Although not very popular among the general masses, Jatileshwar Mukhopaddhya established himself as a unique creator of modern Bangla songs. His own style of creating Bangla songs from the mid '60s introduced a different sort of lyrics combined with similar type of composition, quite different from the traditional melody of those times--a distinction that earned him a special place in the evolution of modern Bangla songs also known as “Bangla nagorik gaan”.
From the early '40s, after the end of Panchokabi era, Bangla songs started reaching its peak, in terms of popularity and diversity in tunes. However, from the '40s to '80s we have hardly seen any musical maestros who have made songs single-handedly with the exception of the great Salil Chowdhury, Shudhin Dasgupta and of course our Khan Ataur Rahman, who have penned and composed songs of their own. And it is possibly Jatileshwar Mukhopaddhya, who after them not only just penned and tuned songs but also sang those, thereby making himself stand almost alone as a diverse musician. His lyrics were not like those of others, not very easy going and having some sort of abstract forms. “Bodhua amar chokhe jol enechhe haye” is a unique example of a song which could be seen as a lover pining for his lost love, but what a brilliant way of portraying that. In contrary to this lyric, his other song “Tomar shonge dekha na holey” is filled with so many romantic verses. “Amar shwapon kinte pare emon ameer koi”, “Ami to har mene achhi dekhi joy koro ki korey” and “E kon shokal” are yet some other examples of his new forms of musical expressions in a bit abstract way, yet full of subtle romanticism. His tunes also do not match the typical melody of the' 60s and '70s and sometimes were found a little complicated like the Bengali meaning of his name “Jatil”.
Some of us who were fortunate enough to know about him and his works, prompted us to invite him to Dhaka in 2013, his first and last visit to Bangladesh. His only programme in Dhaka “Kothaye o gaane Jatileshwar Mukhopaddhya” was organised on September 20, 2013 at the Daily Star Centre jointly by Simantic Creative Concern and The Daily Star. Those who were present that day were undoubtedly lucky to see Jatil da performing his songs and talking with great humour and intellect with the anchor Syed Abdul Hadi. His passing away on December 21 has certainly cast a gloom of sorrow.