Amiya Chakraborty
 
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Amiya Chakraborty

Amiya Chakraborty, presently residing in Tezpur, daughter of Lakhiminath Borthakur and Hemada Borthakur, residents of Jansi, is a talented writer of the post- independence period.

She was born at Sadiya in 1929, the place where her father was working at that time. Her mother expired right after her birth which bereft her from motherly love and affection. She was brought up by her elder Aunt Rambhawati Devi, middle Uncle Jogyadhar Baruah and Aunt Saroj Baruah. Hemada Borthakur, her mother was a good writer. A book entitled "Goxai" has been published by her Mrs. Chakraborty got married to Devendra Nath Chakraborty, son of a wealthy family in Kamrup, at the age of 11 years.

Mrs. Chokraborty decided to live separately in the Kachrigaon area of Tezpur in Sonitpur district. The domestic life of Mrs. Chakraborty is quite peaceful. Blessed with three sons, a daughter, grandchildren, she is the maker of a complete family. Her elder son, Shri Atul Chakravarty, is a teacher in the engineer in the PHE Department, and youngest son is an engineer in the Digboi Oil Refinery.

Mrs. Chakrabarty handled the family responsibilities aptly. Cooking, cutting and weaving, attending to the plants vegetables in the farm, she never ignored the duty to take care of the garden area and make it more beautiful. As she managed her homey responsibilities sincerely, she passed her ‘Kobind’ exam organized by Hindi Bhasa Prachar Samiti.

Sri Tapan Deka and Sri Dimba Bhuyan, from Tezpur, on 25th December, 1957 introduced her to the acting world. Since then, she has maintained her alliance with Tezpur Ban Theatre. Having gained experience in acting, Mrs. Chakravarty started writing plays, and even composed and produced some plays. Thus, she began her career with writing plays. Following this, she took to fiction writing. Side by side, she also wrote poems, articles, etc.

Mrs. Chakravarty was one of the pioneers in establishing the branch of Axom Sahitya Sabha in Tezpur. She was elected as the member of the working committee of the Sahitya Sabha for two times.

Mrs. Chakravarty is not only a great writer but also an active social worker. During the Indo-Chinese war in 1962, she motivated the inhabitants of Tezpur, and pledged them to have courage. Amidst the household duties, she did not lose the chance to attend the first aids training camp, rifle handling training, etc. In the 1972 language movement also, she participated actively.

Sixty years old, blessed with a house filled with her husband, sons, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, and this woman though enjoys material prosperity, is immersed into the devotion of the eternal Shiva, and tries to lose her physical being with the all-powerful, all-pervading omnipotent. May the all-powerful Shiva grant her a long life?

The literary talent of Mrs. Amiya Chakraborty:

As stated earlier, Mrs. Chakraborty first gained the knowledge of acting skills, later started writing plays. The list of her published plays: Duswapna (Bad Dream), Duxkar (Blamer), Pratidhwani (Echo), Abhilash (Wish). Her published novels are: Lutak, Tripti Bissari, Dapun Pralep. Book of poems is Jhankar (collection of Poems), and also block on Biya Naam (devotional songs).

Besides these, there are many unpublished one-act plays and articles in manuscripts. We hope that these works will soon appear in published form, and delight us with the taste of delving in literary pleasure. The central Library has preserved the collection of her books. According to Mrs. Chakraborty, one of her novels entitled ‘Lutak’ has been preserved in the American Museum of World Literature along with her biography.

Several newspapers have published her thought- provoking articles and essays. Among them, Bharitya kshayap rog (Leprosy of modern India), Anuusthan gadhu ahok (Come, let us begin the Institution), Prohelika, are remarkable. In the article ‘Leprosy of modern India’ Mrs. Chakraborty has realistically portrayed the condition of post- independent India. After the overthrowing foreign rule, three arose a league of indifferent…Politicians and leaders. But their corruption, misrule, and quarrelling brought tears into the eyes of mother India. So mother India narrates her tragedy to her sons, come let us begin the ceremony, deals with the issue of how to create a healthy society, and what kind of institutions necessary for such a granted endeavor. In the article ‘Prahelika’, the writer addresses the leaders in the form of an allegation that their corruptions and self-centeredness has established the society. Draught, misrule of governing people, decline of books and learning and all degenerate the society like a demon.

‘Lutak’ (Tears) is a social novel. Though the protagonist, Binita, encounters widowhood all of a sudden, she struggles hard to prove her identity and individual existence in society. While attending night classes in college, she was helped by her teacher Neelmoni Deka. On the competition of her studies, she joined as a teacher in girl’s school in the village and also started some social schemes. Binita was always encouraged in all her endeavors by professor Deka. The friendship between Binita and Professor created doubts in the minds of everyone. As a result, she was falsely accused and her integrity was challenged by the headmaster. The headmaster went to sick Binita and left his illegitimate child, born out of the illicit relationship between a female teacher Pankaja and himself, just ‘as Vasudeva left his son Krishna to Yashoda’.Binita suffered the humiliation and shame, and nurtured the child with a lot of hardship. The child grew up to be a doctor. The final tragedy happened before unfortunate death through an accident. Before taking last breath, she confessed to the boy, ‘Mrinal, I am not yours mother’. The death of such a brave generous and affectionate mother brought tears in the eyes of Mrinal.

The manner in which the affectionate, tender, sacrificial side of the main character has been portrayed by the author is inspiring. But the writer often deviates from some practical facts. In the instance where the actual culprit Pankaja stands innocent while sick Binita is falsely misjudged and humiliated by villagers is somewhat far from reality. In addition, by using some unnecessary, meaningless words and too many details, descriptions, has uselessly widened the length of the book. For example: Human life is, in every moment, very unpredictable (p.3). In the place ‘unpredictable’, the words ‘surprising’, or ‘exceptional’, would have been befitting the context. To compare ‘youth with ‘miracle-house’ also seems absurd. But in, page 67, the depiction of the village located near the city, touches the actual reality-

"The village is swayed by the urban tide. The girls now hesitated to clean the cattle wastes, in the morning, leaving the bed. They felt ashamed to go to the nearby ponds and bring water in the clay pots tied to their waists…"

On the other hand, the use of popular idioms such as ‘miwa bibi raazi to kya karega kaazi’ (When bride and groom are ready, why should the priest oppose)? (p.38), ‘mone bisare raja hobo’, ‘bidhata’ e nidoiye xuji khabo’ (the heart wants to be, a king, the god forbids begging to eat)(p.no.90),’xantekar bhoj khauta nai’; ‘joykalat bhoy nai’ , ‘mrityukalat auxudh nai’ (a short feast is not eatable; there is no fear at the time of victory; there is no remedy for death) (p. no. 117), etc is fit in the context of this novel but lessens the literary quality of the text. All said, it has to be accepted that ‘Lutak’ is artistically a complete successful creation.

Her next novel is ‘Triptitibisari’. Here, the author deals with the love of a young boy Moloy for a married woman and mother of four children ‘Nomi’. The author tries to prove that the love of Moloy for Nomi is like the love of Dante for Beatrice as portrayed in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, the love of Chandi Das for Romi Dhubuni, or in the poem ‘Tumi’ (You), the love of poet Ambika Roy Choudhury for his beloved. Thus, this novel has been reviewed by another writer Narayan Bezbaruah in the following words , "In the novel ‘Triptibisari, the heroine’s devotion to and respect for her husband is praiseworthy; on the other hand, the moral breakdown and guilty that she experiences are submitting herself to the amorous call of her lover, is difficult to accept yet realistic. Though wishing to feel the pleasure of love, she did not allow herself in the vast ocean called ‘life’, in the eye of Bezbaruah, ‘Nomi’ epitomizes pure love. The author has successfully conveyed the tenderness and physical volubility of a woman’s character which lands Nomi in a conflicting state." Although the author opposes physical love, towards the end of the novel she accepts "The force of lust loosened the ties of pure physical devotion… The atmosphere defeats the hold of patience. The feeling of lust did not let Moloy to remain steady." (P. no. 107) ‘Moloy could not control or defeat the notorious feelings of lust." (P. no. 116) Thus, this unaccepted love culminated in his marriage with Rita. But ‘Moloy could never find satisfaction in his unsettling life.’ The contrast of light and darkness, fantasy and reality, has been adroitly presented by the author in this novel.

In 1986, Mrs. Amiya Chakrabarty published anther novel called ‘Dupan Prolep’. The title suggests that as the mirror is blurred, the leading characters are not able to view themselves in it. The hero of this novel is an imposter. Thirty years ago, he murders Ranjan Kakoti, the man who killed his parents, brothers and sisters fooled the police and run away. During his life as an escaped convict, he witnesses the corruptions going on in the different stages of society. For example- "The government has built this hospital for poor people like us. You people issue long prescriptions saying that there is dearth of medicines. The government donates millions to buy medicines which you sell outside. You sell the x-ray plates to outsiders." (P.no.56) Illicit love relationship at home and school, wife’s adulterous affairs with another man at the back of her husband resulting in the murder of wife and the absconding husband resulting mixing dust with rice and wheat grains, inserting small betel leafs in between the bigger ones, mixing 3 liters milk can, etc are the actual realities of modern life. Considering the backdrop of the work which is not focused on the central story, it on the contemporary social conditions. The crowd of so many unsocial activities has destroyed the fictional quality of the novel. The use of unnecessary, meaning less words has also decreased the literary value of the story. For example, "In school, there should not be any lessons or play of lust."

"Today I am missing my lovely family. They are lost in the idle (aloxta) mirror."(P. no. 78) the use of the word ‘idleness’ is baffling and grotesque here. ‘Now I am the killer of desires-fulfillment.’’(P. no. 77)

As a whole, if we analyze all the three novels of the writer, it can be surmised that in compared to ‘Lutak’ or ‘Tripti bisari’, ’Dapun Prolep’ appears as an average creation.

‘Jhankar’ (Beats) is a book a poem published in 1970.The volume of poems includes some songs. In the preface, the poetess confesses that in the compositions of poems, the feelings of heart gains prominence over the matted of head. Poetry is the symmetrical arrangement into words of the feelings of heart. Thus, in the first poem of the volume entitled ‘Kobita’ (Poem), the poetess speaks of the nature of the poem:

The soft heart of the poet wails,

I knew you are the daughter of the poet

Revered girl of this earth

‘Ayush’ is a very realistic poem. Some of the lines are extracted are:-

O Ayush, here, look at me for once

The poem brings to the fore the reality of death. Another poem inspired from Tagore’s ‘Bharatirtha’, entitled ‘Xonmukhat amar xomosya apar’ (There are many problems in front of us). The manner in which Tagore hails the holy country ‘Bharat’ which gave home to both Aryans and non-Aryans, Dravidians, Brahmin, etc. Similarly the poetess calls out to farmers, scientists, artists, soldiers, writer, etc to contribute so that India can become a true ‘Republic’.

Come, peasants and scientists

Come, artists, singers and soldiers

The meaning of different tongues

Its time to assemble together

The unity of all the groups can only bring harmony and integrity is what the poetess is trying to convey through the following lines---‘Let’s spread the seeds of unity’. The poem, though consists of Tagore’s undertones, is mainly based on Lal Bahadur Shastrri’s revolutionary slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kissan’----

Peasant, you are worshipped by the entire country

You will only keep the nation’s name

Beware, soldier, you are the guard

Keep the honor of the country

‘Jai Hind’ is the great slogan of our country.

This is the republic of India

Hail the brave soldiers, hail the peasants

Hail this country ‘India’ great

There is no doubt that the aim of writing this poem is noble. There is another poem called ‘Moi Dharilu Jibon’ (I understood life) based on the verses ‘ki korilu, ki krilu, bhakti nkobi’---

‘Did not pray during childhood

Your two feets

The tempest of youth

Swapped me away

Greed, attachment, lust, anger clasped me tightly

Old age came unannounced, and made me weak

Took away my sight, and strength

Still did not offer worship

To your divine feets

O Lord, forgive me, please.’

The poem is an instance of the speakers last phase of life, and his devotion towards god. This volume also contains some eulogies. The poem in memory of Chandra Kumar Agarwala ‘Xotabdhir bukuy roi jabo smriti’ ( The Century will preserve the memory), ‘Smritir Anjali’ in memory of Rajnikanta Bordoloi , ‘Smritir Potot’ in memory of Dandinath kalita,’Padumsurabhi’ in memory of Padmanath Gohain Baruah, and ‘Xahitya Rothi’ in memory of Lakshminath Bezbaruah. Through these poems, the poetess has eulogized, and also paid homage to these great poet personages. The volume also contains some songs. However, there is no account whether these songs by any singer. The collection, though do not set up high standards in the age of modern poetry, is undoubtedly, an unprecedented achievement. Meanwhile, some orthographic corrections are needed.

Another popular poetic collection is ‘Biyanaam’. Marriage is an auspicious occasion in Assemese society. Traditionally, the mother and old ladies gather together and sing this sacred song for the happy conjugal life of bride and groom. This song is not only sung for the happiness of the married couple, but it also increases the joy of the occasion. Apart from writing the traditional some of her self-created, original devotional marriage songs.

Plays written by Mrs. Amiya Chakraborty:

It is already mentioned that Mrs. Chakravarty was a good actress. She did not confine herself to only acting; she widened her dramatic capabilities and started writing plays by her. Her play ‘Duswapna’ deals with the illicit and amorous relationship between pratibha, wife of Bipin Baruah, an employee in the electricity department, and an insurance agent, Pramod Kalita, and its consequences. In order to possess Pratibha, Pramod contrives a nasty plan and bribes the doctor to prescribe wrong medicines to the ailing Bipin Baruah which works like a slow poison, and eventually leads to untimely death of the man. The old servant Kanha suspects Pramod and Pratibha, and shoots bitter words at them. In which, Pratibha throws him out of the house. Kanha rushes to Umesh Sarma, friend of Bipin Baruah, and seeks shelter. But Sarma held him responsible for the death of Bipin and hands him over to the police. As the proceedings begin in the court, Pramod Kalita appears and confesses his crime.

The 1962 Indo-China was left a traumatic impact on the mind of the writer. In the play ‘Avilash, the play right realistically describes the entry of Chinese soldiers in the NEFA, the friendship between Indian soldiers at the border and the Chinese soldiers and the Chinese soldiers, and how the Chinese soldiers had been keeping a vigorous watch over all the possible routes leading to NEFA for many years. In addition, the writer has also highlighted the intermingling of Assamese and Monpa culture during the war.

The play ‘Dukh Kaar’ deals with the worldly experience of a mill owner. The mill owner Uday Phukan went to visit a mill in Allahabad, and conducted a misdeed, that is, a second marriage. The first wife Upma maintained a friendly relationship with the second wife, Jaya. She did not reveal her husband’s identity to her son. Anjan, her son was brought up at his maternal uncle’s house. He fell in love with a girl named Jinti. As a result, the misfortune that befell on Phukan family is presented in the play ‘Dukh Kaar’.

Again, in the play ‘Pratidhwai’, Mrs. Chakraborty highlights the medical profession and the way doctor’s value profits more than the welfare of the patients in the character of doctor Ranjan. Here, she comments on the growing tendency of the doctors to open pharmacies and private medical stores even after drawing heavy salary.

In the production of the play ‘Duswapna’, the writer expressed her indebt ness to popular actor Phani Sarma, Bishnu Rabha, Chandra Goswami, and especially to Sri Tulsi Das for his guidance, encouragement and supervision. With the suggestion of these actors, the play must have been staged successfully. It is mentioned in the cast that’ this play was staged two times in Baan Theatre’. This was also enacted in lakhimpur, Gowalpara, Dipota and other places with pomp and ceremony.

In the Preface to the play ‘Dukh Kaar’, the writer has mentioned that "On the 7th of April 1962, the period which underwent all-round turmoil’s, my second play ‘Dukh Kaar’ was staged, after a lot of efforts. The cast constituted of Nitya Mahanta, Jogananda Goswami, Romesh Sarma, and others. The combined efforts of the cast and crew was accepted and appreciated by the audience. Shri Tulsi Das was the director of this play."

Baan Theatre is an evergreen name in Assamese Drama. The assistance of such brilliant actors and directors associated with that company is like ‘adding glitter to the gold’ to the plays of Mrs. Chakraborty

The number of novelists, poets, short story writers, essayists, is day by day, increasing in Assamese literature. But the number of female playwright is negligible. Of course, Srimati Soujanyamoyee Bhattacharjee has shown some promise in this field. Thus, in the league of female dramatist, Mrs. Chakravarty’s name will have to taken as the first and foremost.

As stated earlier, Mrs. Chakravarty has also penned down some one-act plays. Those are—Aakhep, Poshakar Mahatma, Xilpir Praan kala natak, selection niyati, Dambh, Maya, Tejimala, Joymotir xasti, Jeng aru Jabor, etc. If these plays are published, the treasury of Assamese dramatic literature will be hugely benefited.

The present article is only a brief account of the contribution of the devoted housewife, social worker Mrs. Amiya Chakraborty to Assamese literature. Our readers can provide the literacy analysis. At the end; we can summaries that Srimati Amiya Chakraborty is one of the best writers of the post-independents periods.

Presently, Mrs. Chakraborty does not waste her time in material prosperity. She has built a temple at her own home, and spends most of her time in the worship of the True, and Enlightened-One Shiva. We pray for her long life.

 

 
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