The poet who wants to make her life lively by
adorning it with music is this Hemaprabha Saikia, a silent worshipper of
Assamese poetry. Born on 7th July 1928, she was the daughter of Late
Dandinath Kalita and late Kamaleswari Kalita. Her father was one of the
prominent poets who wrote honors our and satirical poems in Assamese.
Initially they resided at Ketekibari in Tezpur. Later
on they moved to their own residence at Lambodor Path. They named their
residence ‘Mangalalaya’, in memory of their grandfather. Mangalatam Kalita.
She was the eldest of ten children who lived happily in ‘Mangla1aya’. The
beautiful natural scenario of Tezpur and healthy cultural environment
helped them in building up their mental and physical growth. Born and
brought up in the contemporary cultural environment her parent helped and
guided her lot to think of life differently. Her father inspired all his
children to recite the Sanskrit ‘Slokas’ and it developed their religious
thinking. Later in their life they wholeheartedly felt the importance of
their father’s teachings. She remembers her mother’s inspiration which
helped her to develop her individual personality.
From her childhood days she devoted herself for the
enlistment of Assamese literature and culture. So she took it as her aim
in life. She wrote poems from an early age.
"Nirobe karilu pon
Kabitare bikashira kori sajam kanon
Pindhi nite nabarange Haba Sayan,
Subashita hoko mur kabita
Nij sristi sani rup monohor
Thoi sobi ski rang bitongar."
(My Poems will enlighten the world, my poems, are like
beautiful flowers in a garden, I will leave a foot print by writing
Like, Hemaprabha her brothers Bibudh Kalita a
journalist and a literary person’ Satyaranjan Kalita a detective writer,
younger sister Madhuri Kalita Choudhary also contributed a lot to Assamese
literature, Unfortunately she lost, her younger brother in an early age.
In his memory ‘Hiranyaranjan Granthakuti’ of Tezpur is dedicated to her.
In her poems the sorrow of her heart is reflected.
Under the guidance of her father, Hemaprabha was
educated at Tezpur. Her father never discriminated between boys and girls,
he always had a dream to make his children educated persons. But
Hemaprobha did not have any interest in formal education and always tried
to get rid of it. She got married at an early age even when she did net
complete her high school education. Though she tried to get rid gf formal
education she could not, because her husband insisted that she should
complete her studies. After marriage she passed her matriculation
examination and put an end to her studies.
Although she was not interested in formal education as
her father wished yet she had an artistic temperament and got great
applause in the literary competitions. In the ‘Sahitya Sabha’ held in
Makum, her artistic talent was highly appreciated by the audience. In her
whole life she takes great pleasure in her artistic creations.
Hemaprabha’s father who inspired her in her literary
works was a famous person. Her father’s inspiration helped her to write
poems from an early age. Moreover most of her father’s friends were
literary persons who used to visit their home frequently. She remembers
that once ‘Bihagi Kabi’ Raghunath Choudhury visited their home and she was
surprised to see that such a great man was talking to their father. Of
course she was very young to understand their conversation but in her
heart she felt joy and pleasure, When she had grown up her father would
feel her mind and tried to inspire her to write poems by looking at the
little wonders of nature, So, she wrote her first poem at an early age
when she was early ten years old.
‘jarat kapi gosliltar Safil phlllpat
Phular saril mukhor hahi, pokhir horil mat.
Sukai khiiiai noi bilor olai paril jaka
Aiiete adin uthil baji dm 'amass aka.
Sei sorotei goslatai pindhile notun Saj
Ahil uri pekhi pokhili, mou bhornurar jak.
Nodi nijgrai khalakani tuli boi gol geet
Sukan pathar seujia hoi, hol kene diplip
(Sitor Seshar Sobi)
(In winter all the leaves fell from the trees, flowers
dried up, and the rivers also ‘dried up, but one day spring came and the
trees, flowers, birds danced with joys the rivers danced and nature became
After writing her first poem she was confident and
tried to give shape to her feelings through poems and short stories. Her
attraction for literature was one of the reasons for which she started
reading books in Assamese, Bengali and many other languages. She was
deeply interested in the writings of Ashapurna Devi, Bonful, Maittayee
Devi etc. Mostly she was interested in reading the travel stories. She
greatly acknowledges her sister who helped her a lot in editing a
magazine. At first she took interest in writing short stories but later on
she established herself as a poet. Unlike her father she had a dream to
write many books which she expressed like –
"Suala bhasare likhi jam moi
Chanda tulika loi,
Saudice uri bilai surabhi
Robo jugarniya hoi"
(My hope is to write many things which will perfume the
world and my name will be remembered in this world)
The cultural environment of Tezpur helped her in her
creative writings. When she was a student, she showed her talent in all
the performances of singing, dancing, painting etc. She had the guidance
of her uncle Deban Chaliha in learning music but due to lack of practice
later she could not develop this art. But in her heart music had a deep
place for music.
Like every other girl she was married to Sri Manik
Saikia- Her husband was one of the favorite students of her father.
"Sonar kathir nai prayojan
Nibisaru moi raj sighasan
Bhuban bhulua rupar chamak
Moi bhabu Prahasan"
(I don’t want wealth and to be a queen, beauty of the
mind is important for me)
This was her thinking when she got married in 1944. As
her husband was a govt. servant she had to travel from one place to
another. She got no opportunity to write poems and her creative thinking
was hampered. Due to lack of environment and interest she totally engaged
herself in the household works. Arup, Ashim and Aruna were born and they
lighted up their family. She became busy with the household works. Her
husband encouraged her a lot but she could not write anything. After a
long gap of twenty years she again devoted herself in writing poems and
lyrics and continued her journey. She was dissatisfied with her eldest son
who did not try for medical course and studied philosophy so she wrote a
"Bhul korili toi mohabhul korili
Put logic loi ki kam korili
Doctor ba engineer kiya nahali
Philosophy loi toi mahabhul korili"
(You have done wrong by taking philosophy as a subject.
Why didn’t you become a doctor or engineer?)
Although her children did not study the subjects as she
wished, still they grew up with good educational qualification and also
became good human beings.
They were established permanently in Tinsukia since
1974, though she came to Tinsukia in 1964 with her husband. Now she was
almost free from her household bindings as all her children were grown up.
The aim of her life, to be a great poetess and lyricist never left her and
she engaged herself in creative writings. In the 70’s she published "Sukula
Pahir Subhas Sishi", ‘Runjun Nupurar Dhwani", and in 1972 she published
‘lndramalati. There are many unpublished works of her. Some of her
writings were lost due to her carelessness. Now her husband had collected
her writings and they will be published. They are ‘stories for children’,
‘Rinkumonir Santrash’ Bhisapta Ahisha’ (novel) ‘Sanghamititrar Santrash’(p1ay)
and another collection of poems, "Rwitoa Rwitoa’ etc. Some of her lyrics
and poems were published in 'Asom Bani', 'Prasangik', (8th year, Bihu
edition) 'Abagunthita' and other articles published in magazines like 'Aideur
Jonaki Bat', Salangkrita', 'Usha', etc.
She had composed many lyrics on demand. One of her
famous; lyrics which she wrote in memory of the martyrs of 'Asom Andolan',
became very popular. Her son helped her in the tune of the song. But some
other people demanded that the song was not her and she had to give one
clarification in the newspaper. The song was sung in the 1984 'Sadan Asom
Lekhika Samaroh Samiti' conference and it was greatly praised and
applauded by the audience. The song is like this --------
Bukur tejere arghya jasila
Apahi rakta jaba
Matri pujat jiban bilala
Jyagere janala sewa' .........
(Oh, the great souls you have; dedicated your life for
our motherland. You will always be remembered by the people for your
After their permanent settlement in Tinsukia she joined
many cultural and social organizations. She was associated with 'Purbanchal
Mahila Sangha' from its early stage. She was the president of 'Bhaskar
Jyoti Moina Parijat' from 1985. She taught the small children of her won
composed songs, poem, recitation etc. Many of her children were able to
win prizes in the different competitions. In her leadership in 1980 the
sub-committee of 'Sadau Asom Lekhika Samaroh' of Tinsukia District was
formed. From its establishment she had been the president of the District
Committee. In 1984 the 8th conference of 'Sadau Asom Lekhika Samoroh
Samiti' was held in Tinsukia. She was the president of the organizing
committee. Of course she got help of her co-partners.
Her own composed song was selected in the 51th Bihpuria
conference. Maitrayee Devi wrote a review in the magazine 'Paribartan'
about the song. She was always inspired by her husband and younger son in
her writings. Though she was engaged in her household works she always
creates something different.
Her husband always collected and copied what she
created. She also tried to tune the songs and created a musical atmosphere
in her home. The untimely death of her younger son grieved her and she
expressed it in her poems like that ------
'Puoti nikha jetia rongousa
More monot Pore akhoni mukh phulkumolia’
Monot Pore aji bare bare ati kotha
Ma, tumi pabane beya bojau jodi duparia?
(I remember you oh; son when it is dawn, your sweet
face comes to my mind. I always hear your voice when you asked me if I
will be angry if you play your in the noon')
Her son-in-law died prematurely leaving behind their
two children. She was shocked hearing the news. She revolted against god
in her poems like -----
'Maj Pothotei Parilu Bhagori ------
(Oh, God what did you write in my fate my life is full
of only sorrow. In my mid-life I have to face so many difficulties. The
song of my life is full of sadness.) But life goes on. Nobody can deny the
reality of life. As a human being she had to accept life as it was. She
was not upset with the happenings of her life.
As the dream of writing poems and to become a great
literary person never left her she engaged herself after a long-break in
her writings. She never looked back and whole heartedly tried to write
Her first poems were published in 'Mahajati' a
newspaper edited by Purnanarayan Singha in Tezpur. This was a great
inspiration for her in her later life. After that her poems were published
in a magazine called 'Purbanchal' in the Puja issue. Her first published
book was 'Sukula Pahir Subas Sishi' (Publisher Hiranya Runjan Grantha
Kutir, Tezpur, published in 1976, 'Runjun Nupuror Dhawinit' (Publisher
Hiranya Ranjan Grantha Kutir, year 1978) includes 30 poems, and her third
published book ‘Indrama1ati' (Assam paper Industry, Tinsukia, year 1982)
includes 97 songs. Her published and unpublished poems and songs are so
lyrical that she can be called a lyricist. Her writings become more
lyrical because they express her deep emotional values. Her books (first
published two) were reviewed in 'Dainik Asom' and 'Asom Bani’. She had an
important place in the field of Assamese songs and poems. Her poems are
rich in their emotional, lyrical and poetic value. Her emotional feelings
are expressed in all her poems.
Her published and unpublished poems are deeply
emotional, and varied. Sometimes she felt a deep emotional relation with
nature and she happened to be a part of nature. Sometimes 1161 writings
express human love and personal love, and her pol¢1‘I1S are also filled
with deep patriotic feelings. Basically she is a poet and looking at
different dimensions she will be evaluated as a poet.
This historical place where the poet was born is
remembered for 'Usha Chitralekhas tales'. The natural beauty of Tezpur
always inspires the poet. She could not deny the inspiration which she
felt in her childhood days and kept it as reminiscence forever. She writes
'Sundar sangeet lipire besesh’..... ..
(How beautiful the place was where I spent my
childhood, the green landscape, the soil of songs and music, and the
remembrance of the sweet memory of the land heaven left me) –
--- Sonowali Saisab.
Nature always inspired the poet. The change of seasons
inspired her to create poems. She imagines herself as nature. She feels
like nature -as the cloud, flower, river etc. So she writes.
Hoi ati saru pokhi deshe deshe uri uri -------- (lndramlalati)
(I want to be a small bird and enjoy flying from one
country to another; I will enjoy nature and sing songs)
She wanted to fly like a bird; she wanted to be
independent and free from the bandage of life. She compared herself with
flowers trees, butterflies, etc. Sometimes she feels like the blue water
Kumudini moi neel jaladhar --------
Tumi sudhakar dur duranjr -----------
(I am a lotus flower in blue water. You come from a
distant land and we will become one under the blue.
Her language is simple. The readers always feel joy of
reading her poems. She could reach to the deep core of the heart. Her
poems are full of similes and metaphors. Her personal feelings of
happiness and sorrow; of love, sadness are depicted in the poems.
Sometimes she becomes pessimistic and lose all hopes- But when something
really positive comes to her life she becomes happy and optimistic. She
hopes that God will help her in her way ---
Moni morokot nai proyjan
Pua nupuar misa ayujan
(Sukula Pahir Subash Sishi)
(Oh, God if you bless me I don’t want any richness. I
don’t want a palace to live. This hut is enough for me and I shall be
In her youth she devoted herself to Indian ideology and
philosophy; to be a life partner with somebody whom she would love
faithfully and deeply. She never hankered after money. She wanted to be
his shadow --------
Juge juge ram moi tumarei saya hoi
Nelim duoi ake jiban tari
(I shall be your shadow until death; if I die again I
shall come to this world to be your partner)
Looking back into her life she finds herself amidst two
pictures depicting one of her achievements, love, hope, etc. and another
picture of the harsh reality of life but she never loses hope. Her
experience of life resulted in accepting all the happy and sad moments of
life. She never rejected life. Her heart was always filled with new hopes.
The bindings of this life and earthly pleasures and
worries led her to write beautiful poems. She writes....
Ahar path s andhar ghan
Juar patwat dagha kanon ----
(Sukula Pahir Subas Bisari)
(The path of life is full of ups and downs. This world
is full of sorrows. But it never dies. So she appeals -----
'Nahibi dhumuha hoi, najabi druoi loi
Ashar sakiti nokoi jolaise ---------’
(Oh, wind, don't put out the lamp of my life with your
cruel power. Let me live with my hopes and begin a new life)
She believes that her life is god gifted and only hope
can give a new direction and meaning.
Asc jiba ronga nila swapna bhori ---------’
Time is eternal. Only time can change life. Time never
Somoy Pakhila uri gusi
Gopone kathati ki -----
(Time has passed by leaving behind some memories) She
expresses her feelings in her poems that if there is life there is death
also. So we have to accept it. We cannot challenge God.
Kal pasuai kpai adkin
Jibanr dip sikha ------------
In her poems she also expresses her feelings about
re-birth as Indian philosophy believes.
Jibanor sandhiya bela
Sesh haka prithibir khela --------
(After death you please come to one and I will wait for
She never minds what the end of life will be. It may be
full of pleasures or sorrow: But she wants to be remembered by her
writings. She wants to leave footprints in the sand of time.
In her lifetime she had seen many deaths of her
relatives and near and dear ones. No one can overcome death. Only the
omnipresent God can solve to me.
From her personal cravings of life at one time she
submitted herself to God and religion. She never forgot the truth of life
that she hankered after light after darkness. She prayed to God to lead
her in the harsh reality of life.
She felt that God is omnipresent and only He can lead
her life to the path of light. Our duty in life is to pray to God and lead
a happy life.
As a poet she is always conscious of the cultural
heritage of our society. This consciousness helped her in rejecting
whatever is harmful to our society she always believed in self-dependence
and personal enlistment. "All that glitters is not go1d". She accepted the
belief so she appeals that we have to express our thoughts and beliefs
through our 'Bihugeet', 'Bongeet', etc. which express the beauty of Assam,
and the natural sceneries. We should always respect our culture.
We should always pray and worship our motherland as a
devotee and devote our lives for the betterment and enlistment of our
society She hopes that one day golden dawn will come and darkness will be
All who loves their motherland hope that their
motherland will be enriched with riches and beauty. She believes that her
motherland is full of natural beauty water resources and beautiful Bowers.
She believes in national integrity and says our country is majestic.
She remembers the contribution of Sankardev Madhabdev,
Bishnu Rabha, Jyoytiprasad, Kanaklata and Mulagabharu and all who
dedicated their lives and souls for the integrity of Assam. Our historical
and cultural heritage is so rich that she wants to dedicate her poems for
As she was a woman she always believed in self-
independence and liberty of woman. So she wanted to liberate woman from
the bondage of society. She had faith that women can give a new meaning to
society by their works.
Every artist has duty towards the society. The poet is
also an artist. Though a poet is independent they can reform the society.
She hopes that a poet can give a new dimension to the society, reform it
and create a new age of hope.
The poets of the new age do not give importance to the
narrow aspects and ideologies. They want to create a greater society and
gives importance in unity in diversity. The Assam agitation played an
important role in her creative life. She wrote many poems related to the
historical event. She hoped for a bright future of Assam. But sometimes
she was dismayed when she saw that the leaders were strayed away from
She thought that from their childhood days the children
should get prepared for the development of the nation. Every child is a
nation builder. The can integrate the society. Our new generation should
be well prepared for the development and enlistment of society. They
should take oath to build the nation.
A child's mind is full of dreams and fantasy. The
inquisitiveness of every child brings to their mind many questions. The
natural attraction for the moon is always there in a child's mind.
So, she wrote many poems for the children. She wrote a
dance-drama called 'Basanta Phulani' and many dance-dramas for the theatre
So, when her poems are read we can feel her
imagination, her approach to life and aims and objective of life. Her
poems are lyrical and so they became songs. ,
Lately she wants to establish a 'Sewa Kendra' in memory
of her younger son Mannab and son-in-law Bikash. So her 'Sewa Kendra', 'Manab-Bikash'
organization is dedicated for the welfare of the orphans and women who are
helpless. This organization will take responsibility for the orphans and
helpless and poor women and they will end a place of peace and solace.
May this great poetess, Hemaprobha Saikia's wish be
fulfilled and hope her long and happy life.