Umeshari Goswami
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Umeshari Goswami

Life is a continous journey, unbeatable as the ocean’s high tide. With this eternal flow emerge the creations of unfadable talent. A life enriched with regular practice, flourishes the best flow of time and golden hue. A devoted life bloomed in a desire for creation is indomitable like time and sunshine. Smti Umeswari Goswami who is popularly known as Soru Aita (little grandma), is respected and held in reverence by one and all in her locality. She could casteaway the spell of darkness from a life full of troubles and cares.

Enriched with literary potentiality, the religious minded Umeswari Goswami was born in the satra of Bahoi Pukhuri under Aahatguri mouza of Majuli district in 1914. Her father was late Goluk Ch. Goswami and her mother was late Sumoti Goswami. At a tender age of 13, she tied the nuptial knot with Duttadev Goswami, who hailed from Narayanpur. Duttadev Goswami later shifted from Narayanpur to the Brahmin village of his second wife.The name of his first wife was Yogeswari Goswami. As grandma was issueless, after the death of her husband, she has been taken care by a cousin.

As grandma had to become a daughter-in-law in her teenage, she had hardly been able to lead a plain and simple life. With an indomitable desire at heart, grandma despaired herself relating to its expression, But true talent never lies hidden and this was later proved by the versatile literary vigor of grandma. Besides giving religious and holistic advices to the womenfolk of her village, grandma has been able to maintain an ideal standard for the society.

The formal education of grandma was limited only to the primary level. With such limited education, grandma could touch the boundaries of infinity. In this regard, she had been inspired by two of her brothers namely late Rup Chandra Goswami and late Bhuban Ch. Goswami, Grandma was honored at the district level for being a skilled weaver. In religious ceremonies of the women’s society, the beautiful chanting of “Naam” in grandma’s voice at local puja functions enchanted everyon . Grandma was actively associated with the Bihupuria branch of Sahitya Sabha. Having chanted her self-composed poems, grandma has been able to please her listeners during 80 years of her life. Little grandma has ever since remained a member of the Asom Sahitya Sabha. 

The literary career of grandma started clandestinely and silenty. After supper when all other inmates of the house had gone to sleep, grandma took her pen and engrossed herself in literary creation. Although such passing of days distressed her sometimes, her spirit overwhelming with literary output gave her immense satisfaction altogether. Though she led an austere life without charm or flavor, the spirit of grandma remained illuminated. After the busy schedule of the day, the beautiful gift of the serene time made her not only wondered but also offered immense satisfaction to her husband. So grandma shed tears amidst happiness dedicating the ‘Naam mala’ (garland of Naam) to her husband.

 “                             Mohibor Davatmoj                         sakar debata mur

                                          (Sri Sri) Dattadev namera prakhyat

                               Dritiya sopotni ami                      swami pod shire mani

                                                     Orpi asu swami soronot

                                                               …………………

                             Otikoi obhaga ami                        ki diya orchibu swami

Soronot bidehi aatmar

                            Hiya bhara bhaktidan                   dilu khudra puthikhone

Luwa orghya debata pranor.

Till the present time four books penned by grandmother have been published, four have already been in the press. Some of the books are still under writing process. The published books are as follows-

1.       Naam Mala (first Edition)

2.       Naam Mala (Second Edition)

3.       Upanayonor Naam

4.       Tahanir Xadhu

Santanu Bhattacharjee is the publisher of the four books published by Bhattacharjee Agency, Dibrugarh Bhattacharjee Agency also brings forth the following books for publication-

5.       Sabitri Chaturdoshi Brot

6.       Tirtha Darshan

7.       Sadhu Twatta Lorar Pora Burhaloi

8.       Ashirbad

The poetry collection undergoing composition is

9. Smiritri Rekha

 

The two editions of the Naam-Mala have been published in a new enlarged edition. This book includes in its content all the types of ‘Naam’ like ‘Narayan Stuti, (hymns) Vinayak Stuti, Lakhmi and Saraswati Stuti, Puwar Geet, Proxongiya Ghosha etc. For instance, before quoting some of the extracts of ‘Naam’, the view of the authoress about the new edition is  expressed, ‘With a view to compiling all the orally circulated ‘Naam’(Prayer) by the women –devotees, in the first edition of the ‘Naam Mala’, along with a few self-composed Naam and other Naam relating to the times prior to the birth of lord Krishna have been included. The childhood adventures and wondrous actions of lord Krishna up to his journey to heavenly abode in human in human incarnation have been included in second edition. Some of the quoting from the ‘Naam –Mala’ are –

 

Narayan Stuti (Prayer)

“Nomu nomu narayan tumi adi deba

Tumar Chorone koru shoto kuti seba

Moi oti murhomoti nejanu minoti

Tumar charone magu omulya bhakoti

Onadi onanta Prabhu koruna sagar

Or onathik kripa kora ekobar”.

 

Lakhmi Samara Naam

Ma-he boikunthore pora – ma- he lakhmi aai ahise

Ma-he hatot kamal phul loi

Ma – he bate bate aaye, ma-hoi sune kan pati

Ma-he mur naam kote ba loi

Ma-he sagar mathute, ma-hoi lakhmi baja bhoilo

Ma-he debatai asile chai

Ma-he omrit koloshi ma –he loiu padmawati

Ma-he dhire dhire choli zai

Ma – he sunar gunamari ma-he dishu kapur pari

Ma-he lakhmi aai bohoke buli

Ma-he lahekoi bohiba ma-he gughura sosibo

Ma-he loi jau mathate tuli

 

Deh twatta Naam

Aji bhoju kali bhoju elahote bai

Eihen hori naam pabolokoi nai

Padmoru kushot thaka hei puntari, kakshya

Bhabanabboi papik uddhara lakhya, lakhya

Aji sobei naam lose namei nityanandra

Kolohe kolohe dhale teu nohoi ontra

Jag Brahma- Jag, Bishnu –Jag tripurari

 

In the preface of another book named Upanayonor Naam grandmother writes, “although the collections of Naam puthi contain the Naam like Aainam, Biya Naam (marriage chanting), Goshai- Goshani Naams are available in the market, there is a dearth of books containing the Upanayonor Naam and to meet up this shortage among the female devotees this book has been designed to be published”.

 

In this compilation there is also enlisted the Naam sung in the mouths of the female devotees (as oral tone). Having included all the sacred principal of the ceremony of “Upanayonor the standard of the book has been brought in to lime light, stress was also been laid on the necessity of the use of Ghot (Pitcher) and “Dunori” (with mentioning of the requirement to be laid on there) the manuscript of the“Upanayonor Naam” with its five/six chapters has proved the immense potentiality of the grandmother regarding her creativity. The Naam included in the book are Doiyon Diya, Panitula, Humor Gurit Guwa Naam, Bhiksa Bichara Naam etc. As for example the following are two Naam in this regard-

 

Pani Tula Naam

“Soindhate gamone            Yatra sumongole

Doi yamunaloi jai

Age pache bhari               gayan bayan kori

Dhuliyai dhake dhul bai

Gongajal anibo              Yamunar anibo

Aru saraswatir pani

Sei Jal atupi                      mauci mathat dibo

Bighini dur hobo buli

 

Bhiksa bichara Naam

Ai matri bhiksa diya brahmanoke boru

Diksha guru montra diya choronot dharu

Pach bacharot ashilu soru

Sat bacharote rakhila garu

Bar bachrote bujilu aai

Mur dhekhun gat logun nai

Bhitaroro pora make sudhe

Botuk brahmachari korile kune

Bahirore pora deutake koi

Botuk brahmachari korilo moi

 

The book entitled Tahaiur Sadhu has established the literary genius of grandmother Umeswari in a remarkable position.The composition and depiction of the book really wonderful and striking. The printing quality of the book with nine wonderful tales covering 86 pages and its brilliant literary flavor has proved the beauty of the book. The tales include Raj Hirawati, Bidhatai Dilei Turutai Nidiya, Ekhete Dile Tot Pai, Bemaror Loghu Kukurikona Ki Khau Ki Kau, Lukor Bhalei Bhal, Xiyal Tamuli, Mukhe Lot-Pot Bhitori Kopot, Xunor Champa etc. Besides being pleasant to the ear, all the stories have been able to make a deep impression on the readers. The proverbs, epigram used in the book are able to give a useful lesson to children with regard to the learning of language. The children must be equipped with the competence of learning the idiom, phraseology, proverb concerning their mother languages along with their usage in the linguistic composition. In the book Tahanir Sadhu the use of some words inspires the children. Besides the literary value they have respective value as proverbs.

 

Of late the books which are now in the press have also brought a remarkable contribution to the Assamese literature. The book entitled Tirtha Darshan is a latest instance of the experience derived from visiting the places of pilgrimages. This brings to light the curiosity of mind as nourished by grandmother. As people’s curiosity cross no limits, the intensity to know about the Parashuram Kunda resulted in the creation of book. After the fulfillment of the heart’s desire grandmother could relax herself. In her 72 years of age grandmother started writing book. Regarding the origin of the Parashu Kunda grandmother writes-the sixth incarnation of god is Parashuram. The mighty Brahmaputra flows from this Parashu kunda. To keep his father’s word Parashuram beheaded his mother along with four brothers. In this book description has been made regarding the creation of Parashu Kunda alon with the detailed illustration of how the stream of Parashu kunda had been made tp flow through the feet of lord Ram for the blissful life of the people on the earth. Depiction has also been made about how the Brahmaputra got its name, along with the description regarding how the water of the Brahmaputra becomes the sacred water during the Asokastami. This book can indeed be called asa guiding document for the curiosity of the pilgrims. This book contains various incarnations for blissful pilgrimage.

 

In the book entitled Sabritri Chaturdoshi Brot, mention has been made regarding the magnificence of the chaturdoshi brot undertook by chaste lady Sabritri. This obligation happens to be a dignified one for women as conceived by the write. In the Hindu based Indian Territory, the female having chastity and devotion to husband observe this obligation. In the book there are ten chapters containing the aspects like Brotor Pranali, Paranar Mantra, Sabitri Bortor Abirbhav, Sabitri Bortor Xuphal, Satyabanar Pran Luv, Bortor Mahatma etc. the religiously devoted lady can learn many things through the book.The creative vigor as well as spiritual sentiment of grandmother can be brilliantly observed in the book. The scholastic competence of the respective book is concerned.

 

In the book entitled Sadhu Twatta Lorar Pora Borhaloi there are stories namely Janar Bhat Mas Najanar Golagrah, Sunporia Desh, Ukoni Sokhi, Dilihi Parar Sarna, Styale Bandare Sokhi etc.

 

The stories are full of significance. The stories adapted for children are able to give pleasure to the elder readers also. Under the impact of the literary efficiency of grandmother a simple story turns out to be a striking one. The usage of proverbs, epigrams also strengthens the literary value of the stories. The language used in the book is simple and the art of narration is smooth.

 

The poetry collection of grandmother named Smritirekha is not yet published. Many the poems reflect the poetic genius of the female poet. The melodious tone of the poem has beautifully depicted the creativity of grandmother-

 

“Mananiya buranji surya Benudhar Sarma,

Kirile prayan aji sipurit dham

Akash bhagi surmar brojaghat pori

Nij desh pordesh ekakar kori

Sukar sajai dhara, dharile abori

                                                                                                       (Sokulure)

“Ekalot Bihpuria otikoi Khin

Bidya sikhya prakashar nai eku chin

Sikas pran xokolar sikhyar bikash

Patile high school khoni bidyar abash

(Smritrekha)

In the poem of grandmother partriotism has also got a promiment position. The morally disrupted social condition has created bitter agony in the heart of grandmother-

 

“Upaja deshor             apun basati

Bukut saboti lobo

Lukor basaku               abarjana buli

Doliyai nepelabo

Deshor adhar             Sanskrit bhasai

Dhekile du –khai mur

Badhyata bandhat         najal na-thal

Paribo khujile ur”                      (Jatiya Jiban)

 

Asil amar              Dangar asom

Satu bai bhani mili

Kunenu sotoru         salile eineike

Hoi bor bihar puli

(Aronya ruddon)

The Grandmother admired literature heart and soul. In her view the success of life conceals in the literary world-

 

“Sah-sokti sarthakar sahitai mul

Sahitya suwaran yadi nahai bhul

Onya onya rasamrita hoi khantekiya

                                  Sahitya madhurmoi yug yugamiya”

                                                                                        (Jibanar Lakhya)

The literary output of grandmother has been remarkable along with her serenity of heart. With her creation she has been able to illuminate her life even when she is eighty. But it is a matter of regret this literary genius has not given due recognition by awarding literay persion.Let her creation keep her life illuminated.

 

 
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