LITERARY CREATIONS


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First Published: 2012.
Mayabritta is the story of a girl who born to her parents scorning their longing for a male child. She is remarkably different from her sisters who are sophisticated and reflects their parents. She is untidy, unruly and ugly, but her struggles, her burning desire to do something different establish her as a noted writer. The sophisticated and noted writer Nira is a reformation of that untidy girl Puti.When Puti was neglected by all, Subarna a neighbourhood boy encouraged Puti a lot. Subarna becomes an important character in various parts of the novel. The novel is a stage where a lot of characters appear and lots of events take place. There is a strong subterranean flow of feminism all throughout the novel. One can kill you several times, but each time you may survive with your strong zeal. In the similar way, the main character of the novel Puti survives each time. She is the exact manifestation of Assamese folk character Tejimola, who reborn each time as a creeper, lemon plant or as a lotus after her step-mother kills her. Nira struggles to establish a woman’s place in the society, to make people learn to respect the emotions, thoughts and self respect of a woman. Women are not for only fulfilling men’s lust. With true friendship, man and women can create a heaven in the world.

First Published: 2010
The story of MAKAM depicts the life and struggle of the Chinese origin people who had been brought to Assam by the East-India Company for establishing the tea industry. The horrendous episode began when China attacked India in 1962. The war resulted in population displacement and it forced a majority of the Indian-Chinese community to leave India. These poor people had to leave India only because of their originality. Around 1,500 Indian Chinese were picked up from Makum, a small town of upper Assam and sent to a detention camp at Deoli in Rajasthan. MAKAM reflects the struggles, sufferings and the tragedies of Chinese origin people in the past two centuries. This aftermath of the Indo-China war can be considered as the ‘Black Chapter’ in the history of both the countries.

Dr Rita Choudhury, like many others in Assam, grew up hearing about a lot of Chinese living in Makum once. When she thought of looking at it to write a novel, and delved deep into the past, a whole new story of State-sponsored persecution came to the fore.

Then she travelled extensively to try and locate the affected people. It was not an easy task. Many people got scared to talk fearing persecution. Reaching out to those in China was even more difficult.

It is a one-of-a-kind plot, a political one, but virgin to the reading public. The 600-page novel written in Assamese swings back and forth in 1960s Assam, particularly Makum, a small town in Upper Assam. The time was the Indo-China war, the Indian Government to round up hundreds of Assamese Chinese to deport as PoWs and spies. The novel begins at this point, sprinkling the pages with an assortment of characters to flesh out the epoch. She has pulled them out of real life and powdered them with the glow of her pen, most of the times, mixing one character with the other to hide their identities.

The author’s aim was not political; it was to bring to fore the wrongs done to people by the State and how their lives changed forever because of it.

After Sahitya Akademi award-winning novel Deo Langkhui, Makam is a landmark creation by Dr. Rita Choudhury. Makam – which in Cantonese means ‘the golden horse’, truly helped her literary fame run in a horse’s pace. Ten editions of Makam were published in the year it was released. It is itself a record in the history of Assamese novel.

‘Makam’ has also been translated into English by the author and published by the Pangea House, New Delhi.

First Published: 2010

In 1988, the author wrote the book Tirthabhumi which draw the picture of the Assam Movement which had a significant impact on the social, political and economic state of Assam. However, the novel was too small to reflect the life of the contemporary Assam. So, the author wrote this novel on the same issue. The book is basically a reflection of reality of life at the time of the movement.

The name of the novel itself suggests that it represents two different period of time—the past and the present. Two different generations represent the two different period of time. The story of the novel revolve around the main character of the novel Aditi Choudhury who is a college teacher and who had been an influential activist during the time of the Assam Movement – the movement that had played a pivotal role in changing the political, social and cultural scenario of Assam. Being an activist during the movement Aditi witnessed the Assamese people fighting for their various causes. However, the same group of people later hankers after political power. Aditi is the witness of the past that is the time of the movement where, people in the villages fought and some of them had even been sent to the jail. Then the same activists, including her husband Chandan, formed a political party and started bargaining for acquiring political power.

The novel reflects the period of Assam movement, which changed the life of the people of Assam. On one hand, the movement influenced some people by morally degrading them and on the other hand, it helped in elevating the life and attitude of women.

First Published: 2010
In 1988, the author wrote the book Tirthabhumi which draw the picture of the Assam Movement which had a significant impact on the social, political and economic state of Assam. However, the novel was too small to reflect the life of the contemporary Assam. So, the author wrote this novel on the same issue. The book is basically a reflection of reality of life at the time of the movement.

The name of the novel itself suggests that it represents two different period of time—the past and the present. Two different generations represent the two different period of time. The story of the novel revolve around the main character of the novel Aditi Choudhury who is a college teacher and who had been an influential activist during the time of the Assam Movement – the movement that had played a pivotal role in changing the political, social and cultural scenario of Assam. Being an activist during the movement Aditi witnessed the Assamese people fighting for their various causes. However, the same group of people later hankers after political power. Aditi is the witness of the past that is the time of the movement where, people in the villages fought and some of them had even been sent to the jail. Then the same activists, including her husband Chandan, formed a political party and started bargaining for acquiring political power.

The novel reflects the period of Assam movement, which changed the life of the people of Assam. On one hand, the movement influenced some people by morally degrading them and on the other hand, it helped in elevating the life and attitude of women.

First Published: 2003
Longing for a loving heart, not in clinical terms, but imbued with all the qualities and perceptions of poetic candour, is nothing but a mirage everyone pursues. A group of medical students, who became well-known doctors in later life, had the experience of being fascinated with the loving beauty of a girl.

The story took its turn when the girl dies for reasons unknown and her body is brought to the Anatomy Hall of the Medical College as specimen for students studying human anatomy. Her body is dissected, every limb is made bare, but no clues to her bewitching beauty and ever-mysterious love could be found.

Dr. Rita Chowdhury tells the story with sympathy for all the characters, even for Soureen, whom the readers may easily misunderstand and label as the anti-hero. Hriday Nirupaai is an immensely readable novel, never to be lost among the best novels in Assamese literature.

First Published: 1996
Nayana Torali Sujata is a trilogy. It is a collection of three independent novels namely Prem Jyotirmoy Prem, Tai Tetia Sare Asil and Sujata Sirantani. The central characters of these three novels are namely Nayana, Torali and Sujata. Although this collection of her three novels represents three women, the basic foundation of these novels is built on the single tale of life. Philosophy of life, values and sufferings or struggles dominate these novels. The echoing narrative of these tells readers how human life is a struggle for values.

First Published: 1998
Popiya Torar Xadhu is a story of a simple girl who comes to a big city to establish her but, could not surmount the stumbling blocks of the society set up by some social icons. They lured her and ruined her life. Finally she took her life. This novel reflects total moral degradation of the society. The people who teach others the moral values are themselves prejudiced. Although the characters of the novel are imaginary, various events and real incidents moulds the novel. On one hand, the novel reflects the struggle, suffering and truthfulness of an ambitious girl and on the other; it shows the picture behind the screen. The story is full of dramatic situation and climax. A lot of characters appear in the scenes, both male and female. Unusually controversial, this novel is a sharp satire on its own right. It breaks the tradition of Assamese novel and analyses the vices and virtues of present society. It is a tale that transcends all barriers of space and time. The novel has been translated into Bengali by the author and published by Gotidhara of Bangladesh.

First Published: 1981.
Abirata Yatra, meaning incessant or continuous journey, is Dr. Rita Chowdhury’s debut novel that earned her the prestigious Axom Xahitya Xabha Award in 1981. She wrote the novel while she went underground as a leader of the historic Assam Movement.

The central character of the novel is Prithivi, although a conglomerate of young boys and girls, deeply involved in the movement, revolves round it. Prithivi, a commoner, tendered rare sacrifice towards meeting her goal, but it ultimately became an endless journey of sacrifice. Another impressive character is Joseph, an erudite mazdoor youth who also struggles logically for self-existence. Ashanta, Samudra Phukan and others start their never-ending journey from darkness to light while giving away everything they possessed. An enduring saga of sacrifice, Abirata Yatra entwines some tearful anecdotes into a neatly woven plot studded with bold characters.

First Published: 1997.
It’s a collection of total 38 poems that yarn for interested readership and exposure in terms of their appeal and goal. Emotionally worded and freed from metric bonds, the poems pave their way through popular voice of protest and reconciliatory. Human life in this planet is full of storm and stress, or might be called a journey of hope through light and darkness. Streaks of light often light up certain moments but darkness immediately engulfs them too. Dr. Rita Chowdhury believes in love in all its forms and manifestation and considers poetry to be the last hope of mankind.

First Published: 1999.
Rita Chowdhury, as a poet is appreciative to her troubles and to the moment which brings her immeasurable distress. She thinks troubles are poems in different garbs. The first poem of this collection is a eulogy of life, perhaps a creation in her happy moments. The persisting and all-pervading mood of despair and distress that adorned most of her earlier poems seems to be gone forever. Instead, vigorous buoyancy creeps into her poetic sensibility.

First Published: 1999
It was the worst of time for the people of Assam and the best of time for the detached middle class observers of the situation. Assam was in a whirlpool of problems, murder, kidnapping, atrocities on innocent people, looting and arson being the order of the day while the author wrote the novel. She observed the situation keenly and was distressed although she was like everybody, mired with selfish interests in life. There is a limit to everything and human life too cannot cross it. But still we are uncertain about what actually happens around us. The plot of this novel was constructed on such a line.

The narrative revolves round Kalyani, her husband Sanjoy, son Rupam and some miscreants, called self-styled ‘rebels’. Sanjoy challenged them and was paid back in his own coin by the miscreants, who kidnapped his son Rupam, who remained traceless till the end of the novel.

Kalyani, an otherwise happy housewife, had a soft corner for the rebels and when her only son was kidnapped, her agony knew no bounds. She was in a labyrinth of hope and despair, love and hatred. It’s a tale of an eternal motherhood.

The treatment is emotional and without inertia. Everything around Kalyani moves fast leaving her alone in the thick of things.

The author succeeds in giving the story a climax and resolves it to relieve the readers.

First Published: 1993
The narrative, its backdrop and characters of this novel may be imaginary, but the situation it deals with has all the elements of reality. The novel describes the psychology of a group of frustrated youth.

A situational novel based on the post movement scenario of Assam, it delves deep into the mind of some young people. Dr. Rita Chowdhury, a keen observer of the situation and also a compatriot for the plight of the youths and the fate that befell, but finally rose above the situation and reconciled. She realizes that living for something is a part of life, and living for a cause is the life itself, or more so, the foundation of a great life. Hence, the title of the novel. The youths in the novel is honest and sincere but disillusioned with the social system that threw them into despair and anguish in spite of its best efforts to make life meaningful. The author seems to drive home another point—the magical effect of love and affection on human mind.

First published: 1999
Inner workings of woman’s mind, bitterness of her relationship with the family, psycho-somatic changes, and a deep sense of identity crisis are at its zenith by the time she approaches forty. Mala, an otherwise happy housewife, somehow lost her sense of complacency and had the realization that she too suffered from the same malady like average middle-aged women.

Rag Malkosh is the story of a woman in which the writer explores some hidden truth of female psychology, buried deep in her past and obsessed with a sense of alienation in the present. Dr. Rita Chowdhury depicts her characters, both male and female, first as ordinary human beings, then as man and woman, and at long last, partners in life only to find that there is no lasting bond between them.

At forty or around, Mala is almost lifeless, still and lonely like a portrait hanging from a wall. Dr. Chowdhury, although not an avowed feminist, treads on her path with confidence and understanding for women’s woes. Her prose is lucid and at the same time poetic.

First Published: 1988
It is a novel based on the historic Assam Movement, of the last century. It covers the socio-political history of Assam from the days of the movement to the present. The author focuses on different aspects of society without any biasness. This novel also reveals the hard realities of socio-political life of the land. We find in it a wholesome picture of a remarkable period of Assam history. It reflects a bold unbiased author with solid commitment to mankind.

First Published: 1989
It is a collection of poems that brings out the poet’s mind in all its immensity and depth. A firebrand and at the same time too-sensitive poet, Dr. Chowdhury’s many-faceted personality finds adequate expression in her poems. Struggle for emancipation of life from all sorts of bonds, social and individual, is the crying voice of her poetry.