Nilima Baruah
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Nilima Baruah

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 women.

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 her life.

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 Samity.

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 Gharar Lakhimi.

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 Samaroh Samity.

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 by Nilima.

“Shanti pathar Jatri Ami Muktikami

Shanti pathar Jatri Ami Mangalkami

Aha jau Aguai

Aha jau Aguai…”

(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 literature.

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 from music.

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.

 

 
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