Hareswaree Hajowaree
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Hareswaree Hazowaree

“Jibanar rangin Phakuguribor

            Uri Uri goi Koatanu Stabdha hol!

Ojanite sui jay

            Obaykta Bikhipta bedana

Hriayar ai bedana Patolabo Nowari

                                      Kando Matho usupi usupi,

                                              Kiya morai dosha

                                   Provu paicho marma byatha !

The poet of the above poem “Obayakta Bedona”is Smt.Hareswaree Hazowaree, a daughter of the soil of Assam, a sexagenarian Bodo women who retired as a Head Mistress of Khara Government High School. Mourned by the death of her husband and two daughters, She expresses in the poem the pain and misery that she could not express in words. Strong belief in God and her longing to surrender her self in His Prayer is the theme of her poetry.

The following poem that I have read is an example of her faith and submission to God.

Gosai tomak jonau pronam

Sarbaswa sopi di tomar choronat

Maya mohe bhora ai prithivit

Kotalo sukhe dukhe dinbor jibanat……………

The examples of poems exposing her mournful heart and sacrifice before God shall be incomplete without reference to her another poem. That poem is-

“Mritu Tomak Jonao Swagatam”

 Mrityu, swagatam tomak,

 Diya thai tomar charanat.

 Mrityu, Mritu mane Ki ?

 Mrityu swaswata, sargiya,

 Duta akharar ata sabda mathon

Mrityu – Tomak swagatom………….”

Pretending outwardly to be very cheerful but severely grieved by the death of two beautiful daughter, Smt. Hareswari has compiled her poems in a book titled “ Kobitamala” although the life full of miseries has made her ascetic and uninterested in the publication of the poems. When asked about publication of the said book she said – “kabitamala is absolutely personal for me as it is written with the imagination from my dreary eyes, a heart transformed into stone and the tears converted in to a chain of pearl. Because I don’t know if it has any value for others ?"

Her poems are not the expression of her dejected heart. It was not that a poet already dejected and started writing poetry at the fag end of her life. Poetry was in her heart. She liked writing poems from time to time during her school days. She expressed her feelings thereby.

“Dimapur” was the first poem she had written during school days. The Poem was published in the school magazine. Her poems were published in school magazines regularly.

Let me tell about the communal, social and environmental condition of Hareswaree. It is stated that she is a Bodo women. She was born in Dhaligaon, an unknown village of Assam near Bongaigaon town village of Assam near Bongaigaon town where the famous Oil refinery has been set-up now. She was born in the year 1928. Late Gahin Chandra Brahma, Gaonburah (Village Head-man) and a respected person of the society was her father. Her mother Late Rajani Prova Brahma was Illiterate but an ardent supporter of the movement for women education and its expansion. She was the mother of her two daughters Ambawati and Hareswaree, and she arranged for their education at Guwahati as there was no schools in their locality.

The land inhabited by the Bodo tribes was a backward place where the only means of communication to Bongaigaon or Abhoyapuri from Dhaligaon was by Bullock-cart or on foot. Guwahati was far away. One had to walk upto Bongaigaon to pick up the train.

Hareswaree had her elementary education at Dhaligaon. Gohin Chandra,the Gaonburah arranged a place for his two daughters for their education in the Boys’ Primary School at the village.Late Gohin Chandrahad two daughters. They were born at the latter part of his life. That was the reason that they did not face many difficulties in their education.

After completing the primary education Hareswaree took admission in Middle English class at St. Mary’s Girls’ school, Guwahati. Of course she went from Guwahati to Abhoyapuri, a nearer place where Abhoyapuri Girls’ M.E. School was opened.

At present discussion on caste is a matter of politics. At that time caste system was prevalent at the time of taking meals or gathering. But such matter should not be mentioned. She has expressed her mental agony relating to it in her poem ‘Picnic’ published in the year 1943.

Smt. Hareswaree with three other girls passed Middle school Examination successfully from Abhoyapuri Girls M.E. School.Beyond this, there was no opportunity to pursue studies for girls. At that time Abhoyapuri was the Headquarter of Bijni Estate. At that time Late Sabita Devi was the queen and Late Bhairabandra Narayan Baruah was the king of Bijni.

Those eight girls appealed before the queen of Bijni to establish a Girls’ High School. A grant was sanctioned, the Girls’ school was established and Hareswaree passed the Entrance Examination from the school.

The poem about ‘Picnic’ was one of the favorite poem that was written by her in her school days.

“picnic picnic buli ami boliya

 Amar gar oporedi boi jay ba

Suriya besura geet gun gai

 Aguawi jao ami pahar bogai…………….

 Bagori poril mor cokulu dudhari

 Nedekhile nusudhile Koneo adori. (Class – VII, year-1984)

Her poetic work was not only limited to tragic verses and the expressions of a sorrowful mind but she could web blissful humours. Dhaligaon was included in Goalpara District. Goalpara was the local dialect of the place like Goalpara, Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon. She wrote a good number of humorous poems in Goalpara dialect and compiled a book titled “Goalpara Chalanta Bhasar Rohghora” Let us enjoy a few of them.

Halowar khana-

Hal marilang , kodal marilong

Boroshit marilong mach-

Take puraiya chatni bathaca

Sobai udor puraiya khacha………………..

Thus she has drawn a picture of the division of labour and discipline way of life among the simple rural families. Likewise she has written another poem relating to “Jumai” a popular item among all.

Saon mas ses pailo

Dhan ruao see hoilo-

Joha rulong,

Bora rulong-rulong Sali, Aijuri-

Dehatir phale monoke nidilong

Gaota bishaite ter pailong……………

‘Jumai’ a type of wine prepared from rice grain generally used by the common man as medicine. As like the poem titled “Jumai” signifying the use of Jumai she has written several simple poems on other subjects like – Sugar mach, Halowar Cake,horiyal Pitha, Hazarmukhi Pitha, Chaolar Ruti, Sahitya Sabha etc.

Several poems, articles etc. have been published by the Bodo women through the magazines Publishd in Bodo language. The Sodou Asom Bodo Sahitya Sabha felicitated the women writer in the year 1994, “Abou Abonini Sol’,meaning loka Aaitar Sadhu – a collection of folk-talkies is l so under publication by her.

As she possessed a sorrowful mind so her writings irrespective of its medium of language are the evidence of a mind pierced and wounded by grief. Among such poems the poem ‘Daha’ meaning sorrow is noteworthy. She has written the following poem on the death of her daughter who was a post-graduate student.

Hera ai, tumi baru kelei abar dekha nidiya

Hridoy mor udbaul tomar babe

Tomak moi chabo bicharo

Tomak moi chabo bicharo………………………….

Hareswaree who loves her motherland has written ‘Moi Tomak Bhal Pau’, Janumabhumi Moi Tomak Bhal Pao’ and I like everything-its soil, water, fire sun, moon and the sky. Everything that exists on your soil such as the trees, the living beings, the birds and their mild sweet songs, melodious vocice of children are dear to me. I cry when I see the death caused by the political clash but I am enthused by the unity among man”

In this way her sacrifice before God with a heart filled with sorrow is evident in her every poem. Citing the examples of her pathetic condition in another Bodo poem titled “Angbiboyari”, she has said that she is happy in such a condition.

He obong laori

Ung sase nikhauri

Ung jadong biboyari

……………………………………..

I am very poor

I am a bagger

I beg for your love,

I do not want wealth and glory……………..

In this way Smt. Haraswaree has contributed a lot of literary works in all the three languages viz. Bodo, Assamese and Gowalparia language.

She left it to the readers to forward appropriate criticism to evaluate her literary works. She said “I do not know if there is anything called literary standard. The readers would decide it. I have expressed only the facts that perturbed my mind. I find it difficult to understand what is literature”.

Published in the year 1991, ‘Dudhnoir Ase –Pase’ is her another book.The book was dedicated in the name of her husband Late Rajen Rabha who wrote the foreword of the book stating that the writer complied some articles written in brief about the temples and monastery, signifying its legendary background, ancient places of worship, satras, sculpture etc. He was happy for publication of the book to the readers on the occasion of the 57th session of the “Asom Sahitya Sabha” held at Dhudhnoi.

Smt. Hareswaree has written the book on the basis of the discussion made between two friends. Smt. Nirupama Hagier was the only friend in the personal life of Smt. Hazowaree. Friendship between these two women was stated through writing. Their writings were published on different magazines and impressed by such writings both of them became pen friends. They didn’t have face to face contact until the date of the annual conference of Dudhnoi Sahitya Sabha in the year 1991. Being informed about the presence of Smt. Nirupama in the said annual conference Smt. Hareswaree wrote in simple language about the place around Dudhnoi in the book that she planned to visit with Nirupama.

But who was Nirupama? Nirupama was Smt. Nirupama Hagjer, a literary pensioner. The minister Late Joybhadra Hagjer was her husband. She was a social worker, a writer, a Dimacha girl and a daughter of soil of Assam residing in Haflong. Smt. Hareeswaree wrote in her book about the monastery and temples around Dudhnoi with their legendary background. She wrote in her book “Nirupama, it has been heard that there are hills in Goalpara, ruled by Monkey king and queen. Where is it? Beloved! – oh! The name of the hill is Tukreswari, not far away from this place. We are to reach Krishnai River. You can find Tukreswari hill which is not far away from Krishnai. Driver let us go. Drive us to Tukreswari hill”.

“This is the Tukreswari Hill. On the top of the hill there is the temple of mother Goddess. In the foot-hill there is the ‘Padukabari’ of goddess. There is the Bhog-ghar and the Nath Temple. A pond and a stream are also there. The monkey king and queen lived in this Tukeswari hill. But from the date of acquisition if the Bijni state by the Govt. of Assam, the monkey king and queen and other monkeys were vanished from the hill. But there exist the monkey king and queen as per tradition.

Here buffalos are sacrificed at the time of Durga Puja. It is said that a part of Sati’s body fall in this region. One foot step of Lord Mohadeva is also engraved on one of the stone. Inside the cave there is Sivalinga.

She has referred to one legend regarding establishment of the Tukreswari temple. “One day a cow-boy named ‘Tukura’ was grazing his cattle. He observed a milking cow went out somewhere at noon. She returned to the herd in the evening. One day Tukura followed the cow. The cow walked to the top of the hill. Hiding behind a tree he observed that standing on the eastern side of a flat hill she was squeezing milk from her breast. Tukura become impatient. He informed the matter to the king. But the king confirmed the matter after a visit to the place in disguise. The king built a temple at that place and arranged for worship there. The place was named as Tukreswari in the name of Tukura. The writer has mentioned specially about the well-known persons and organizations of Dudhnoi along with the legends regarding small places.

By reading the book the readers can view a clear picture of the place. Hence it can be strongly recommended that the writer has become successful in this regard. Besides contributing to the literature the writer participated in discussions and presented articles for several years continuously through ‘Akashbani –Guwahati.’

When asked about the source of inspiration for her writing she said that she was inspired by Late Sitanath Brahmachudhury, the husband of her elder sister Ambawati. He gifted her various books on different topics and brought books from schools and library for her to encourage her for reading.

Late Sitanath Brahmachudhury was the former MP and the former president of ‘Assam Sahitya Sabha’.

Smt. Hajowaree was also involved in various social works. In such matter her parents, the husband of her elder sister and her husband Late Mohot Chandha Hajowari with whom she got married before completion of her college education were her mentors. She was the founder of “Asom Pradeshik Mohila Samiti”, Dudhnoi branch and advisor of Asom Lekhika Somaroh Somiti, Dudhnoi Branch. In addition to that she was interested in several other developmental works. She established Night Schools for women education in her husband’s village Khara and taught the women at night classes. At that time ‘Matia Anchalik Panchayat’ helped her a lot and provided one time grant.

She was associated with the government co-operative society, Dudhnoi and was elected as the Vice-President of the society.

Now at the fag end of her life she only prays to God for the Well-being of all, looking at the sky with an empty heart. But her writing has not stopped yet. Still ……looking at the emptiness I want to say……

“Body, failed and worn out,

Awaited for the journey

Eternal and inevitable.”

May God bless her with a sound health and happy mind!

 

 
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