some people who became famous as they find opportunity to express and
spread their talents. But there are many unfortunate people who remain
neglected as they don’t find opportunity to express their talents. This
class of people led their lives with self satisfaction by silently
spreading fragrance of their talents. Suprabha Devi can be included in the
calls of people.
Although the life span of human being is short lived,
even then every person wants to do something unique in his or her life.
This lady of Goalpara District also was having the desire of leaving some
marks behind her and as a result she took the help of pen and paper.
Amidst conservative society and worldly whirlpool, her imaginative mind
was about to die. But fortunately she got the opportunity at her later
This unknown poet Suprabha Devi was born in 1918. That
day was full moon day the month was ‘chat’ (The Assamese calendar month).
Her birth place is Gauripara of Dhubri Subdivision (Present Dhubri
District). Her father was a famous Sanskrit Scholar Maha Mohopa Dhyaya
Pandit Adya Nath Nyaya Bhusan. His house was at Hakama of Goalpara
District. Pandit Nyaya Bhusan was conferred the Maha Mahopadhyaya title by
the British Government on 1910. He was honored with best Scholar title in
the presence of Lt General of Bengal Phular Sahab. He was the first
Assamese who was honored with this title. Late Bishewar Smiriti Ratna,
Late Sharada Kinkar Bidyabigash, Durga Kingkar Shatri etc. were his
students. In a meeting of Scholars held in Kochbihar he was given award of
Rs.3000 for winning a debate. Many great scholars used to come to Nayaya
Bhusan seeking answer for difficult questions. He wrote many books in
Sankrit. Dr Birinchi Kumar Brauah brought many of his books for
publication. But his family does not know till today whether those books
were published or not. Suprabha Devi’s mother was late Chinmayee Devi
daughter of Bhattapalli’s (Kolkata) scholar.
The famous Jamindar of Gauripur late Pratap Chandra
Baruah brought up a Sanskrit School ‘Tarini Priyachatuspathi’ in memory of
his middle wife. Observing his depth of knowledge in Sanskrit literature
Baruah brought Aadya Nath Nayaya Bhusan to Gauripur from Hakama and
appointment him in the school as teacher. He served school for long forty
Suprabha Devi was the youngest among the five children
of Nyaya Bhusan and Chinmayee Devi. As the youngest child she was dearest
to her parents. Due to her calm nature she could earn love from the family
members. Her father had experiences in studying various places in India
and as a result he could realize the necessity of women education. In
order to make his daughter educated he admitted Suprabha Devi in a minor
school. She wanted to study in high school. But rules and regulations of
the co-education was not allowed. On the other hand girl’s education was
not deeply felt. As a result there was no scope for formal education. As
her parents could not dare to cross the limit set by the society,
Superabha’s academic career ended in the primary level. In 1920, on 20th
Magh (Assamese month), Suprabha got married to late Sitakanta Chakraborty,
the eldest son of Late Nilkanta Chakraborty and late Bedawati Devi. She in
laws family was a big joint Brahmin family. Late Sita Kanta Charaborty was
fond of literary and he could sing Bhajans, Shyama Sangeet. Rabindra
Sangeet is very well. He had also good knowledge in Shastriya Sangeet.
Late Sita kanta Chokraoborty was a teacher in Dhuburi High School and he
had also a big shop and wood business.
After her child marriage till her puberty she stayed
for three years in her parent’s house. During those years observing her
intense desire for higher study her parents were at a loss.
In order to fulfill their daughter desire they arranged
home tutors. One teacher taught her Bengali while the other thought
Sanskrit. During those days people had great hatred towards English
education. Suprabha’s father also did not allow her to learn English.
Under the guidance of Late Laks pati Pandit and late Shashi Pandit, she
learns both the languages.
From her very childhood, Suprabha Devi got the
opportunity to associate with big scholars. Perhaps for that reason the
seed of literature germinated in her mind from her childhood. At the
tender age of twelve she wrote a poem on Sewali flower. After her child
marriage when she was in her parents’ house she wrote several poems.
In her literary activities she got inspiration from her
father. As there were no newspapers published from Goalpara, her father
communicated with Kolkata news papers to publish her poems. Suprabha’s
poem was first published in a news paper entitled ‘Prabasi’. As she did
not give attention in preserving those newspaper volumes in which her
poems were those poems have been lost forever.
After her puberty she went to her husband’s house and
in that big joint family she had to be busy in house hold activities and
as a result she found no times for her literary works. Apart from other
house hold activities she had to engage herself in cooking and after
serving food to the male members of the family, the female members could
sit to eat. If someday a male member could not come for food for some
reason on that day the female members had to starve, at night cooking
started after 11p.m. In such a busy schedule where was the time for
writing? Sometimes when she read newspaper, it was looked down upon by the
other members of the family. Because reading and writing by a woman was
disliked by the society. In those days also somehow she quietly wrote
poems. In that family there was no such atmosphere where one could
concentrate on literary activities. As a result her creativity died out
gradually. Although late Sita Kanta Chakraborty had no such atmosphere
where one could concentrate on literary activities. As a result her
creativity died out gradually. Although late Sita Kanta Chakraborty was
fond of literature but due to his busy schedule he could not find time to
inspired his wife in her literary work.
At a very tender age Suprabha Devi became a mother of a
boy and two girls. Her son was late Pronob Chakraborty. Late Ranjita
Borkokoti and Smiti Swajita Sharma are her elder and younger daughters
respectively. Late Ranjita Borkotoki was married to the second son of late
Tirtheswar Borkotoki of Jorhat, Bipul Borkokoti. She had two girls and one
Smti Swajita Sarmah is at present Assistant Librarian
of Arya Bidhapeeth College in Guwahati. She is married to the fifth son of
late Kalicharan Dev of Nalbari (Vill. Bhalukuchi), Sri Kailash sarmah in
1973. Like her mother she likes also talent in literature. She had also of
writings. Her writings are published in the college magazine. She is the
mother of two sons. Late Pronob Choudhury passed matriculation from P.C
institute of Gauripur after that he got admitted into the B.N College
Dhuburi and passed I.A from that college. While working in PWD office of
Dhuburi as a clerk he got appointment as telephone operator in refinery in
Guwahati. Late Pronob Chakraborty married Smti Padma Devi, daughter of
Late Sonoswar Bhattachariya, behind leaving his wife and two children
Anindita and Prosid, Pranab died untimely in 1974 after 5 years of his
marriage. Pronob wrote poems in English. Holding the responsibility of a
big family for long 25 years Suprabha Devi proved herself to be an ideal
house wife. As there were no such good educational institutions for higher
studies Suprabha Devi had to come to Gauripur with her children where her
husband was working at time. There in Gauripur, she took active part in
1942 movement and delivered strong lectures in meetings.
Just after coming to Guwahati due to his father’s
illness Pranob had to bring the whole family of Guwahati. Since then
Suprabha Devi has been residing in Guwahati. Sita Kanta Chakraborty died
in Guwahati after four years. Within a short span of time, after her
husband’s death Suprabha span the second shock. Her only son Pranob died
untimely. To lessen her grief she started writing poems at the age of 65.
Her talent comes to surface once again.
As she got education in Bangla and Sanskrit languages,
she wrote poems in these two languages. However she tried to write some
poems in Assamese also. Since 1975 this lady with a heavy heart has been
engaging herself in the literary world of poems. Like Padmashri Nalini
Bala Devi, her source of inspiration is her painful life. She loves the
poem of Bangla poet Late Rajni Kanta Sen. She was attracted by his two
books ‘Bani’ and ‘Kalyani’
I was surprised to see many notebooks full of poems
written by aita (Grandmother) who lives in a dilapidated house at Jaya
Nagar. When she showed the large number of note books full of poems, it
seemed as if writing poems is a very easy task for her. I was surprised to
see her reciting poems fluently without any break at this age of 80. She
has a sharp memory.
There were 40 manuscripts about 100 poems were
incorporated in three volumes; entitled Shatadal Aita has given separate
name two each of her manuscript. Some of the names are like this ‘Aparajita’,
‘Nil Aakesher’, ‘Tata Mala Raja’, ‘Harichandra Aaru Rani Shaiba’,
‘Kanchan, ‘Kiriti’, ‘Bijayoini’, ‘Joymati’, ‘Sugandhi Gandhraj’, ‘Chandra
Hansa’, ‘Sati Sabitri’, ‘Matsyabati Kayna’, ‘Mritika Rai’, ‘Rakta Kamal’,
‘Jhara Malati’, ‘Buddhi Jar Bal Tar’, ‘Swapan Nijharini’, ‘Chitrangada’, ‘Basantika’,
‘Sri Krishna Balyalila’, ‘Kiranmayee’, ‘Lagna Jita Kanak Mandir’, ‘Sri
Batsa Chinta’, ‘Krishna Sudama’, ‘Sita Haran’, ‘Nil Nilambar’, ‘Sunanda
Rakhal’, 'Kalchakar' 'Madhumati', 'Rakta Shatadol', 'Agaru Chandra Sowa',
'Milan Puranima', 'Sita Banabaas', 'Parbatrir Abhimaan', 'Bhayadhari Kanya',
‘Parimal’, ‘Saagar Mukta’ etc.
She has no published books on poems. Five years ago Sri
Sri Surendra Sarma from Guwahati Radio Center recorded her 17 Sanskrit
poems and 7 Bangla poems. Sanskrit poems and four Bangla poems were aired
in the All India Radio, Guwahati. Suprabha’s three poems contain various
subject matters, reflecting her tender feelings. Subject matters include
historical events, ancient stories on nature, patriotism and spiritual
thinking. Language of the poem is simple.
In a poem entitle ‘Dusanta’ she describes the beauty of
hermitage. She not only finds beauty in nature, she also finds beauty in
each and every object created by the creator
"Oh, so beautiful
This captivating garden
The attraction if
Truly, it has downed
Spring, the King of all seasons
This sacred place
The garden of saints"
The glory of daytime
The glory of night time
Just like the glory of nature is
The Glory of a delicate little child is
All creations in his earth are dependent on each other
and thereby reflect beauty.
The glory of a honorable women, husband
Of Mother’s breast the child
The animal’s feed in the forests
Animals are the pride of forests.
…………… ………….. ……………….
‘Dharma’ is the pride of human beings
Value is the glare of ‘Dharma’
And the glares of Vaishnavites are
Reciting the song of Hari Vishnu"
Everywhere there is nature. The poet remains speechless
seeing the beauty of nature.
"Oh! That blue bluish
O sky, O blue lord
Looking at you again and again
The more I look at you with desire
My heart never tires off.
Only look at again and again" (Akash)
In the poem "Eiaamar Hindustain" the poet sings in the
praise of her own land of patriotic feelings.
"We are Indians
Cultured Farmers we are
We are Indians
This is our Hindustan"
According to her the people of India always stand
"Christian Muslims are our brothers
Hard work is men
Without hard work nobody
The thought of Indian philosophy has reflected in her
poems. The poet believes in the sacred saying of Gita i.e. work is
religion where there is work there is labor.
Through labor one can get good results. From her
experiences she thought that in this world one finds more friends in good
days, finding no friends during her worst days she regretted-
"When there is happiness
All become best friends
Oh! Oh! See, when there is sorrow
Nobody stands for anyone"
Poets are imaginative human beings and through their
imagination they can paintings by selective words. Suprabha Devi is no
exception. She imagines Goddess sitting on white lotus, decorated with
white flowers wearing white dress with white make up, taking white veena
in her hands and writes.
She worships this wise Goddess with garland of starts
of the blue sky and writes--
Seated on white lotus the goddess
Desecrated with white flamers
Embellished with white fragrances
Goddess Shurestasive, carries a white thread
Decorated with white sandal
White flute, bringing good luck
Advance with white ornaments
Hair the god’s of knowledge.
Hail three, hail thee.
Hail Sasawati! Mahadevi!
Voice, one who holds the sacred Vedas
The goddess of speech, Narayani,
Listen O Binapani
Today of a hundred skies
Counted the starts
And I have brought, O Mother
To them in to a bead at your timeless feet
I would present as a flowery offering".
The poet loses her only son and her husband within a
short span of time. Her heart with full of pain could realized the mental
distress of Urmila the wife o Laksman and she writes--
You must know
This, your great pours destroyed of vanity
One day it will be broken
On that day
Because of you only
In Spite of Protection
At your present
The great Virtuous lady Sita
That brave monster with ten hands
That Ravana of Lanka
Right at the time he will
Take her away
In the poem "The Role of Audience" she being a
sensitive poet expresses her reaction to the indifferent attitude of the
people who even witnessing the injustice keep quiet. So she writes:
"Today the helpless child of this earth
And where the human so city
Everyone is standing still, looking on
Although throughout her life was carrying the burden of
sorrow, she has not blamed anybody for her painful life and has tried to
console herself for her destiny. Like Kabyabharati Dharmeswari Devi
Baruani’s poems also do not reflect any mental agitation during her hard
days. She seeks means to save herself with compassion of god only.
"Aibar Jeti Hobe, Pathe
Kantakete Bhara Pathe
Bhishan Durana Sagar Bari.
Bhisan Kathen Muru Pathar
Bolo Oohe prabhu
Ami Kaman Haibe Par"
The poet is the believer of rebirth. Therefore though
in this life she got only pain, she wants to come to his world again after
her death. Her two poems ‘Abhishapta’ and ‘Nirashaya’ are echoing the tune
of Padmashri Nalinibala Devi’s ‘Jamanbhumi’.
God means you
Spend all your days?
In this of god land
You will take birth again.
The poet again says:
Kera je more
Bare bare bare
Firiya asiba ami
Asiba amar ghare"
The pious lady Suprabha Devi,s heart intensely wants
that intimate union of her atma with Paramatma through divine love.
Therefore inspire of her painful life she has became restless to meet
I do not know
Where do you live?
Speak O father
Tell me today, want to see
If to me a particle of dust
Give you blessings
Today for you
I searched and became tired
Please appear O father
Rid me of sufferings".
(Ohe’ Jagadish Pita)
Her boundless belief and devotion to God makes her
believe that man can get rid of worldly pain through the blessings f
compassionate God. Like a devotee who surrenders to his master, the poet
also surrenders with full devotion to God.
Bichar Diner Bohi
Sei Dine Haibek
Akirti, Adham, Sir
Toma chara ami
Kaharo Nahi Aar"
Suprabha Devi also devotes herself to children
literature. The beautiful description of Bandini Rajkanya, can very easily
attract the minds of children, it can be remarkable book if it is
published in the book form with sketches. There are many small poems
included in Bandini Rajkanya through which she tried to make them fact
absent certain things.
Tumar Baro Baro Dat
Tumi Sur Diye
Sob Karo Kaj
Nai Tumar Hat’
Although there is no connection between the Moon and
the needle, still the song is very interesting. Like that though there is
no connection of shell with coconut true I Suprabha Devi’s poem ‘Bak Mama’
yet it is a unique children poem.
Phul deye jao,
By writing poems for children to make them laugh the
poet has displayed her child like mind with subtitle expertise skill.
"Kaka Anlen Kine
Sei Teiyr Aaj Bieye
Halud Gancha Dieye.
Paleng pata Bane
Mauri Beti Kene
Samuk Bela Boro
Dham Kur Kur
Palash Dangai Ghar"
(Dham Kur Kur Bajna Baje)
She has also written one noble entitled "Shrimati"
which is still in hand written manuscript. In this novel idealism has been
more important than the money. Iron merchant Surendra Mohan Bhattacharyya
had three daughters Annapurnaa, Sunati and Shrimati. Annapurnaa and Suniti
got married to the sons of well to do families. Shrimati was quite
different from her elder sister she was the worshiper of beauty. She
wanted to marry an artist. Her sister did not like Aashis, the poor
artist. But her father liked her choice and without Shrimati’s knowledge
he sent Aashis to England through his Marwari friend after he passed B.A.
Aashis was also not aware of the fact. After coming back from the England
Aashis and Shrimati get married. The novelist was successful in describing
the rich picture of contrast between the rich and the poor.
This 80 years old lady is still engaged in her literary
works. Writing poetry is part of her reunited life. It seemed that as if
she has been waiting for a publisher. When she came to know that I will
write about her, there was a glow on her face.
Many people have come to meet her. They have praised
her poems. Many had given assurance to publish her poems. But they did not
turn up again for the second time Hearing that a line of a poem by poet
Kamala Kanta Bhattacharya stubbed me---
"Jen Phul Ghan Habit Janam
Habir Bataha Habita Nashe".