Shudha Baruah
 
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Shudha Baruah

One of the worth mentioning amongst the very few writers of Assam during the 2nd decade of the 20th century is Shudha Baruah. Her name can specially be mentioned in the domain of art, culture and literature. She claims the special position in the arena of literature for her worthwhile creative contribution to the same for which she had been praised as "your creative talent is wrought in your works in the backward social setting before sixth decade earlier from now and comparatively its value was far formidable to be considered" at the 8th felicitation program of ‘Sodou Axom Somaroh Samity held at Tinsukia.

Shudha Baruah was born on 10th September 1907 at Sivsagar on the bank of Dikhou River. She was the great granddaughter of Late Jaduram Baruah, the first Assamese compiler of Assamese dictionary, and the daughter of Late Radhika Prasad Baruah, Late Himli Baruah, and the famous poet who was known as ‘Binani’. She was the predecessor of poet philosopher late Bhagabati Prasad Baruah who met his sudden death and Parbati Prasad Baruah the poet. According to Historian Benudhar Sarmah, historian, she was born in a family that could be termed appropriately as the ‘fertile soil of Assamese language and literature’. It was in such a culturally rich family where she gradually developed her literary creativity with her physical changes on the bank of river Dikhou. She started her early education in Sivsagar in Fuleswari School, the newly started school there. She started her early education under the Radhika Nath Sarmah in real sense. Unfortunately she had to quit from her schooling for her father’s sudden demise. But her vein filled with devotion towards language and literature which could be marked in her unceasing persuasion of literary practice. Her artistic mind was replete with in-bounding rejoice when she spent her childhood days on the bank of Dikhou river along with her filled pitcher and amidst the natural bounty jazzed with the melodious tune of birds’ songs and the fascinating beauty of little, and while and blue flowers. Late Lakhikanta Baruah, poet, who used to tell her various fairy tales and such other stories of birds and flowers which helped her dreaming and crating heavenly feeling of the earth, was her childhood friend to roam around the river banks of Dikhou during her childhood days. Her artistic creativity in writing stirred to flow from her pen at the early stage of life, just as the stepped into the adolescence period. She was inspired in literary practice especially by her mother late Himli Baruah and wise predecessors like late Bhagabati Prasad Baruah and late Parbati Prasad Baruah. In this cultured family background her literary thoughts started to pour from her pen. Then she began another literary tour with the publication of hand written magazine which was edited both by her younger brother Moksha Baruah and her mother for which she was motivated by her predecessors, it was prepared at their home itself. Her mother named the magazine "Gharjeuti" (Enlighten House). Shudha Baruah could express her literary talent by her regular creative productions in the same, and most of the poems of late Parbati Baruah were published in it. Her excellence in painting got its exposure not only in her cover page painting but in other paintings in the same which was at her 17-18. Later her step gradually towards the vast arena of literature proceeded, and many of her stories were published in ‘Milan’, the then mouthpiece of Students’ Association (Chatra Sonmilon). She was, for her writings, called as "Spotless Story Writer" (Nikhut Axpmiya Golpo Lekhika) by well-known critic Banikanta Kakoti. All her works were collectively published in the "First Dawn of Life" (Jibonor Prothom Puat) in the form of a book in 1983. She was well-versed in using direction in her works. She could paint a vivid picture of social life with limited words and could reflect every big and tiny aspect of society. Her works could therefore be called the mirror of the then society of her times which Goethe said that ‘a person is merely a reflection of his age’.

She was pleased being brought up in the artistic environment, to have done everything well. That environment inspired her to keep herself busy in it and make herself quite adept in the same. This craft brought her good reputation in various programmers organized in various places and could make herself popular with knitting handicraft, weaving. She excelled in knitting putting various flower patterns in clothes she weaved. This also highlighted her artistic talent in Mrs. Baruah with her crap-paper-craft work. There appeared some especially in her paper work too. Someone would have mistaken to see her paper craft work for lively flowers because they looked as if they were natural. They were as fresh, lovely alive as a living flower. She could make various decorating items out of wax, could make many others of jute fiber which she presented to the young ones. She was pleased to have them presented with these items. She was adept in cooking too. She could prepare a very tasty, healthy recipe within limited items very well and also could please others with that. She was also expert in preparing handicrafts out of jute fiber and many such other natural products and for that she often received invitation to be the judge of the competitions held in various districts like Sivsagar and Jorhat along with other neighboring districts. She was one of the active members of the Jorhat Mahila Samiti and kept herself engaged in many such constructive activities.

"Atitor Madhur Jage" (sweet memories of the past) is her incomplete prose work. At this old age she has lost her eyesight but she not lost her spirit of literary creativity.

Her husband late Bidyakanta Baruah, the then lawyer, the founder president of Jorhat College inspired her a lot in creating new ideas. She had inclination in music too. Later she practiced music under her elder brother late Parbati Prasad Baruah and she contributed to "Fulani" with a song of Padmahar Chaliha. She contributed a new tone into the same and practiced it for long which she inherited from her predecessors.

 

 
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