Phuleswari Dutta
 
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Phuleswari Dutta

Human life is really very adventurous. It is full of struggles some encounter struggles and some are born with golden spoons in their mouth. In Mirigaon of Disang Mukh, which is adorned with ‘Oinitom’- the colloquial song o the place, was born a versatile genius an intellectual lady known as Phuleswari Dutta in the year 1920. Her father late Bogaram Saikia, at that time was working years, she overcame death three times. First she was drowned in Brahmaputra River, then in Dikhow River. Again interestingly at the age of three months only, when her mother left in her field for reaping rice, she was about to be trampled over by a buffalo but luckily she was saved. May be to spread the fragrance of her talent, almighty had saved her from demise. When she first learns to utter words, she tried to express her feelings through Miri language. At the age of three, after her brother was born, her family shifter to Distal, she joined Distal. She joined distal girl’s school with her aunt at the age of four years. There is one saying "Morning shows the day"- the same thing happened with her. Her activities in childhood reflected that she will be a shining star in the firmament of success in future. Little Phool with her aunt appeared the lower primary scholarship exam and passed with flying colors securing scholarship of Rs. 3/. In 1928 she took admission in Phuleswari girls ME School and she got two times double promotion and in 1930 she qualified in seventh standard and passed ME examination.

In the year 1930, she organized "Bangaon Mahila Samiti and invited Late Kamalaya Kokoti and elected her as president and Late Himalata Borah as chief guest. In the same year another meeting of student union was organized under the Presidenship of Late Sonaram Dutta. In that meeting she delivered her first speech based on powers and activities of students and her superb speech left a deep impression on the hearts of the people present there. Moreover, Phuleswari Dutta also organized the death anniversary of "Mahapurush Sankardev" at Sri Sri Vishnu Dol under the Presidentship of "Upanyash Samrat" Late Rajanikanta Bordoloi". She had written an essay on "Mahapurush Sankardev" and recited the essay on that meeting. All the people present there were mesmerized by her recitation and recognized her inborn talent. After that Late Prafulla Chandra Baruah and Late Padmadhar Chaliha, Late Puspadhar Chaliha and Giridra Nath Gogoi decided to give her the opportunity for higher education. But unfortunately she was achieved a scholarship of Rs-10/ to undertake a senior training at Nagaon. Farther she got a scholarship of Rs 30/ from Sibsagar local board to study "Midwife" in Calcutta (Now Kolkata). Although, Late Bhuban Chandra Gogoi hailed her in this aspect, her guardians opposed saying that studying "Midwife" might hamper her caste. Finally, she was inspired to study at Nagaon. She was inspired in the field of academics by Late Jugen Chandra Hazarika, teacher of Sibsagar Bezbaruah School, Laxmi Priya Chaliha, Head mistress of Phuleswari School, her uncle, and her cloths. Now also she remembers her and feels indebted to her for her help. From her very childhood, she was studious. Due to lack of books, she used to go to school early for revising her lessons. One of the senior students criticized her hand writings. After that her handwriting improved a lot and became very eligible. Not only in regard to handwriting but also regard to spelling, she became conscious. Thus, she is the embodiment of sincerity and determination. Astonishing her mother got fed up of the burden of the family and prayed to god so that her Phuleswari might not get promotion. She had done so because she wanted her daughter to help her in her household works. On the country, her neighbors blessed her and she thought that because of that blessing she became eligible for double promotion.

She got a scholarship of senior training but due to young age, she was compelled to take the junior training. In 1932, she passed this training with honors. After undertaking training at Nagaon, the administrative committee of Nagaon Mission School wrote a letter to her uncle to appoint her as a teacher in Golaghat Mission School. But at that time, due to social problems, her uncle forbade her to take their offer. As a consequence, she joined No.3 Primary school at Rs-15/. After working for a few months, she joined in Kuwarpur Girls M.V school as headmistress with a salary of Rs-25/. She used to walk daily 10-12 km to go to school for teaching and oared a sincere service to her students.

In 1939 she passed matriculation examination conducted by Calcutta University securing first division with letter marks in two subjects. From Sibsagar district headquarters she was the first student who managed to pass this examination and that too with flying colors. Her Assamese answer script was so impressive that Professor Late Jatindra Nath Duwerah praised her and wished her a bright future.

Till 1947 Phuleswari worked in Kuwarpur Girls M.V School. After that, she joined Phuleswari Girls high school. Her great contribution to the world of academics made her laudable and she achieved the ideal teacher award from Assam Government. She devoted 48 years of sincere service as a teacher and gained the appreciation of the masses. In 1980 she retired from that particular school. During her service, she was a true follower of discipline and punctuality and till now she observed it with sincerity and dedication.

HER CONJUGAL LIFE:

In 1944, she stepped into a new conjugal life with Mahendra Prasad Dutta. She became the successful mother of four sons and one daughter. She was mentally affected after the demise of her grand child in 1984 and at the demise of one and only son-in-law in 1988. She encountered a lot of struggles in her life but with courage she overcame it and was successful in delivering good education and upbringing to her children who children who excel now in the field of teaching, medical science etc. this active lady was also an expert in reaping, knitting, weaving etc. she was passionate about swimming and singing folk songs. Her melodious voice became an object of appreciation.

SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION:

It will not be an exaggeration if we say that Sri Phuleswari Dutta is full fledged associated with almost all organizations of Sibsagar. From her very childhood onwards, she was an active member in many social functions and as a result her fame spread out not in Sibsagar but also in Jorhat, Golaghat Teok, Digboi etc. And she also got the opportunity to organize meetings in different places. In 1939, she gained the appreciation from Late Nilamoni Phukan, president of all Assam Farmer Association from held at Golaghat. From 1944, she worked as an active member of Golaghat. From 1944, she worked as an active member of Golaghat ‘Mahila Samiti’. In 1962 she delivered training to the elderly women under the social welfare department of Assam and in the same year, she wrote one famous play and made some women to act in that play. In many areas of Sibsagar district, she presided over in more those forty meetings. She was an active member in social organizations of Sibsagar. She got the invitation for delivering her speech on Late Himla Baruah in the third Annual day meet of "All Assam women Writer Association’ at Jorhat. On the eighth Annual day meet of that particular association she was the president at Tinsukia. Her superb speech, with valuable message touched the hearts the hearts and fascinated each and every women present over there. At present, she is working as a President of Sibsagar district "Mahila Samity" and as an editor of Sibsagar district ‘Maina Parijat’ she took active part in language movement and China’s attack. In all the aspects, the women who helped her were Late Jyoti Prabha Chaliha, Khiroda Kumari Baruah, Saraswati Kakoti, Kamala Baruah, Fatima Zamal, Late Mini Amons, Late Hemlata Baruah, Tralukkyada Gogoi, Deepali Chaliha, Malina Ramswami and Devabala Dutta etc. along with engaging herself in social activities, she also provided succor to the flood victims, offered medical facilities to poor people and till now she is doing all these activities with dedication.

LITERARY CONTRIBUTION:

This great lady engaged herself in literary work from her very childhood. At the tender age of nine, she wrote her poem ‘Satra Sakti’ in 1929. At the same time she also wrote another poem ‘Maniram Dewanar Smritit’. She gained the appreciation of Late litterateur Padmadhar Chaliha for writing a poem ‘Swaraj sandhan’ in school magazine called ‘Debi’ from 1933-1934, she started writing poems and stories in ‘Ahon’ magazine, edited by Late Brinchi Kr Baruah. She was a regular writer in Klormal School’s magazine ‘Banhi’. She was a versatile genius and reflected her excellence in writing many superb short stories, which got published in the famous magazine, ‘Abahon’ at that time. Her works got published under the pen name of Phool Saikia. For some days, she also penned stories and poetry in the pen name of Nandita Baruah in various magazines. Saganlal Jain translated one of her short stories ‘Santan’ by seeking her permission and published it in one Hindi Magazine. Many of her poems were published in ‘Nabayog’ magazine. In many news papers like ‘Dainik Assam’ ‘Himachal’ etc her writing gained the appreciation of readers. In 1979 she edited one mono-script ‘Puberun’ on the occasion of children day organized by Sibsagar Junali Sora. The cover page of ‘Puberun’ with her eligible handwriting was heart touching and laudable. From 1976 she contributed a lot in the Radio channels of Dibrugarh by reciting various poems and stories.

Phuleswari Dutta invited Mrs Macpherson, the wife of the manager of Saraideo Tea garden to Rongpur sahity Sabha. Mrs Macherson was a woman of literature who was much spell bound by the poem recitation of Phuleswari Dutta that she called Dutta to Saraideo to discuss on literature. Some of her handwritten works are as follows: three short stories collection, two books of poetry, seven mono act plays, more than fifty prose pieces etc. Recently the famous love poet Hiren Bhattacharya went to her residence and encouraged her to publish her valuable works.

Presently she has started publishing a collection of short stories viz, ‘Moroha Phulor Papori’ and "Stories of Ramayana", for children. She had written ‘Akonir O, Aa, Ka, Kha’ and ‘Jonakir Pohar’, in simple language giving concern to child psychology. ‘Jonakir Pohar’ consists of 18 ideal short stories which are beneficial for children. She reflected her dedication and devotion to the history of Assam and India by her superb historical works based on Mahabharata and Srimanta Sankardeva etc.

After going through her ‘Jonaki Pohar’, former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha. Biren Borkakoty commented that Sri Phuleswari Dutta was filly aware of child psychology and her work ‘Jonaki Pohor’ contributed a lot in increasing the interest of the children towards the ideal leaders of our country. To put in a nut shell her works on ideal leaders of our country. To put it in a nutshell her works on children have not only touched the hearts of children but also fascinated them to a great extent. She had written an Assamese grammar for class V in a very simple and easy language for children. That grammar book is easily comprehensible to everyone. As for instance it reflects the distinctive parts of sentences and in which parts of speech they belong to. Thus that book contributed a lot in improving the children in grammatical aspects. She is writing a book on phrases and idioms in alphabetically systematic order which a book contribute a lot in enriching Assamese literature of our Assamese society. Her three short story books are in the process of publication- many of them are published in some newspapers like ‘Abahon’ "Dainik Axom" and ‘Himachal’ etc. and some are still to be published. Each short story reflected her keen observation on characters. As for example in ‘Abahon’ her short story entitled ‘Bipojjoy’ enlightens the issues of the present society. Her stories lucidly reflect her mindset. She is patriotic. She regarded the problems of society as her own. To say in short she was an epitome of altruism.

To remove the evils of social practices and corruption from the society, she took writing as a medium for this purpose and the best specimen in this regard is her seven mono act plays, her great collection of poetry includes ‘Sopun Madhuri’, ‘Modar Phool’, and ‘Shishu Barshar Gaan’ etc. these poetry reflected her philanthropist as well as patriotism.

She reflected the music of her heart through her fabulous poem:

"Hiyar xuwadi ban

Xeye Jodi hoi gaon

Xeye Jodi hoi xaptaxur

Kolizar ronga tez

Loi Jodi ronga Joba

Tare xoite roise jam

Xapunar xur"

Her powerful writings had shown the right path to the aching hearts of the common masses to get rid of poverty, superstition and domination. Her work ‘Jugor Dabit Aaji’ reflected this:

"Bhangide Xuxita Xaxakar dol,

Bhangide dhanik bonikar BAL,

Natun jagat gorhi natun xomaj

Houk aaji Mohapuja Naradebotar

Jugar dabi aaji Jonatar xama

Ashikar aboxan houk

Kalux Kalima

Paradhinatar, Sarthapareter"

The poem ‘Sishubarsar gan’ is a unique poem by this bold lady who fought against injustice for the sake of truth. Though she was engulfed in deep pain seeing the moral degradation, yet she shows her hope in children. This is clearly portrayed in her poem ‘Joyjarthe’.

"Manabata mohabudh hiyat Jagatuli

Aakonil gai Jaigaon

Satabdir itihas Gourabre jilikai

Natunar Kore Abhijan

One of her best poem enlightening her patriotic spirit and feminism is as follows:

‘Moi Axomiya nari

Romani xulabh jat aisharya rashira

Abinash adhogan gun garimare

Axomar itihas jilikai rakha

Gourabare Jugajoye

Moie xai Axomia nari".

Declaring the glory of Assamese woman, the poet worried seeing the nature of present day Assamese woman.

Kundur atitar Kuneo najonakoi

Hoitu asdtitte muyr theakibo herai

Xaidin moi nibisaru nibisaru…….

Xaidin nalage ahibo

Mur babe nahe xaidin

Bankaora buta basa guna kota riha mekhelar

Romani sulabh mur aisharya raxire

Axomi mari hoi rakhu jen khiyati

Isha saranat mur aiye mathu stuti".

She achieved high appreciation from the former president of ‘Axom Sahitya Sabha".Dr Mahendra Borah for the poem 'Moi Axomiya Nari’.

Though, She was teacher by profession, she did confine herself only in academics but reflected her genius in social and cultural activities. It will not be an exaggeration if we say that writing is her passion and she is familiar name, shinning in the firmament of literature. But it really very pitiful that this genius litterateur not receiving any literary pension from government and many of work are not published. She struggles a lot from her very childhood. Punctuality, Discipline and hard work are keys of her successful life. She is praised a lot for her good manners and way of talking from to old people.

She really deserve our praise for her indomitable courage of encountering struggles and let us hope and pray for the long life of this brave lady.

 

 
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