Suprabha Goswami
 
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Suprabha Goswami

Having seen a particular flower, the fragrance and its underlying beauty of nature float into our mind. A spark is quite enough to signify the power of heat. Likewise, the face of any person is the sheer reflection of his or her total nature and broadmindedness. When I meet "Aita, Suprabha Goswami then I noticed the reflection of her nature and appearance is shining like the morning sunshine".

At first, I met that gentle and serene woman in a conference of "Sadou Asom Lekhika Samaroh Samity". In that conference I joined as a poet in poetess conference organized by All Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samity and also participated in the seminar as an appointed speaker. At that time Aita, Suprabha Goswami praised and inspired me so much as a well-wisher.

Suddenly I got an opportunity to know her thoroughly, when the steering committee of "All Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samity" selected me to wrote the life history of Suprabha Goswami. I met her in order to know something more about her life to write properly about her life story. In this context, I proposed her very curiously to co-operate with me and also accepted my request with a smiling face and also asked me to take a cup of tea. When I refused to take tea Aita had gone to the kitchen with a smiling face telling me "I am not that old". Then I heard a strong and stout tune in her voice.

I realized that after crossing seventy springs of life her oldness was visible only in her silver hair but not in mind. In the mind of Aita there was a working spirit to do much more for the organization "Sadou Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samity" and other organization too. She bears a co- operative mind with strong personality to help these organizations.

She is a renowned lady of Assamese literature and prominent women writer rendering to Assamese from English literature. She had been co-related with "Sadou Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samity" since long. She was the Ex- president of "All Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samity".

She is the living image of a strong will power and perseverance with the help of which one can turn one’s dream into reality and helped her to achieve her place as a prominent women writer in Assamese literature.

She was married at the age of twelve. There was no opportunity for women education at that time. In spite of that, she was able to establish herself as an ideal woman with the help of her achievement in Assamese literature, which she could perform only from her domestic learning such as Assamese, English and Sanskrit and there she was able to collect honey of literature from those dignified languages.

Suprabha Goswami was born in 1917 on 23rd April in a well to do family at Jorhat. Her father was the second son of Late Pandit Praban Lalit Ch Goswami the "Bar Goshin" of Nalbari Satra. His name was Sarat Ch Goswami who was Educationist, Literature, Archeologist, one of the founder of Assam Sahity Sabha and was also school Inspector of Assam valley at that time. Her mother was the eldest daughter of Narayan Ch. Goswami whose name was Bhubaneswari Goswami. She was a leading woman of the society. She was the president of All Assam Prafeshikh Mahila Samity and was the member of the first Trust Board of Guwahati University and also member of an orphanage, Panbazar Primary school and related other social and cultural organization too. She was influenced by the cultured parents from her very childhood. Her good and cultured qualities of her mind and the greatest ambition were enlivened in the cultural atmosphere of her house. From her educated father she was inspired for education in her early life. Her father was a friend, philosopher and guide in her life.

When her father was reading newspaper, he would ask her to read the headlines of the paper. Thus, she was inspired to read in her heart. In her own words "In my early life, my father told me to read the headlines of the newspaper. But I have forgotten when I learned to write. In the early life when I was young, I offered to Maha Saraswati writing the name of Goddess Saraswati in banana leaves for 108 times in Saraswati Pooja, with my cousin sister Late Prativa Devi and cousin brothers Sreeman Prafulla Goswami and Sri Probhud Goswami and others who continued their study staying in our house. But when I first started to read and write I cannot recollect."

By all means, her father appointed a renowned tutor named Kashinath Barman to help her learning regularly subjects like mathematics, literature and others. When she was six years old she was reading up to class III in normal practicing school at Jorhat and also was reading in Jorhat Girls minor school. When her father was transferred to Shillong as a special primary Education officer and then she studied Pine Mount School at Shillong.

When she was prepared for "Junior Cambridge" her father again was transferred to Jorhat as the "School Inspector of Assam valley". So, she again was reading in Jorhat minor school. After some days she had left school, and prepared at home under home tutor. She appeared in matriculation examination as a private candidate and passed it in 1st division.

After passing the matriculation examination she wanted to pursue education. But there were no good facilities for women like hostel, etc. she could not proceeds more in the area of higher education and got married.

After marriage she also prepared for IA Examination. But at that time their first child was born and naturally got involved in her house hold responsibilities, thus ended her study life. But with her household activities her education in the other side was confirmed as inspired by her father. She took the opportunity to read English and Sanskrit literature. Harinath Sarma also helped to read and write some of English and Sanskrit literature.

Thus she got opportunity to know Shakespeare and Kalidasa’s book. Again, in the time of 2nd world war, the Government took a plan to evacuate mainly women and children. During that time, she found an opportunity to read about Kalidasa literature with the help of Bhagawan Chandra Goswami, professor of Nalbari Sanskrit College as she was staying at Nalbari for some months.

In the month of December in 1929 when she was twelve years old she was married to Gokul, ch. Goswami B. Sc. (Cal) B. Eng (Shifted) MIE MI Mech E Eric. Who was the Chief Electrical Engineer of Assam Electricity Board? He was the eldest son of Raisahab Guluk Ch. Goswami Mouzadar of Kamrup in Nagaon district, after marriage in the year 1933 he went to London for higher Education mainly in Engineering Dept. At that time there were not much students going to England for education in medical engineering and other sciences.

When he returned after passing Engineering course in the month of September many students and other people were waiting at Kamrup station to congratulate him came to his house honoring him with a long procession with flags to honor his writings. The visible experience of that sight in Suprabha Goswami’s life was very memorable one and also a glorious moment for her own life.

The household environment gives opportunity to write something to Suprabha Goswami. Her cousin sister Prativa Devi and two cousin brother Prafulla Goswami and Probodh Goswami edited a magazine written by hand named "Naibedya", it was published from their house. She gave a "Sathar" and a drawing of "Rose flower" to publish in that particular magazine. It was her first writing. After that she wrote a poem named "Usha" when she was 11 years old and it was published in the magazine of Normal School. Thereafter, a short story named "Harina Puwali" was published in the magazine "Prabhat". In the 20th century she wrote some articles and published in the paper "Batori". In the year 1934 and 35 she stared to translate many books. She was inspired to translate by Mr. G.A Small, the D.P.I. of Assam, at that time, which was a well-wish of their family and was a best friend to her father.

Once in the house at Jorhat Mr. Sarat Ch. Goswami told him that she was still affected that she could not pass BA Examination due to house hold affairs. Then, D.P.I. small asked her to devote to do translation from English literature to Assamese as there was no available rending literature at present in Assamese literature. It will be very good for this period. This was the context which inspired her highly to devote her time to translate into Assamese from English books.

There were many valuable books at her father’s library. First she translated some story books. And in the year 1937 she published story books "Arihana". At that time Suprabha Goswami established herself as a women writer and all the Assamese writers appreciate her.

Acting Governor and chief Justice of Assam Mr. Haliram Deka wrote a letter praising Aita after reading her published book –"Arihana" "It was good to read your story ‘TOOMAR LUITOR MOOH’. Culturist knows nothing about her achievement, what she established in her. That is the duty to appreciate by "Rasagya Samalochok".

After reading "Arihana" well established literature Dimbeswar Neog remarkable about Suprabha Goswami in this way "It is a very valuable gift to Assamese literature, where the story of huge and Gorky, Maupasant etc. are there. Twelve well-known writer’s short story is included in that particular story book. And selection of story is very satisfactory."

Veteran literature Shree Shree Ramchandra Das wrote about "Arihana" in the newspaper "Awahana".

"It is book with 108 pages. Good short story plays a part of education amongst readers and easily improves the reader’s mind". In this way the book "Arihana" was praised by all educated men of Assam.

Inspired by literature father and Mr. G.A. Small, this writer, devoted her to write children literature and was also writing to improve Assamese literature. It had become a habit of her to translate any matter which would come in front of her. With this habit she sank in to the vast world of literature. After the publication of "Arihana" she translated three famous folk stories written by the famous writer Hensh Christian Anderson and 2nd book "Kanika" and "Ramayan Mahabharat Katha" also published by Janasikhya Bibhag too.

From that period her translation of many matters, story, articles etc. were published in "Banti", "Jayanti", "Surabhi", Asom Sahitya Sabha Patrika etc Her story and article were published in different edited books also.

Moreover, many literary issues were discussed Shillong in shilling Anatar Kendra which was the capital of undivided Assam. She participated in television as a member of "Sadou Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samity".

The writings of Suprabha Goswami enriched not only in literature but enriched of surroundings of all societies.

In the childhood Aita Suprabha Goswami lived in Jorhat and after marriage she lived at shilling with her husband.

During 1936-81, Aita Suprabha Goswami was associated with shilling "Mukul Sangha" literature and social organization as adviser, President and vice president etc. she was the active members of all India Woman’s council.

Again from the very beginning she was the Secretary of Assam branch of All India Woman’s Food Council which was established by Lilawati Munsi the wife of K.M. Munsi. In 1951 she was the Government appointed member of shilling Municipality Board Moreover she was the member of Pinemaunt School and Lady K. School, Shillong.

In 1955, she went to Conference of Assam Sahitya Sabha which was held in Guwahati. She attended there as a delegate of Shillong and there also she was selected as a working member of "Assam Sahity Sabha".

In 1974, she was the member of Satya Sai publication board and also a working member of Advisory Board of that publication Board.

From the beginning she was entangled with "Sadou Assam Lekhika Samaroh Samity". She was selected as a president of General meeting which was held in Jorhat in 1977. In 1981, when the conference of "Sadou Asom Lekhika Samaroh Samity "held at Nalbari, she was selected as a permanent president of the Samity and was carrying the change up to Kalibar conference which was held in the year 1985.

In her household life also she was much disciplined. She always gave importance upon cleanliness and neatness at her home. If her home was not disciplined, Aita lost her zeal to do anything. So as soon as we entered "Aita’s" house, I felt a very calm and clean environment. Besides her kitchen duty she experienced pleasure in keeping flower and vegetable gardens. Aita was fond of singing and playing too. Once she learned music also, she liked to play Badminton, Table Tennis. She also tried to learn swimming and driving, at that time driving for girl only a kind of entertainment not necessary like today.

Now Aita is 71 years old. Innumerable memory of her past life becomes alive in her mind when she looks through the veils of her memory. From golden recollection of her life gave pleasure to her life. Spending a long period in shilling, she got the inspiration from her father who stood that like a green tree in her mind, the shadow of that green tree is still there. She remembers her father who inspired her through ideas. He breathed his last in Delhi in 1994 suffering from simple fever. Again in 1971 he could not tolerate in his mind the creation of Meghalaya as a separate state. She met a number of renowned people in her life living within her cultured family. She recollects that moment when her father had suffered from high fever, Chandra Kanta Handique and Indrakanta Handique came to her house. When Chandra Kanta Handique Bhawan (then Known as Chandrakanta Handique Hall) was inaugurated, Aita was also present in that meeting in the Bhawan and Mr Small and other chief persons of Jorhat were present at that particular function.

Suprabha Goswami is the mother of one son and three daughters. Each of the children had established themselves with their own performance. Aita engaged herself with social responsibility, she was also engaged with household activities, with tender heart attached to their son and daughter too, she did everything for the family with a smiling face. Besides performing the social responsibility she has been still occupied herself with her household activities, with her family, with always smiling ready to face any situation in her life.

In her long life she achieved the cultured environment and passionate surrounding from all sides. So the valuable words of Kabiguru Rabindranath filled her mind with joyfulness.

"JABAR DINE EAI KOTHATI BOLE JEN JAI, JA PEYECHI, JA DEKHECHI, TAR TULONA NAI."

Generally, fond of writing short story, Aita’s mind was first drawn towards her position as housewife and her responsibility to her family members mainly husband and son, she could not afford time in portraying nature in literary work. After doing her house hold duty she managed some time to do literary work. In that very short period Aita found time to write and in this way Aita’s heart was filled with peace and indispensable joy of nature.

Assamese literature is still not rich with respect to translation literature and children literature. It is certain that the Assamese literature will be enriched if the creations of Aita are brought to light. Let her creations illumine the sky of Assamese literature. Let her unique and indomitable work spirit be an ideal thing for the whole women of the society of Assam.

 

 
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