Thursday, May 23, 2019

From obscurity, uncredited composer of ‘Modhu Hoi Hoi’ bursts into public view

  • Rudro Haq
    Published: 2019-02-07 10:41:39 BdST


The original singer-composer of the huge Bangla hit ‘Modhu Hoi Hoi Bish Khawaila’ has emerged from obscurity years after the song struck a chord with the whole nation and sank into the fabric of the common life.

Scores of popular singers have sung the mellow, melancholic number over the past few years but Abdur Rashid Master, a Chattogram native, has gone uncredited for the huge hit that resonates with millions.

The man finally broke his silence and came out with his untold stories on Cplus TV, a Chattogram-based online YouTube channel, on Feb 4.

Rashid, a fisherman, said on live TV  that he had composed the ballad about bitter memories evoked by ‘lost love’ when he was in Saint Martin’s Island after he had broken up with a girl.

But he had no instrument to play with the song until a foreign tourist gifted him a mandolin after discovering his talent. 

Rashid, who is also locally known as a ‘Master’ for his knowledge of martial arts, began to perform music in public in 2004.

He used to make his living from fishing in the sea during the rainy season and come back to Saint Martin’s Island during winter. He would perform all across the island, entertaining islanders and tourists alike.

Modhu Hoi Hoi, or ‘you had me take poison saying it is honey’, which is the most famous of his folk songs, is inspired by his memories of the girl who went by the name ‘Minara’, Rashid said. 

The history of this talented composer made headlines following the live programme on Cplus, planned and conducted by Alamgir Apu, who has been working as editor-in-chief of this YouTube-based television channel.

‘Rashid is kind of an introvert. He usually does not like to leave the island. We began looking for the original singer after seeing the popularity of the song among the Bangla-speaking audience around the world. Our Cox’s Bazar correspondent Saiful Alam finally reached him and requested him to present the truth in the live programme.”  

“The original copy of this song has been changed in the featured version,” Apu said citing Rashid’s reaction.

“No one sings the original song. They changed the wordings as they pleased. No one even bothers to take my name which comes in the end of this song,” Rashid told 

He had composed the song before year 2000. He used to compose songs and many of his songs are locally popular, he said.

“I forgot exactly what date it was. But Sandipan Das came to me in 2003 and copied the song. Not only Sandipan, many people came to me, copied and filmed my song, and then left. They sing my song, but never give me credit. Everyone claims they wrote the song and demands copyright,” he said.

Following Sandipan Das, many popular singers of Bangladesh spread the song through their renditions, albeit distorted. Telecom operator Robi got child singing sensation Jahid to sing the number for one of its TV commercials. 

In 2017, a film was also released with the same title, triggering criticism over its use as an item song – an unrelated addition to the narrative of the movie.

The song launched careers of many singers, helping them make it big but Rashid is still living his life in financial difficulty. He does not regret his fate.

“It is the story of my own love life. I loved a girl very much but could not marry her. I lost her. She did not keep her words to me. Based on this story, I composed the song.”