Kamalini Borbora
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Kamalini Borbora

The crimson rays of sun make a beautiful lotus bloom; it spreads its fragrance everywhere, and as duck appears, slowly fades away. Similarly, the spring of desires, the passion of youth, remains for a short time in human life, and disappears quietly. But there are certain hearts which are evergreen and forever young. One such heart which time has been able to deter and disturb is Srimati Kamalini Borbora----- whose pen has made love and youth evergreen through her tender imagination, from the time of Ramdhenu to the past one and a half years. Capturing the feelings of a twenty- five years old heart which as Bihu arrives desire to fly like the raw, soft cotton, and to write poetry on Bihu and the myriad feelings it creates, Kamalini Borbora is surely a creative writer. Creativity and creation is an artist’s world. The merit of the artist will be evaluated by time. An artist never awaits or expects for that. Kamalini Borbora is one such artist. She is a devout follower of Assamese literature.

25th December. A memorable day in human history, on such a day of the year 1924, in the holy city of Guwahati, Kamalini Borbora was born in a pious Brahmin family. In the patriarchal society of the times, the male child was preferred to a girl child. But father Lakhinath Phukan was an exception. ‘One daughter is equal to ten sons’, with this great and noble thought; the father embraced the new born baby adoringly. Among the fourteen children, Kamalini was the youngest. She grew up under the affection of mother Jayanti Devi. Kamalini was the sister of Mohendranath Deka Phukan, exceptional poet, famous artist, a daring orator. As the youngest child, she always received the utmost care and affection of her family members but could not go against the rules of society. During those times, people were not very congenial to the idea of female education. Moreover, the tradition of marriage at a tender age was rampant in Brahmin society. Thus, keeping the traditional intact, leaving school education halfway in 8th standard, she tied the knot with Shri Nagen Borbora, a native of Jorhat. The girl of lower Assam became a bride of the capital of Ahom kingdom, Jorhat and settled in upper Assam. Although she did not understand the responsibilities of domestic life, she looked forward to it. Their happy family was complete with three beautiful kids.

Being a mother of three children, and entangled in family life, her urge for learning and knowledge never diminished. Sometimes, in human life, trivial incidents can make a big difference. One such small incident happened in the year 1945. Kamalini Borbora was staying in a tea garden with her husband. Bored with the monotonous life of tea garden, she would sometimes travel to her in- laws house at Jorhat. Once she visited the home of one of her relatives where the housewife handed her an English newspaper to read. The name of the newspaper was ‘Liberty’ meaning ‘freedom’. Unable to read the newspaper, she was sad and disheartened. At that time, the principal of Jagananath Baruah College, Tulsi Ram Sarma, was also present on the scene. He observed the entire incident. Thus, an academician by nature, Tulsi Ram Sarma questioned Kamalini Borbora: "would you like to resume studies again?’ If you are willing, I will help you in whatever way I can." Urged by the zeal to learn, she found motivation in his words. That day, the newspaper ‘Liberty’ actually opened the doors of freedom to her. She discovered a new meaning of her life in the light of education.

Her elder brother Nakul Chandra Borbora helped her in her studies. Despite having servants at home, she looked after the children by herself. Thus shouldering the responsibility of a mother and wife, in the year 1945, she cleared the entrance exam of Calcutta University. She went on to pass I.A and B.A examinations from the same institution. One after another success boosted her confidence in her abilities. She wanted a good professional career. In 1958, she entered the professional life while managing her family life. Form 1958 to 1965; she worked as Assistant Teacher in Githarthi School. In 1965, as the number of female teachers was decreased in Githathi School, she joined in Madhav Agarwala School at Moriyani as Assistant Teacher. She worked there for 16 years, and retired in 1983. While teaching in Githathi School, she took a ‘Diploma Degree in Teacher’ from the college.

Literary Works:

Kamalini Borbora nourished the creative desire from her childhood. After a prolonged gap, she got a chance to study which re- furnished her heart’s wish. She took the pen in her hands. As a writer, her first creation was ‘Maha Manobor Mahaprayan’(The Great Man’s Departure), a poem dedicated to the Father-of-the- nation Mahatma Gandhi. Next, she published two poems namely ‘Mahapralay’(The Great Destruction) and ‘Hataxa’ (Hopelessness), in the newspaper Janmobhoomi from Jorhat. When a fresh writer’s work finds publication, it inspires the creativity of the writer. Kamalini Borbora also gained inspiration and self- confidence. She tried her hands in hands other genre of literature- short story. Her first short story ‘Tinpaat’ (The leaves of Tin) was published in Ramdhenu in the year 1952. At that time, the Editor of Ramdhenu was GyanPeeth Award Winner, Ex-President of Axom Sahity Sobha, Shri Birendra Kumar Bhattachariya. Some of the renewed writers of Assam have been born through Raamdhenu. Kamalini Borbora was one such writer. Two more short stories by her, namely ‘Mrityu’(Death) and ‘Pujar Sula’ (The clothes for Puj ) were published in Ramdhenu.

Gradually, her penchant for writing increased. In her own words, she speaks about literary writing and creativity: "When I used to send my stories and poems different newspapers and magazines, and saw then get published – it would motivate me to write. I got appreciation and honors for some of my stories and poems. These honors were like gold medals for me." A simple heart’s open revelation. Published novels:

Shri Kamalini Borbora offered her first major work to ‘Mother language’, her first novel entitled ‘Xopun aru Jonak’ (Dreams and moon) (first published in 1969). In the novel, the author has tried to hold a touching, painful story. In the life of parentless teacher Anshrukona and her brother Montu, suddenly one day enters a moralistic, principled young engineer Paritosh Barua. A sudden encounter in a rainy afternoon, and thereafter the romantic fantasies of Anshrukona and Paritosh. A romantic story moves ahead in a normal pace. Montu, contracts fever. On going to doctor to fetch medicines for Montu, Anshrukona and Paritosh meet again. To ask for the well- being of Montu, Paritosh, this time, arrives at their home. Subsequently, the relationship between the two grows deeper, and Paritosh decides to marry Ashru. This is the main substance of the story in brief. The inner feelings of the writer towards the middle class sections get reflected in this novel. At certain places, the language of the writer becomes poetic. The merit of the novel can be summed up in the words of eminent author said Abdul Mallik: "The present novel is not much complicated, still the writer’s honest attempt to delve deep into the heart of the characters is praiseworthy. There are a limited number of women writers in Assam. It is hoped and desired that Mrs Borbora’s earnest attempt at fiction writing will be inspirational in this field."

‘Anahat Basanta’ (Sudden Spring) is the second published novel of Kamalini Borbora (first published in 1973). In comparison to the second novel, this novel exhibits a thoughtful and enlightening side writer. Disengaging from a romantic backdrop, this time the writer attempts to showcase the principle of selfless service to mankind. The novel opens in a public hospital. The protagonist of the novel a fatherless girl Barnali, inspired by the path of human service, joins the hospital as a nurse. Through her character, the author has tried to focus on the battle between moral principles, individual duty and social responsibilities. On day, Ankur Choudhury, a boy from a wealthy family works. The responsibility of this care is bestowed on the doctor advises his parents to take him home. The widower father Kinshuk Choudhury falls in trouble- Who will look after Ankur at home? The anxious Kinsuk requests the authorities to send a nurse along to look after Ankur. The hospital authorities, in response, recommend Barnali as the most suitable person to look after Ankur. At the request from both the sides, within six months, Barnali helps Ankur in getting back as healthy. But after the completion of her duty, on wanting to go back to hospital, Ankur does not allow her to go. Due to deep bonding, Ankur, naturally, could not free himself from her love trap. This is the summary of the novel in short. In the novel, the writer portrays the inner truth of the relationship between a doctor, nurse and patient, in a touching manner. Especially, through the character of Barnali, the meaning of the famous soliloquy ‘To be or not to be’- comes out alive. The writer has been successful in delineating Barnali as an epitome of selfless service. She herself says: "The outlook of the Assamese women writers should be of social awareness. Reflecting social conditions with a healthy and positive writings style, the creation will surely be successful." But she does not support the nation that only a woman can portray or express the feelings or emotions of a women’s hearth. Thus she says: "With deeper analytical ability and thoughtfulness, even a man can express a woman’s feelings". The aim of social awareness and reform has become a part of Mrs. Borbora’s life. She is also a social worker. Besides being the member of Jorhat Sahity Sabha, Axom Sahity Sobha and Lekhika Xamaroh Samiti, she is also associated with other social organizations. Time to time, she is also associated with other social organizations. Time to time, she has been attached to Jorhat Zilla Mahila Samity, Jorhat Nagar Mahila Samity, Moriyani Mahila Samiti, etc and other organizations as Editor, President, Vice- President, and successfully undertook the responsibilities. She was also the member of the founding Committee of Jorhat Harijan School, National Telegraph, and other educational institutions. Busy with her family and social life, she still has not left writing. With her blessed pen, may she continue to add glory to Assamese literature with her remarkable literary works we look forward to it with hope?


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