Death is the ultimate reality of life. Witnessing death
since the dawn of creation, man has realized that death comes hand in hand
along with birth. This truth is deeply felt when someone dear to our heart
dies suddenly and unexpectedly. The news of such a death is so shocking
that it makes one speechless.—like a night mare, we only retain the
memories of the deceased. The death of Nirupama Baruah was a sad incident
that sent shock waves to her friends and relatives.
Nirupama Baruah, familiar name in the social life of
Jorhat, was born on 8th June, 1929, at Batbari, near Sibsagar
Town. Daughter of Adhar Kakati and Annada Kakati, Nirupama began her early
education at Margherita, since her father was working there. She passed
the matriculation examination from Phuleswari Girls’ High Schools,
Sibsagar, in 1946, and passed in the first division. She got herself
admitted to the Handique Girls’ College, Guwahati, from which she passed
intermediate Examination in Arts. She entered into wedlock with Devaprasad
Baruah, son of Devicharan Baruah, a prominent tea planter of Assam.
Marriage did not prevent her from pursuing higher education. She took her
B.A. degree in 1950 from J.B. College, Jorhat
Since her school days Nirupama developed an interest in
literature. While she was reading at school, she wrote an article based on
history- "Deo Rajar Maidam" for which she received applause from an
eminent historian like Benudhar Sarmah. Her father and her husband were
equally interested in literature and encouraged Nirupama to be writer. She
found the atmosphere necessary for literary pursuit in her husband’s house
and the result was quite a good number of writings that came out from the
pen of Nirupama Baruah.
Nirupama Baruah was a duel personality- a social worker
and a writer. One particular branch of literature that Nirupama was highly
interested was children’s literature. As a social activist Nirupama could
observe children from very close quarters. She knew child psychology and
wrote several story books suitable for children. No wonder that most
people know Nirupama Baruah as a writer of children’s books.
Besides children’s literature, she had to her credit a
number of articles, short stories, Radio plays, one Act and full length
plays. Some of the plays like Toura Sabhar Sabhapati’ (Chairman of
Municipal Board), ‘Saj’ar Pakhi’ (A caged Bird), ‘Mahila Niwas’ (Women’s
Hostel) were successful on the stage and were well received by the theatre
goers. Her Radio plays, broadcast by Akashvani from Guwahati and Dibrugarh
earned popularity among the listeners. Nirupama Baruah was successful as a
translator also. Two of her translated books- ‘Summer time Contract and A
story about Tea – were published by the National Book Trust. Nirupama
always desired to share the taste of good literature with others. Whenever
she came across a good piece of writing in English, she translated it into
Assamese so that readers having no knowledge of English can read them.
Not only did she write plays, but also acted in certain
plays and proved her proficiency in acting as well. Once in a competition
of one Act plays, she was adjudged the best Actress. Her only novel and a
travelogue "Anya Desh Anya Manuh" (Different Countries, Different People)
were published posthumously.
Associated with several Social Organizations till her
death, Nirupama derived her inspiration from her husband Deva Prasad
Baruah. Politically he was inclined to socialism, but he was essentially
interested in the study of literature. Deva Prasad Baruah and Nirupama
Baruah played host to some eminent guests. They included Dr. Dindayal
Upadhaya, Swami Bhamanadaji, poet Subhas Mukhapadhaya, Modhu Limaya, P.V.G.
Raju, Rani Gaidalu and others Contact with these persons was also a source
of inspiration for Nirupama. Despite many problems that surfaced in day to
day late, she devoted herself to Social work.
Nirupama was intimately associated with almost all the
Women’s organizations. She was the general secretary of the Jorhat
District Mahila Samity, and till her death was its general secretary.
Nirupama did not confine her activities to the Jorhat town alone, but
extended it to the neighboring backward areas. She was an active member of
the Lakhimi Sangha, a leading women’s organization of Jorhat. It was at
her initiative that the ‘Lakhimi’- the month piece of the Lakhimi Sangha
was published. She actively associated herself with Tarajan Mahila Samity,
Rang Chori, Dhapkata Mahila Samity and Pulibar Mahila Samity. She also
played a significant role in establishing the Blind school at Jorhat.
Nirupama was closely associated with Lekhika Samaroh-
the largest forum for Women writers, for several years she was the general
secretary of the Jorhat Lakhika Sangha and later its president. Nirupama
Baruah also served as the working president of the all Assam Lekhika
Ever smiling Nirupama endeared herself to everyone with
her amiable disposition and charming manners. Her zeal for Social work and
talent for creative activities attracted the admiration of all who came
into contract with her.
On the fateful day of August 5, 1985, at the stroke of the midnight she
left us for ever.