Bhola Moira

Bhola Moira (19th century) folk singer, born Bholanath Nayak in the village of Guptipara in Hughli in a family of sweetmeat makers. His father, Kriparam, had a sweet bar at Bagh Bazar, calcutta. He was popularly known as Bhola Moira (Bhola, the sweet maker) because he worked in his father's sweet shop. haru thakur was his guru. Initially, he sang as the dohar (co-singer), but then formed his own group and started performing independently in Calcutta and its adjacent districts. He participated in poetical competitions with Balai Sarker, Jajneshwar Dhopa, anthony firingee, Hossain Khan and others. He was a popular and entertaining singer who could keep his audience mesmerized. Though Bhola Moira composed many songs himself, he was often assisted by composer-singers in poetical competitions. The name of his preceptor, Haru Thakur, as well as the names of Gadadhar Mukhopadhyay and Thakurdas Chakraborty are mentioned as composers in his collection of songs.

The mug of Mymensingh is better, and the kai fish of Khulna;

Dhaka's pataksir is better, and the yoghurt of Bankura;

The sweetmeat makers of Krishnanagar are better, and the mangoes of Maldaha;

Ulo's male monkeys are better, and the blackberries of Murshidabad;

The fathers-in-law of Rangpur are better, and the sons-in-law of Rajshahi;

The boats of Noakhali are better, and the midwives of Chittagong;

The Kayets of Dinajpur are better, and the wine sellers of Howrah;

The Vaishnavas of Pabna are better, and the mudi of Faridpur;

The cultivators of Burdwan are better, and the milkmen of 24-Paraganas;

The girls of Guptipara are better-beware your line will soon become extinct.

The fighters and ruffians of Hughli are better, and the buttermilk of Birbhum.

It is better if the rhythm of the dhak stop and all utter the name of Hari in chorus.

In one of his songs Bhola Moira describes the special features of various districts of Bengal:

Realising the importance of popular entertainment, iswar chandra vidyasagar complimented Bhola Moira and said, 'To awaken the society of Bengal, it is necessary to have orators like Ramgopal Ghosh, amusing men like Hutom Pyancha and folk singers like Bhola Moira'. [Wakil Ahmed]