Nirupama Phukan
 
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Nirupama Phukan

There is no dearth of women writers who contributed immensely to the Assamese literarily treasury by virtue of songs determination, self- practice and inspiring work- culture, overcoming many obstacles, mental conflicts and social hindrance. While discussing about the contributions extended by such influential women writers, the name of one literature comes to mind as an exception. She has been spotted separately for her distinct characteristics observed in aims and objectives in language’s literature. One can get real pleasure, like having the nectar only when it is transmitted to the hearts of others. Mrs. Nirupama Phukan is one such famous female writer who contributed to the Assamese literary treasury with translation of certain important books. Besides Assamese, Mrs. Phukan has earned fame practicing Hindi and Bengali literature.

It is very necessary to have translation works for enrichment of literature of a particular race. Translation works help one to introduce oneself to various literatures of different races. A translated literature helps in making one familiar to the valuable stacks of other writers belonging to different language along with the feeling of own through one’s own mother tongue. It would be worth mentioning that a handful of Assamese women writers have entered the hearts of many individuals through their translation works.

There are certain important qualities which are observed to be in a successful translation. A creative mind, sincerity, mental preparatory skills, patience and distinctive expression helps and make a translation work complete and successful. A translated literature is considered unique and successful if and when it is spontaneously and fluently shaped in mother tongue.

Eminent scholar Pt. Krishnakanta Handique has expressed his view on Mrs. Nirupama Phukan by stating, "Excellent translation work is still awaited. It is utmost necessary to translate the writings from the provincial language of India besides English. It is a matter of content that Mrs. Nirupama Phukan has translated a number of Hindi dramas and novels into Assamese and introduced Hindi literature among the Assamese readers.

Besides Hindi, this Assamese writer has also translated some books and pieces of articles from Assamese to Hindi. In addition to that she contributed to the Assamese literature by some children stories. Apart from that she also published a series of poems and articles in Bengali publications such as Mahila, Bharat Varsha, Masik Basumati, Betan Jagat etc.

The daughter of famous tea planter, Late Sharat Kumar Sharma, Nirupama was born on 4th September, 1928 at the Mahara Satra of Badulipar, Golaghat. Her mother was Late Muktabala Devi whileLate Radha Nath Goswami, the donor of the Kamala Devi children Literary Trust of Assam Sahitya Sabha was her grandfather. She received her education in Jorhat L.P school and Girls High school. She got married to Dr. Dharani Nath Phukan, son of Very learned philosopher Radhanath Phukan. Although she was married to a very aristocratic and conservative family, yet she managed to serve the Assamese language and literature with outmost conviction, enthusiasm and practice. Mrs. Phukan started once, "I feel there is need of four things necessary for accomplishment of a work which are belief in God, confidence in self, hard work, patience and tolerance". Along with successfully achieving all the responsibilities entrusted on her by her in laws, friends and relatives, near and dear ones, she managed to take her Hindi Language learning classes overcoming all the hurdles and difficulties in her life. She was self- dependent. So she paid the required fees from her own earning of Rs.2500/- from the L.I.C. agency extended by Kanak Chandra Sharma , the proprietor of ‘Janambhumi’.She was home schooled by Ganesh Bihari Sharma Shashtry who rendered all possible help to her in this regard. She passed Bisharad examination in Hindi language due to her hard work, dedication, sincerity and ability.

Mrs. Phukan was devoted to literature since her childhood. She recalled with gratitude, the inspiration and the encouragement extended in this regard. Her uncle, renowned historian, Late Benudhar Sharma encouraged Mrs. Phukan to write Assamese articles when she started to write in Bengali magazine. Literature and musician Kamalanda Bhattacharya was her brother-in-law. She received help and inspiration from him also. Initially, Mrs. Phukan was inclined to Bengali literature, specially the works by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya. She was also inspired and encouraged by the Gyanpith Award recipient, Dr.Birendra Kr.Bhattacharya, poet of Banaphool, Ananda Chandra Baruah, Mitradev Mahanta and Late Darpanath Sharma – the founder of Jorhat, Sangeet Vidyalaya. Many other literacy scholars like kaka Saheb Kalelekar, Dr Prabhakar Mashwe, Bimal Mitra, Bharat Bhushan Agarwal, Abanindra Chandra Vidya Bhusan, Hari Pradsad Dwivedi, Shitish Roy, Jagadish Chandra Mathur, Bishnu Prabhakar, Satyendra Sharat, Ratna Shankar Prasad, and Kamala Sanskritayana inspired her by their works.

Mrs. Nirupama Phukan’s first translation work was "Ahuti", a hindi drama by Hari Krishna Premi. Her father-in-law Radhanath Phukan printed that book. After that her were published by various publishing houses.

Lists of books that were translated by Mrs. Nirupama Phukan were:-

Name of the book Genre Original Writer Source Language

Ahuti Drama Harikrishna Premi Hindi

Kamana Drama Joykrishna Pd. Hindi

Pratigya Novel Mulish Premad. Hindi

Chandragupta Drama Joyshankar Pd. Hindi

Jeevanleela Story Kaka Saheb Hindi

Aga nir Noi Novel Kurtulyen Haider Urdu-Hindi

Sari Palariya Kahani Story Hindi

Vishwa Gopal Chayanika is a story book. The best short stories of the famous writers of the different countries of the world are included in this volume. The writers are-

Luizi Pirandello (Italian), Gee. Deo. Mopasa (France), Bartend Russell (English), Rajani Paniker, Anton Chekov (Russian), William Faulkner (American), Vimal Mitra, Stephen Jeg (German), Krishna Chand, Rou Shou (China), O. Henry (America), Chamarchet Mom (French) and Abdul Malik

Adhyatma Jagat ki Sher Poem Radhanath Phukan (Assamese)

Mrs. Phukan’s contribution towards children’s literature is as follows:

Bulbul Aru Badsah

Geet Gowa Charai

Kashmir Deshor Sadhu

Nepalor Sadhu

Mainar Mou Kosh

Suraj Powar Suryakanta

Amis and Niramis Ahar

 

A number of short stories from France, America, China, Denmark, Turkey, Japan, England, Russia, Germany etc. were included in ‘Bulbul Aru Badsah" and ‘Geet Gowa Charai’

This writer published a series of foreign stories in the Journal ‘Mukuta’. Mrs. Nirupama Phukan won the National Award Journal ‘Mukuta’, Mrs Nirupama Phukan won National Award from the culture Affairs Ministry, Government of India in 1987 for her work in ‘Surujpurar Suryakana’ (Manuscript) written on the theme of Adult Literacy.

Two books of this writer, "Europor Madhu Sowaran’ and ‘Madhya Prachyar Madhur Sowaran" based on her experience of visit to visit to Switzerland, France, Cheokoslavia, Italy etc. are awaited for publication. Her latest publication "Amis Aru Niramis Ahar" is written on 160 varieties of cooking recipes

Many original articles along with her translated prose and poetry have been published as books or in magazines. Mrs. Phukan translated the famous novel by Satyandra Sharat, "Shakuntalar Swayambar" and made in the form of episodes which got published in "Amar Pratinidhi". The translated dramas like Bishnu Prabhakar’s "Ashar Rengoni" and Jagadish Ch. Basu’s "Rajhar" were published in many magazines. "Pub Bharatar Sarbasreshtha Mahapurush Sri Sri Shankardeva" written in Hindi has been translated into Hindi was a story of Ram Das was published in the magazine named "Anima"

Besides the above mentioned works Mrs. Phukan has translated a number of Hindi short stories and articles, written by Premchand, Jayshankar Prasad, Joinendra Kumar, Usha Devi Mitra, Rajani Paniker, Agatha Kristi, Krishna Chand, Bishnu Prabhakar, Madhrui Verma, Pitamber Patel, Falguni Patharajee, Usha Priyambada, Rahul Sankritian and Sarojini Naidue. Mrs. Nirupama Phukan wrote articles on games and sports of Mughal period, on pox and Dr. Edward Jena, though small in number yet she wrote poems such as ‘Matri Bandana’, ‘Jaytu Asom Janani’ and text book called ‘Rastra Bhasha Tisra Bhag’.

A writer having specialization in Assamese, Hindi and Bengali added many books to her credit. Shankar’s Life with the grandfather" was translated to Assamese as "Koka Deuta Aru Mor Sonali Soishab" and the travelogue "Madhya Prachyar Madhur Suwaran" and the children novel "Pubor Suraj Lakhminath" is worth mentioning.

Mrs. Phukan has planned to make a collection as "Bharatiya Galpa Chayanika" consisting of the entire translated article spread over in many magazines. She has also expressed her desire to write a travel novel based on her personal experience on visit to Europe and America.

Considering her ability and skill in Hindi language and literature, she was requested to translate "Chandragupta" and "Jibanimala" and for that she received Sahitya Academy Award. She was recommended as a translator in the All India Radio, New Delhi for her contributory works. There was not much to do in New Delhi, so, she was transferred to All India Radio, Guwahati. She translated many Hindi Dramas and novels to Assamese language for the All India Radio, Guwahati. But due to her personal family problems she had to quit her job.

Her caliber as a translator was proved by her own work. Hem Baruah after reading "Pratigya" opined about her, "Generally, translated books contain only the essence of the original script, but the works in ‘Pratigy’ was splendid. The language is very sweet and it is hard to believe that it is a translated work. Idioms and phrases were used very beautifully. This made the book incomparable". This book is a translated book of very popular book "Pratigya" by Premchand.

The choice of books for translation shows how supreme her thoughts and ideas were. The variation and the specialties in the themes of her books attract various groups of readers. Mrs. Phukan in ‘Ahuti’ showed the love and unity among the Hindus and the Muslims in the state which was loved by the readers.

Mrs. Phukan is a mother of two sons and a successful wife and daughter-in-law to a very famous and aristocratic family. She loved to participate in activities associated with social welfare programs. She became a life member of Assam Sahitya Sabha and Jorhat Geetarthi Samaj. She also rendered her selfless service as a member of Dibrugarh Municipality

This amiable and sincere lady tried hard to continue her literacy works. However, she is equally conscious that her family doesn’t need to compromise on any grounds, due to her literacy works.

She also had a hobby to travel countries around the world, apart from literature. She traveled many countries and captured her memories in the form of photograph. She also developed photography as a hobby. She also enjoyed cooking. Her book "Amis Aru Niramis Ahar" was based on cooking.

Mrs. Nirupama Phukan, one of the name and fame in translation works done so sincerely and earn her name and fame in translation works done so sincerely and with dedication. The hurdles in family couldn’t block aspirations of her mind. The courage and dedication shown by her could be an example for people on how to achieve success in life with hard work, patience, confidence, dedication and sincerity. Mrs. Nirupama Phukan achieved name and fame by her work in the field of literature by working for thirty years. No bar in age or illness could stop from writing. She is a shining example for all the young women writers in the state.

 

 

 

 
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