Friday, July 10, 2020

200. Stories on Satras of Assam

Assam has a rich tradition of Satras which are religious-cum-cultural centres related to Vaishnavism. A Satra has its hierarchy of administrators like Adhikars, Deka Adhikars, etc.
Recently, I read four short stories, written by the celebrated Assamese writer, Dr. Laxminandan Bora on Satras and their administrators. The stories are short, but extremely powerful. They bring out the struggles which young administrators of Satras sometimes face. There are certain expectations from them as administrators of Satras, but their own convictions and emotions as human beings may come into conflict with these expectations. The stories beautifully highlight such conflicts.
Dr. Bora is a recipient of Sahitya Academy award. While reading his stories, I had a feeling of reading something totally original and different. My conviction that the Assamese literature is studded with shining jewels got reinforced . Alas, people outside are not much aware of this richness.
I think, there should be large-scale translation of Assamese literature so that lovers of literature from other languages can taste the nectar. Maybe, some day, I will also try my hands at translating a few pieces from Assamese to Hindi and English.


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