Bokul bonot jonak jamini বকুল বনত জোনাক যামিনী
One of the most celebrated singer of Assamese modern music, Mrs Dipali Barthakur was born to Late Biswanath Barthakur and Late Chandra Kanti Barthakur at Nilamani Tea Estate near Sonari township, in present Sibasagar district of eastern Assam, on the 30th of January 1941. Due to the untimely death of her father Late Biswanath Barthakur, the family shifted to the residence of her maternal uncles in Sibasagar town. It was in her maternal uncle’s place which belongs to the family of the great Assamese literary icon Pandit Hemchandra Barua, that Dipali Barthakur passed her childhood and youth.
She studied in the Phuleswari Girls High school, Sibasagar and passed the Matriculation examination in the year 1959. Then she came to Cotton College, Guwahati and passed the Pre-University examination. But before she could complete her graduation, Motor Neuron disease struck her. This is a disease which affect the Motor Nerves, that is the nerves which controls the motions or movements of the body. Among other nerves the disease also affects the nerves controlling the respiration and the vocal cords. Among other prominent persons affected by this disabling disease is the celebrated Physicist Stephen Hawkings, who will be around a year junior in age to Dipali Barthakur.
The Dipali Barthakur sang and recorded around 30 songs in a span of around 9 years time, between the period of 1957 to 1966. She started her musical career quite early and when she was in class 9 she sang the song “Mor bopaai laahari মোৰ বোপাই লাহৰি” at All India Radio, Guwahati in 1958. She then sang in the Assamese film “Lasit Barphukan লাচিত বৰফুকন“. Although she could sing only for a small period of time, she gained timeless popularity because of the quality of her singing and the quality of the listeners or the audience at the time of her active singing life, particularly in terms of the taste of music. Once the Motor Neuron Disease started to set in more severely in her body, she was not able to sing any longer. But the records of her songs in radio and outside remained evergreen and her fan following never stopped growing with the coming newer and newer generations of music lovers in Assam. She became one among the great icons of Assamese music and awards rained on her steadily. She was awarded Padmashri by the Government of India in 1998. She receives Artist Pension from the Government of Assam and was also awarded the Xilpi Bataa শিল্পী বটা (Artist Award) by the State Government. Apart from that she received Kanaklata and Mukunda Kakati award, Satak Award, Bhupen Hazarika award, Chandra Phukan bataa, Gana Xilpi bataa and others.
Although the Motor Neuron Disease has incapacitated her muscles her mind is fully alert and she fondly names, Parag Chaliha, her brothers Bhaben Barthakur & Bhupen Barthakur, Rudra Barua, Birendra Nath Dutta, Birendra Kumar Phukan, Nirmal Prabha Bordoloi and Hemen Hazarika as the persons giving her the inspirations and encouragement in her musical life.
She was married to Mr Neelpaban Barua a noted painter in 1976, who happens to be son of prominent poet Dhwani Kabi Binanda Chandra Barua of Teok.