Nilima Baruah occupies a significant place among the women who
have made a valuable contribution to Assamese literature and
language. Born in 1934 in an aristocratic family at Golaghat
town Nilima had to lead her family life through adversity. She
reflects her thought and philosophy through her shot stories.
In a patriarchal society like ours, importance was not
given to women education. But time is not static. The
neglected women now are occupying equal position with man. It
is because of the explosion of knowledge lying dormant in
Nilima’s parents were educated. Environment of her home
generated interest in writing. Her mother, Mrinalini Baruah,
the sister of Dr. Pramodabhiram, was a calm and quiet woman
having interest in reading and writing. According to Nilima
Baruah her mother was a woman having aptitude for cooking,
embroidery, weaving etc. She was a studious woman and used to
read in the light of lamp till midnight. Most of them were
Bengali magazines. Nilima developed a poetic feeling even in
her childhood due to her mother.
Her father was late Bhog Ram Dutta. The stories of the
Ramayana and the Mahabharata heard in her childhood inspired
her for writing. She wrote some stories from these two epics
in the name of Kalpataru.
Apart from the influence of her parents, she was
influenced by an another woman. She is late Rasheswari
Khataniar. She had all the qualities an ideal teacher should
possess. It was due to her inspiration. Nilima Baruah
published hand written magazine entitled ‘Astami’ in class
VIII and ‘Navami’ in class IX. Nilima passed Matriculation in
first division from Dandadhar High School. She joined Cotton
College and passed IA in 1950 and went to Allahabad to study
B.A She passed the B.A. in 1952.
The literary life of Nilima started from 1976. She had to
spend her time in mental anxiety, economic hardship and
remorse caused by death of her youngest son. She used to
study religious books to unveil the mystery of death, rebirth,
existence of God, etc. She also wanted to explore if there is
anything which may be termed as destiny. She started seeking
the meaning of life in literature and also took pen to write.
The tempest of her life caused by the death of her son finds
expression in her novel Sarbangsaha. She had experience
the sudden wound cause by the death of her eldest son and her
husband Binod Kr. Baruah. This time she did not lose heart.
Her thoughtful mind was made sensitive by the difficulties of
Nilima Baruah’s story Simabaddha depicts the
suffering of an unmarried woman who sacrificed for her family
throughout her life, but becomes lonely in her old age. She
received Rasheswari Khataniar memorial award. Her novel Swapna
Chanda Aru Jivan reflects the uncertainty and
inevitability of sorrow and suffering in life. She
successfully paints the pathetic picture of real life for
which her novel Sarbangsangha was able to beg the first
prize in the Lakhimpur conference of Sadou Asom Lkhika Saaroh
In 1984 and 1985 Nilima Baruah was able to receive
national award consecutively for two years initiated by the
Ministry of Culture under Adult Education scheme. She received
this award for the books Amar Gau Amaar Sarag and
Most of the stories of Nilima Baruah were broadcast
through All India radio. Among these the blind man of
Dewalar Sipare awake sympathy in the mind of the people.
Similarly the depiction of the characters like he unmarried
mother of Avirar Rang, childless mother of Sonar
Soleng, the handicapped youth of the Bhaoi, the
little maid of Phular Namere Nam, the diseased man in
the story Jatra reveals the power the minute
observation of the writer.
Nilima Baruah joined as assistant teacher in Dandadhar
Girl’s School in 1960. She was promoted to Head Master in
1988. Apart from the heavy responsibility of school, she was
associated with Golaghat town Mahila Samity, and Lekhika
Inspite of the heavy responsibility of school, her pen did
not stop. She composed many stories during this time and they
were broadcasted in Ghar Jeuty and Sahitya Kanan of All India
Radio, Dibrugarh. She was sincere in service life. She
performed many constructive works during her service. In her
initiative she introduced running prize and a fund in aid of a
few donors. She could run the school successfully due to her
capacity and intelligence.
Established in 1940, Dandadhar School was upgraded
to High School. The school celebrated its Golden Jubilee
during her Head. She understood that for the development of a
school, there must be co-operation among guardians, teachers,
public and students.
Apart from story, article and novel Nilima Baruah composed
many songs. Bina Devi from Golaghat sang several songs written
“Shanti pathar Jatri Ami Muktikami
Shanti pathar Jatri Ami Mangalkami
(We seek path of peace, we are seeker of emancipation. We wish
well being of people and let us go ahead.
This song which was set to music by Bina Devi, was accepted
as school chorus in the school week of 1989. Nilima Baruah
reminds the duty of teacher towards the race. She realized
that only bookish knowledge is not sufficient to make one
educated. So in order to mould their character and keep
balance of mind she gave importance on their literary pursuit
on the part of the girls students to develop interest in
In 1974-75 Nilima was the secretary of district maina parist.
She composed story, poem and song suitable for children so
that the children can have acquaintance with literature apart
Nilima Baruah continued her literary work till the end of
her life. She was placed first in fiction competition
organised by Sadou Asom Lekhika Samaroh Samity and received
Jaya Devi Memorial Award.
Nilima Baruah was able to display her talent by
dent of her own effort. She received the award of successful
teacher offered by the government of Assam in 1992. She also
retired from her service in the same year.
She hesitated to publish her writings. She wrote only for
herself. We wish her best in her life. Let her writings bring
new wave to the field of literature.