An artiste knows the value of talent and that’s exactly what transpired in 1955 when Lata Mangeshkar saw a 3-year-old Bappi Lahiri play the tabla. Popular author Chaitanya Padukone, while speaking to ETimes revealed, “The legendary Lata Mangeshkar had seen a three-year old, chubby Alokesh (that’s Bappi Lahiri’s real name) play the tabla with prodigious prowess. The venue was Eden Gardens and the year 1955. After watching little Bappi play the tabla with such dexterity, Lata-Didi had predicted, ‘Don’t be surprised when he makes the world dance to his rhythms’. Aparesh Lahiri –little Bappi’s father – a Bengali composer was thrilled with is accolade coming from the supremo singer.”

Needless to say, Bappi Lahiri debuted with the movie Nanha Shikari in 1973 and the rest is history. Over the years, such had been the popularity of his music that Bappi managed to rub shoulders with some of the world’s best known musicians. He had the honour of being invited by Michael Jackson to his 1996 concert in Mumbai. Bappi da also collaborated with international artistes like Akon and Lady Gaga. The Marvel superhero film, Guardians Of The Galaxy also featured his music and even reportedly composed music for the Disney animated feature Moana.

Bappi Lahiri passed away yesterday night due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. He was 69. His last rites and funeral will take place tomorrow after his son Bappa Lahiri arrives back in India from the US.


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