Khirada Kumari Baruah
 
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Khirada Kumari Baruah

The impressing personality of some people has great impact on human mind. The unforgettable moments of close association with person becomes so memorable that flourishes in our minds for many years. The owner of such rare personality, Srimati Khirada Kumari Baruah was born in 1932 at the house of her maternal uncle on the bank of the river Kolong. Khirada Kumari was the eldest daughter of Late Ashadhar Borkakoti and late Maisana Borkakoti of North Guwahati.

Having started her primary education at North Guwahati, showed her talent from very childhood and topped the list of successful candidates in the competitive Examination of Primary level.

In the mean time unfortunately her father died when she was a minor girl of eight years only. Thus she had to face the hard days of life along with her widowed mother. As there was no high school at North Guwahati, Khirada Kumari took admission in Panbazar Girls High School on the south bank of the river Brahmaputra and the girl had to reach her school, crossing the mighty river Brahmaputra everyday. The then Head mistress of Panbajar Girls high school Rajobala Das had great faith on Khirada Kumari and loved the talented, enthusiastic little girl from the core of her heart. Inspire of all good wishes she could not continue her study further and had to stop her institutional learning at the early age of fourteen.

Khirada Kumari’s married life:

It is said ‘birth, death and marriage are arranged in heaven and celebrate on earth’- truly it was a dramatic situation when Khirada Kumari had to tie herself with the so called marriage ceremony’ being young so young and so suddenly.

Late Laxmiram Baruah the eminent musician’s son late Prafulla Chandra Baruah and Late Parashuram Baruah (Phunu Baruah) are the two bright stars of the cultural history of Assam. They had lost their mother Jahnobi and father Laxmiram Baruah in their childhood which compelled them to struggle a lot. But both the brothers had built up their career and laid the foundation stone of their cultural life at Sibsagar.

When late Prafulla Chandra Baruah, the father of two children lost his wife, it really became necessary for his brother late Parasuram Baruah (Phunu Baruah) to marry a girl to look after their family. His marriage was arranged with a girl from North Guwahati.

‘The marriage ceremony of ‘Langi Godapani’! The legendary hero ecstasy Khirada Kumari was also ready to attend and enjoy the marriage ceremony with her friends. But it so happened that the marriage ceremony with that girl was cancelled due to some unavoidable reason and that very day Khirada Kumari was selected by their family to be the worthy bride for Phunu Baruah. That unforgettable moment was narrated by Khirada Kumari in the article ‘Swamir Suwori’ in the both ‘Abhinoy Sesh Hol’ (End of the drama) which is published by the Assam Sahitya Sabha, the highest literary platform of the state. "I was a teenager and far from maturity, quite ignorant about the bond called ‘Marriage’ which was a mystery for me at that time and in 1937 on the 14th of December, I was married to 37 years old, stout and handsome hero of ‘Joymoti’ in spite of the negative wish of my timid widow mother. My aunt took all initiatives and within night she arranged the marriage ceremony successfully.

Khirada Kumari had to take care of her in- law’s joint family, consisting of her mother in law (Borma), husband, and brother-in- law, and his motherless kids, other niece and nephews. She was quite happy spreading love and care to the younger and honoring the elders. Being mother of five children, she was also quite conscious about the interest of her children and shouldered all the responsibilities of them for proper education according to their own choice. As a result, her daughter became well-known as an artist of notional fame in classical dance.

Srijuta Baruah was an expert in every household work including preparation of tasty items in her kitchen and also acquired appreciation for hospitability. The great personalities of ‘Sarvodoy Committee like Joy Prakash Narayan, Sucheta Kripalini, Jijubhai Patel, U.N Dherbarji Siddhique Ali, Moraroji Desai, Rajmohan Gandhi, Sobhna Ranade, Sankar Rao, Nabakrishna Choudhury, Nirmala Bedi along with almost all the most honorable persons from Assam, appreciated her untiring hospitality when they visited her house that time.

She used to prepare different variety of meals according to the varied choice of her guests. Her expert hands regularly offered meal to her guest everyday, which were not less than twenty to thirty. As Mrs. Baruah left no stone unturned in the hospitability of the ‘Sarvodoy’ activists from outside Assam. Sankar Rao Deva appreciated Srijuta Baruah as "Laxmi" and called her Devi "Annapurna’ the goddess incarnation of "Anna" (meal). The Runiah delegates, the National and Foreigners of M.R.A., the delegates from World Bank highly appreciated Mrs. Baruah and in admiration of her hospitality called her a true example of hospitality of Assamese Women.

Her handicrafts are beyond imagination. The collection of needle works, woolen and crockery works are than sufficient in number to install on exhibition. She knitted sweaters and stitched beautiful dresses herself and presented those to her children and grand children. It is worth mentioning that she prepared an attractive carpet for her son-in-law Amjid Ali Khan, the international artist of ‘Sarod" to sit while playing the instrument. In the present days also she engages herself either in knitting or in stitching. Her handloom is dearer to her and she is an expert in weaving also. Not only she offers ‘Phulam Gamosa’ to ‘Namghar’ (prayer hall) as a devotee but in the past she also created beautiful floral borders for ‘Mekhela Chador’ (traditional dress of Assamese Women) in her handloom when she got time in the midst of household works. As a while she is worthy and fit to challenge the women folk of other states in India that time. That is why she didn’t even hesitate to drive her car to drop her children at school and bring them home while they were studying in Calcutta.

Literary talent:

Srijuta Khirada Kumari Baruah was a studious learner from very childhood. She could not appear in the final school leaving Examination but due to her own determination and effort she has won the knowledge of different languages. She even learnt Urdu in guidance of a private tutor. Her visit to various places in the world as well as her untiring thirst for learning new things provides her immense knowledge of literature.

Mahatma’s ‘Satbani Sankalan’ was her first published book and she published it for her own. In 1969 she has presented that book to ‘Gandhi Smarak Nidhi’. Analyzing Gandhi from several points of view she expressed her feelings in ‘Arghya’ saying "A great man can protect religion. The voice of great man is everlasting. The sight of great man is beyond time. By following their work history the entire society the entire society exists for thousands of years. The existence of soul in every human in this world remains same.

The great man found no difference between his own soul and the soul of any other person. So they are beyond any difference. It was Gandhi only, who imparted great massage to maintain peace and harmony in the entire world. This great massage will inspire the human society for coming thousands of years," Thus, the writer believed that from the core of her heart.

Her second book named ‘Smriti Mukhar Europe’ was published by Meera Chakraborty. It was written in 1967 just after her visit to came to light in 1977. It is a final novel. Keen observation of the subject matter is the significance of this book. At the very outset of the book she narrates-"The ancient history, natural beauty and cultural phenomenon of every country seems to be glorious". The famous countries she visited were France, Belgium, Holland, West Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, England, all of them had individual significance that always fascinated her. She had described her experiences about the journey to different places in several segments--------- a) Sira Seujia Mahanagari Paris (Evergreen city Paris) b) Tulip Phular Dekh Holland (Holland, the country of Tulip) c) Madhur Smritit Gondolor Dekh Venice (Sweet memory of Venice, the land of Gondola) d) Scandinavian Dekh Sweeden (Sweeden,the land of Scandynavian) e) Mohamola Copenhagen (Beautiful Copenhagen) f) Pragatisil Dekh Germany (progressed land Germany) g) Mukharit Mahanagari London (The cheerful city London ) h) Rodalir Dekh Spain (Sunny land Spain) i) Silpir Dekh Belgium (Belgium, the land of artist) j) Tusarabritya Switzerland (Snowy Switzerland) k) Jugamia Mahanagari Rome (classic city Rome). l) The titles of every segment expose her poetic sense. She had visited the countries not like a mere tourist but she was like a keen historical observer. About the evergreen city Paris she remarked – "In the daylight the busiest city Paris becomes glamorous in the evening. No other place like Paris has the capacity to attract person and it is sure that nobody could find peace and tranquility of mind anywhere else in this world if he or she is not satisfied with the charming beauty of Paris. There is enough scope of entertainment for the rich to spend money. On the other hand the poor can earn some money, entertaining the rich. Obviously, Paris is the most expensive city but there is every source of satisfaction and the people of Paris are confident that their city is one only the ‘grand city’ in this world".

In the topic ‘Rodalir Dekh Spain’, she explained how the foreigners had appreciated the traditional Assamese dress- "They adore me wearing the Oroni and my dress. They touched my clothes and said ‘mui bian, mui bonit – that was very beautiful, very good, and in return I said ‘gracious’, Thank you’. The wife of British Ambassador came forward, introduced herself and appreciated my show white dress of Assam silk as the best. It is only an information that how the foreigners love our traditional dress".

In ‘Tusarabritta Switzerland’ she could stand really on the white snowy mountain peak of beautiful Switzerland!", standing on the peak mind filled with unlimited joy. "There was snow and snow everywhere, in front of me, behind me and besides me! The clouds were playing hide and seek down the snowy hills! Myself, standing on the snowy peak and looking at the crystal clear sky above me felt the existence of the mighty God from the core of my heart. For his endless favors on me I conveyed my heartiest regard to the holy feet of the omnipresent and omniscient God". Though the description about her journey is no doubt heart touching, the thought of spirituality is also visible there and for this reason all her writings have acquired special value.

Spiritual minded Srijuta Khirada Kumari Baruah published the book named ‘Devasthanam’ in 1982 of her own. As an outcome of research work, she gave an exposure of the main places of Dravidian sculpture and art. The names of the holy places and the stories related to their names are the main subject matter of the book for the readers. In ‘Panchatirtham’ she wrote- "To this hill two holy birds used to come everyday at noon, at the same time and they are fed there. That place is popular as ‘Pakshi Tirtham’ in Sanskrit and in Tamil; it is ‘Panch Tirtham’, which is related to the arrival of the holy birds there.

Likewise, Srijuta Baruah gave a vivid description of ‘Devi Meenakshi Mandir’, ‘Rupali Tirtham’, ‘Rameswaram’, ‘Devi Kanyakumari’, ‘Sri Sri Padmanabham’, Sri ‘Venkataswara’,Nataranjan’, ‘Sri Brihadeswar’, and ‘Sri Swamayabharam’, specially her wonderful description and use of ornamentation to it, are really appreciable. In ‘Sri Sri Venkataswava’ the appearance of ‘Narayana’ is described as- "Whose lips are like red ripe fruit, teeth are like pearls, pointed nose, ears with hanging earnings of jams and jewels eyes resembles the pastels of lotus, bow shaped eye brows. The ‘tilak’ of chandana on the forehead, curly hair and the head is decorated with colorful peacock feather, whose smiling face has been a magical power which cannot be even compared to millions of ‘Kandarpa’ (handsome)". In some other pages she wrote-"Who is Sri Venkataswara? What is his identity? The living beings attain purity and salvation at his glance! What is his originality and where does he come from?-

"Ai janai Treta Yugar Sri ramChandra,

Ai janai Dwapar Yugar Sri Krishna,

Ai janai Kali Yugar Sri Venkataswava".

(He is the Sri Ram Chandra of Tretaynga)

He is the Sri Krishna of Dwapar yuga

He is the Sri Venkataswava of kaliyuga)

In 1984 she published the most exciting stories of her religious tour and named it is "Debadham".

"Tomak Seba Karim Kene Kori,

Amar sakti nai.

Dosh Kshyama Kora dukhari charane

Padatale dia Thai".

(What energy we have to serve you, forgive our mistakes and give a place on your holy feet.) By means of her beautiful descriptions in the book ‘Devadham’ lead the readers to another world.

In 1988 her book ‘Mandira Duare Duare’ was published by Mrinal kanti Bhattacharya. This book is a compilation of ‘Debadham’, and Debasthanam, Dwarakadham and Dhamakshetra Kurukshetra.

‘Nepal Bharam’ (Journey to Nepal) is also a fine story book about her journey to Nepal and this book is published by Students’ Emporium of Dibrughar in 1988. The Second edition of ‘Smritimukhar Europe’ is also ready for publication. Three books on different types of cooking items needle works and textile designs, are not published.

Number of magazines and Newspapers bear her writings on several of subject matters. Out of those article named ‘Bharatiya Sangitat Narir Abadan’ ( The contribution of women to Indian music) in the Souvenir of All Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samiti’s 12th annual conference at Barpeta was of very high standard. In 1988, ‘Rastramatar Monobai’ in the magazine ‘Biawanagari’, ‘Porbandarar Para Agakhan Prasadolic’ in ‘Salankrita’, the first souvenir of Sibsagar Lekhika Samitee in 1988, ‘Amaar Minoti’, in the Souvenir of Sri Sri ‘Kowamaar Satra’ on the occasion of the century celebration year in 1987, ‘Swamik Suwori’, an emotional article in the sweet memory of Late Parasuram Baruah alias Phunu Baruah in the book ‘Abiinoy Sesh Hol’, published by Assam Sahity Sabha and the life history of Kamalaya Kakoti in the 1st edition of ‘Lekhikar Jiboni’ published by All Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samitee. All these articles are of great value. It is worth mentioning that in 1979, on the occasion of International children year, The ‘Jonali Sora’ had succeeded in their effort to bring forth a hand written Magazines called ‘Puberun’ and Srijuta Baruah’s translated story was also included in that magazine.

While studying in high school her first composition of poem ‘Karmabir Bordoloi’, has beautified their handwritten magazine. Her literary talent was always appreciated by her teachers. The sweet rhythm in her poem is always visible as thus-

‘ati dil

Garha andhakar

Antarat mor

Antahin hahakar

Un ati dile

Mangalar anandar

Pohorar diyok Sandhan.

Sesh Kori Sowar

Sokolo Sowar

Sokolo Power

Aji moi rikta

Tothapito

Dukh nai mor

Aji moi mukta.(Ashmoloi)

(In the above poem she expressed her sorrowful condition of mind saying ‘her mind is full of darkness and endless agony covers her life. But in the midst of sorrow and agony she is quite sure that her eagerness to achieve the celestial pleasure will be fulfilled one day, she is not unhappy rather she feels free today’)

In her poem ‘Swamir Biyogat’ she expressed all love and faith on him-

"Swami hina moi

bandhu hina moi

Jibonor ghat pratighat

Kshyato biksyata moi

Santi hina moi

Klanti hina moi

Jibonor salar pathat

Gati hina moi

Gyan hina moi

Bidya hina moi

Jibonor pratilo Khojat

Akasaria moi

Karmahina moi

Bhagya hina moi

Jibonot herualo

Samratar bhar

Dina hina moi

Bhakti hina moi

Jibonot Salar pathat

Prabhu! Tumi hoba mor

Saktir adhr!!"

(Swamir Biyogat)

(I have lost my husband

My friend I lost

In this world of trouble

I am hurt

I am peace less

Restless I am

I am in the labyrinth,

Lost the path of life

I lack knowledge

Illiterate I am

In every step, alone

Nothing to act

Ill –faceted

Lost all balance

Of my life

Poor I am lost faith

‘O’ thy almighty!

Only you, be the source of energy

In the path of my life!!)

(Swamir Biyogat)

(In memory of her husband)

Many of her articles are published in the Assamese daily ‘Dainik Assam’. These are ‘Dephuni aru Kasobor’ (Dhephui and the turlles) ‘Bideshat Bhramonor dui ata Abhigyata’ (Experience of journey Abroad) ‘Bideshat ‘Senduror Akarshan’ (In foreign land the attraction of Sendur) ‘Mogoniar Kahani’ story of beggar) ‘Pakhitirtham’ (Bird Pilgrimage) ‘Devi Kauyakumari’ (goddess Kanyakumari) ‘Tirthabhumi Rameswaram’ (holy place Rameswaram)

Social contribution:

The residence of Khirada Kumari Baruah was the gathering place of different personalities. As her husband was associated with many cultural organizations and her brother-in-law was related to active politics, a great number of national political leaders, musician, dancers, writers as well as artists used to visit her house and provide every chance to meet them. The close association and interaction with those renowned personalities enabled her to become broadminded and feel the vastness of this world. Those great personalities were- Pandit Jawaharlal Neheru, Sarbapalli Radhakrishnan, Indira Gandhi, Acharya Binoa Bhabe, Rukmini Devi, Sankar Menon and from Assam Jyotiprasad, Bishnu Rabha along with many others artists, literary persons and politicians. Those greatmen inspired her to live in this world for the betterments of others.

Khirada Kumari, always aware of this society takes active role in every social activity. She is a life member of ‘Maitri Ashram’, advisor to ‘Pradeshik Mahila Samitee’, Vice president of Sibsagar District Mahila Samitee’, Adviser of All Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samitee’, Sibsagar Branch, President of ‘Jonali Sora’, excutive member of Sibsagar Girl’s college Managing Committee, Member of Assam Sahity Parisalana Samitee’ and last but not the least she was a life member of ‘Assam Sahitya Sabha’, and "All Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samitee". Today, in her ripe old age also she engages herself in various social activities.

She is always with the common people at the time of their sorrow and smile. It may be floods have or epidemic. She stretches her helping hands towards the needy person at the time of distress with essential commodities like medicine, meal, clothes and so on. She never cares for rain and storm and darkness of night, always ready to serve the neighbors and the downtrodden at the time of any trouble, which act may be compared to the act of the legendary lady Florence Nightingale.

‘Moral Raiment center’, under the guidance of Rajmohon Gandhi conducted a medical conference, which was really appreciable. In that conference while introducing khirada Kumari Baruah delivered her speech in English in that conference, which was really appreciable. In that conference while introducing Khirada Kumari Baruah, Mr. Niketuiralo, added that Khirada’s house might relate to an international guest house. Really this remark bears significance. The important penalties of national and international level, from hills and plains connected to the activity of culture, literature and politics assembled in her residence many a times. Her first daughter ‘Bijoylaxmi’ is married to the Basu family of West Bengal. Her second daughter is married to the Sarod maestro of International fame, Amzad Ali Khan. Her good name is Subhalaxmi the great classical dancer of India. These marriages no doubt have strengthened the national integration.

It was 1988, in the biennial conference of comic drama of Lombodar Bora one act play competition held at Brahmajan of sonitpur District, Khirada Kumari vividly said in her inaugural speech, that how late Lombodar Bora, who was born in an interior village, contributed a lot to his mother tongue. In that programmed she was felicitated with great honor.

For social enlistment Khirada Kumari donates open heartedly without any discrimination regarding caste, creed and religion. In 1989 she had contributed a large sum of money in the sweet memory of her contributed a large sum of money in the sweet memory of her late husband to ‘Sibsagar Natya Samaj’.

"Sundadar Aradhana Jinor Khel"- It is worth applicable to the life of Srijuta Khirada Kumari Baruah. ‘Devotion to beauty is life’. Really she is a devotee of beauty. She loves flowers. In the book ‘Abhinoy Sesh Hol’ she wrote- "He loves to rare the kitchen garden as well as the fruit garden. Likewise I have special interest in the kitchen garden and her flower and her flower garden’. Her flower garden is full of life and looks gorgeous always.

In the year 1985, Assam Sahity Sabha had published the book "Abhinoy Sesh Hol’. In the article ‘Swamik Suwari’, in that book she expressed- "In the long forty five years of our married life he did not utter any harsh word against me. We loved each other and above that we respect each other. His true love, respect and honor for me till the last day of his will be my great inspiration to live the life of a widow.

She is very punctual in her day today activates and prepares plan for her day’s work beforehand. She never takes rest in the day hours and in the night only she rests herself after the completion of her work. This dynamic lady, the owner of tremendous energy is a matter of mystery for the young girls and young women of today.

It is her regular activity to sing the hymns of Geeta and Bhagawat so perfectly and melodiously in her private prayer room. On the other hand she is busy in prayer and different meetings regarding religious matters in the public ‘Namghar’ (prayer hall) of locality as if she is traveling like an angel in the world of religion.

Smti Khirada Kumari Baruh is beautiful, decent and always in her traditional dress. May her evergreen mind always remain fresh?

 

 

 
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