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Dawn - Nirmalprabha Bordoloi

Nirmalprabha Bordoloi (1933 – 1 June 2004) was a well known Assamese literary figure. Her work as a journalist, editor of a literary magazine, and a teacher, shaped her writing.


Conferred the `Saraswati Sanman' title in 1987, Bordoloi wrote over 54 Assamese and English books, besides thousands of songs. Prominent among the books are `Kabita : Mon Faringar Rong', `Samipesu', `Antarang', `Asamar Luko Sangonskriti', `Siba', `Asamar Luko Kabita'.


I often speak about the power of poems which use a single metaphor, hold careful, dexterous balance throughout the trapeze act of their imagery, and even until the end do not reveal the moment that planted the seed of their musings. I marvel at the certainty and finesse of such poetry. As a poet, I fall quite often into the trap of revelation, wanting my readers to really know, to feel as I have felt. But the real power of verse is in the condensed potential, in the shadows that words and images cast, the abstraction of carefully woven metaphors which speak without betrayal of their riyaz.

There is so much one can say about the possible backstories of this poem - about conflict in Assam, state-sponsored violence, the fight for freedom, local/regional or domestic conflict, perhaps. One could speak about the hope that is nurtured in the hearts of activists, workers and people who fight for their sense of identity, the struggle and suffering, and the shining beacon of resolve that drives their superhuman resistance. I would like to let it mean all this and more.


Because it is what we need today, what we seek out, in sleepless nights standing vigil on the threshold of the constitution of this country.

Image Credit: M.C. Escher




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