 September 1929 – 24 February 2011)
Anant Pai, fondly called as Uncle Pai, creator of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics died at the age of 81 folowing a heart attack.
Pai launched the Amar Chitra Katha series of Indian comics in 1967 which was an instant hit, followed by Tinkle comics series which has been a chidhood companion for many since over two and half decades.
He received a lifetime achievement award at India\\\’s first comic convention held in Delhi six days before his death.
Goga Kapoor (15 December 1940 – 3 March 2011)
Actor Goga Kapoor one of the most popular villains of Bollywood passed away on March 3 at the age of 70 following prolonged illness.
Goga started his career as a theatre actor and worked in many english plays. He got his first Bollywood break with Jwala in 1971.
He worked in several superhit movies such as Zanjeer, Lawaris, Mr. Natwarlal, Patthar ke Phool, Qayamat se Qayamat Tak, Agneepath, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and many others
Navin Nischol (18 March 1946 – 19 March 2011)
Film and television actor Navin Nischol passed away in Mumbai on March 19 at the age of 65 following cardiac arrest.
Navin Nischol was the first gold medalist from the Film and Television Institute of India. He made his debut with the Bollywood film Sawan Bhadon in 1970 and starred in several superhits such as Victoria No. 203, Hanste Zakhm, Dhund and Desh Premee.
He was also one of the first film actors along with Shekhar Suman to join television. He worked in quite a few television serials, including Dekh Bhai Dekh.
Maqbool Fida Husain (September 17, 1915 – June 9, 2011)
The Picasso of India, Maqbool Fida Husain passed away in London on June 9, 2011 at the age of 95 following prolonged illness.
MF, as he was fondly called, earned both fame and rage for his paintings, moved to Dubai following the death threats from Hindu extremists who were furious over his nude Hindu goddesses paintings.
The India\\\’s most highly priced and perhaps most controversial painter took up the Qatari citizenship in 2010.
He was awarded Padma Shri in 1955, Padma Bhushan in 1973 and Padma Vibhushan in 1991.
Mani Kaul (25 December 1944 – 6 July 2011)
Noted filmmaker Mani Kaul died on July 6 in Delhi at the age of 66 following prolonged illness.
Mani Kaul, who was considered one of the pioneers of new Indian cinema, began his career in 1969 with Uski Roti and went on to make a number of films. He won the national award for a documentary, Siddheshwari, in 1989.
He was ranked among the filmmakers who contributed to Indian Cinema with their exemplary movies. Mani Kaul was an accompalished Drupad singer too.
Rukma Bai ( Died July 21, 2011)
Rukma Bai, a Rajasthani folk singer, died unacknowledged on July 21 in following prolonged illness.
She battled both polio and rigid social norms to become the first woman singer of Manganiyars, a professional caste of musicians whose patrons or jajmans are Hindus.
The brave lady brought up her three children all alone as her husband had ran away with her sister.
In her last few years, she was battling with finacial insecurities, ill health and was offered no help from government.
Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar (1927- 27 July, 2011)
Legendary exponent of the Dhrupad gharana, Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar passed away into eternal abyss on July 27. He was 84.
Belonging to 19th generation of Dhrupad singer, he was initiated into music by his relatives Ziauddin Khan Dagar, Ustad Hussainuddin Khan Dagar and Ustad Imaumddin Khan Dagar.
Ustad Fahimuddin was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, Meyar Foundation award, Kalidas Samman, Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan award, Sahitya Kala Parishad award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratan Puraskar.
Shammi Kapoor (October 21, 1930 – August 14, 2011)
The Yahoo actor Shammi Kapoor passed away on August 14 following kidney failure.
The second son of Prithviraj Kapoor made his debut as hero in 1953 with Jeevan Jyoti and gave several hits like Junglee, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho Dil Tera Diwana, Professor, China Town, Rajkumar, Kashmir Ki Kali, Janwar, Teesri Manzil, An Evening in Paris, Bramhachari, Andaz and Vidhaata.
A prominent star in 1950s and 1960s, fans called Kapoor the "Elvis Presley of India" for his frenetic and agile dancing in romantic hits.
He was spontaneous and full of life and had an infectious on-screen persona.
Jehangir Sabavala (August 23, 1922 – September 02, 2011)
Renowned artist Jehangir Sabavala died on September 2 battling lung cancer for over two years.
He got a fine arts diploma from the Sir J.J. School of Art in 1944. Then he went to Europe and studied at the Heatherley School of Fine Art, London, from 1945-47, and in Paris from 1948-51, Académie Julian from 1953-54, and Académie de la Grande Chaumière in 1957.
He had over 30 solo exhibitions in India and abroad and his works also figured in numerous group exhibitions worldwide.
A film on his life Colours of Absence, by Arun Khopkar, won the National Award in 1994.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Lalit Kala Ratna in 2007.
Jagmohan Mundhra (29 October 1948 – 4 September 2011)
Film-maker Jagmohan Mundhra, aged 64, passed away on Deptember 4 in Mumbai following multi-organ failure.
Based in Los-Angeles, Mundhra was one of the most subjective Indian film directors. He made diverse range of films, tackling many genres such as horror, erotic thrillers and social dramas.
Mundhra, who shot to fame with movies like Bawandar and Provoked, was also a life member of International Film and Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television.
Surinder Kapoor (23 December 1925 – 24 September 2011)
Bollywood producer Surinder Kapoor, 86, passed away in Mumbai on September 24 following a massive cardiac arrest.
The veteran producer made films like Hum Panch, Ponga Pandit, Woh Saat Din, Pukaar, Loafer and Judaai.
Surinder Kapoor started his film career as a secretary to actress Geeta Bali and he was the president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India from 1995 to 2001.
He was felicitated with the L.V. Prasad Phalke Award in 2009.
Gursharan Singh (1929- 28 September 2011)
Leading Punjabi playwright and theatre personality Gursharan Singh died on September 28 following prolonged illness at the age of 82.
Singh, fondly called as Gursharan Bhaji, was revolutionary, missionary and a socialist who had worked hard to bring Punjabi folk and rural theatre to the forefront.
Theatre lovers will miss the old man with a white beard slumped over a chair- Bhai Manna Singh, a character that Gursharan Bhaji had created.
Dr Ram Dayal Munda (1939 -September 30, 2011)
Dr Ram Dayal Munda was an Indian scholar, regional music exponent and activist who died of cancer on September 30 in Ranchi.
Dr Munda, was also a Rajya Sabha member. He was a consultant and participant in important issues of the tribal people of the country.
An author of several books, his famous book was Adigranta of Tribals. He was a member in the Bhuria Committee which recommended the Panchayati Extension to Schedule Areas. He had also been the president of Jharkhand Vikas Dal of Suraj Mandal
He was also a member of the National Advisory Council headed by AICC President Sonia Gandhi.
Dr Munda was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2007 and Padma Shri in 2010.
Ghazal singer and composer Jagjit Singh (February 8, 1942 – October 10, 2011)
Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh breathed his last on October 10, 2011
Singh, 70, passed away at a Mumbai hospital a fortnight after he suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Stirring millions of hearts with his soulful numbers \\\’Jhuki jhuki si nazar\\\’ and \\\’Kaagaz ki kashti\\\’, ghazal king Jagit Singh revolutionised ghazal music and made ot accessible to the masses.
Jagjit and Chitra Singh had commercial success with songs recorded together. They are considered to be the pioneers of the modern ghazal.
He was hit badly when his son passed away in an accident but music helped him recover. The pain and melancholy in his voice gave vent to the feelings of many a lonely heart.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2003.
Shrilal Shukla (31 December 1925 – 28 October 2011)
Noted litterateur Shrilal Shukla died in Lucknow following prolonged illness on October 28 at the age of 86.
Shrilal Shukla had penned over 25 books, including Makaan, Sooni Ghaati Ka Sooraj, Pehla Padaav and Bisrampur Ka Sant and Agyatwaas.
His works throw light on the falling moral values of society in post-independence era. His contribution to Hindi literature is significant and will always be remembered
He was awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in 1969, Padma Bhushan in 2005. Srilal Shukla was honoured with the Jnanpith award on his hospital bed just few days prior to his demise.
Bhupen Hazarika (September 8, 1926 – November 5, 2011)
The legendary singer, composer and filmaker Bhupen Hazarika died of multi-organ failure November 5, 2011 in Mumbai.
Known for his haunting, resounding folk songs and ballads in number of Indian languages, Hazare was awarded Padma Shri in 1977, Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1992 and Padma Bhushan in 2001.
The legend, who was also known as Bard of Brahmaputra, is acknowledged widely in the Hindi film industry for introducing Hindi film to the sounds and folk music of Assam and Northeast India.
Mamoni Raisom (Indira) Goswami (14 November 1942 – 29 November 2011)
Mamoni Raisom Goswami, one of the most celebrated writers in India on November 29, passed away following prolonged illness.
Author of several bestseller Assamese novels and short story collections, she won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1982 and the Jnanpith Award in 2000. Goswami was conferred D Lit from Ravindra Bharati of Kolkata.
Many of her works have been translated into English from Assamese which include The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tusker, Pages Stained With Blood.
Adajya, a film based on her well-known novel Datal Hatir Uye Khowa Haoda, won the national award.
It was Dr. Goswami who mediated between the Centre and the ULFA and succeeded in convincing both the government and the ULFA to come forward for negotiations.
Ustad Sultan Khan (1940 – 27 November 2011)
Sarangi exponent and singer Ustad Sultan Khan passed away on November 27 due to kidney failure at the age of 71.
Khan hailed from a family of sarangi players in Jodhpur. After establishing himself as a sarangi player, he found immense success as a singer in the film and popular music industries with songs like \\\’Piya Basanti and Albela Sajan Aayo Re\\\’
The legend was also a member of the Indian fusion group Tabla Beat Science, with Zakir Hussain and American bassist Bill Laswell
Apart from Padma Bhushan, Mr. Khan won numerous musical awards including the Sangeet Natya Academy Award twice.
Dev Anand (September 26, 1923 – December 3, 2011)
Dev Anand, the first cool and chic romantic hero of Bollywood, passed away in London on December 3 following a cardiac arrest at the age of 88.
He was a complete film person – actor, director, writer, producer who lived, breathed, ate and slept cinema.
Dev Saab, as he was fondly called, lived by the philosophy of Main Zindagi ka Sath Nibhata Chala Gaya, Har Fikar ko dhuen mein Udata Chala Gaya, a song from his film Hum Dono.
He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002 for his contribution to Indian cinema.
Taking in various genres like romance, crime, drama, thriller, comedy, with films like CID, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Guide, Johny Mera Naam, Jewel Thief, Hum Dono, Paying Guest, Kala Pani and Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Devsaab engaged the audience with his versatile choice of subjects.
Cartoonist Mario Miranda (2 May 1926 – 11 December 2011)
Eminent cartoonist and illustrator Mario de Miranda passed away in his sleep in Goa at the age of 85 on December 11.
He brought Goa alive with his comic drawings of local characters and culture.
His creations like Miss Numbupani and Miss Fonseca regularly featured in various Indian newspapers.
The cartoonist was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2002, and Padma Shri in 1988.
Adam Gondvi (22 October 1947-18 Decembet 2011)
Poet Ram Nath Singh popularly known as Adam Gondvi passed away at the age of 63on December 18 in Lucknow after prolonged illness.
Gondvi\\\’s poetry represented the voice of poors and backwards. His collection \\\’Dharti ki satah par\\\’ and \\\’Samay se Muthbhed\\\’ made him an acclaimed gazal writer. Poems of Gondvi had inspired many mass movement for decades.
Also known as people\\\’s poet, Gondvi was honoured with Dushyant Kumar prize in 1998.
Satyadev Dubey (1936-December 25)
Noted playwright, actor and theatre personality Satyadev Dubey passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai on December 25 following several months of illness.
He was the first Indian director who discovered Dharamveer Bharti\\\’s Andha Yug – a verse play in Hindi.
In his long career, he produced and directed plays of all the prominent playwrights.
He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1971. Dubey also won the National Film award for best screenplay for the Shyam Benegal\\\’s Bhumika in 1978. The Indian government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2011.
He penned dialogues for several films, including Ankur, Nishant, Kalyug, Aakrosh, Vijeta and Mandi.