Biography of Nabakanta Barua
Navakanta Barua (Assamese: নৱকান্ত বৰুৱা)also known as Ekhud Kokaideu, was a prominent Assamese novelist and poet.
Early Life and Education
Nabakanta Barua was born December 29, 1926 in Guwahati to Nilakanta Barua, a school inspector and later teacher, and Swarnalata Baruani. He had three brothers: Devakanta, Jivakanta, and Sivakanta. (Devakanta Barua also became a well-known Assamese poet, best known for poem collection Sagor dekhisa.) At first the family lived in upper Assam, then moved to Puranigudam and lastly lived in Nagaon town.
He started his education at a nearby school, then joined govt Mojolia school. In 1933 he was admitted to Nagaon govt boys in class 3, from there he completed his matriculation in 1941. After that he got admitted to Cotton College, but he lost two years due to illness. In 1943, he went to Shantinikaton (West Bengal). In 1947 he completed his B.A. with English honors and in 1953 M. A. from Aligarh Muslim University.
He worked in Uttar Pradesh at Shikohabad at A.K collage , but the same year he had joined Jorhat's Jagannath Barooah College. In 1954 he joined Cotton College and worked there until 1964. From 1964 to 1967 he worked at Assam Madhyamik Shiksha Parisod as an officer of English education . He again joined Cotton College, retiring as a vice principal in 1984.
He served as president of Asam Sahitya Sabha's Dhing Adhibashan in 1968 and presided over Asom Sahitya Sabha's Bishwanath Chariali convention in 1990.
Barua wrote most criticized and recited poems like "Polokh", "Monot porne Arundhati", "Norokot DonJuan", and "Crussot DonJuan".
Barua's contribution to Assamese art and literature includes 39 books in all: 11 poem collections, 5 novels, essays, short stories for children (Xeali palegoi ratanpur) and lyrics. Some of his works have been translated to different Indian languages.
In 1984, he published the Assamese magazine Sirolu, later republished as Natun Sirolu.
1974: Assam Prakashan Parisod Award, Mur aru Prithibir
1975: Sahitya Akademi Award to Assamese Writers, Kokadeutar Har
1976: Padma Bhushan, Literature & Education
1993: Assam Valley Literary Award
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Nabakanta Barua Poems
Eta Premar Padya
We housed them in prisons For they wanted a home, We killed them for they wanted eternal life Then bulldozed their prisons into fields of corn
The Belt Of The Spinning Wheel
The corded belt of my mother’s spinning wheel was a mystery to me spool after spool is used up the distended bobbins pile up in the basket
Ah, it is pleasant We are sitting ,simply sitting Sitting silently.
The fire of the palaash has gone out now. In the saal and sotiyaan woods Spring-storms of days past — Days of the Burmese invasion.
God Gave Man Intellect
God gave man intellect. He could go insane with it. His heart full of blood could not be trustful.
Iyat Nadi Aachil
Once we went aboating On the Ganges………… The pale winter moon rose above the old cemetery We remember we talked
Last night Someone poured ink into Umiam How the streetlights emitted darkness!
The fossil heaved its stony sigh Moaning: God’s failures have caused, All his tears to helpless man.
The First Code Of Life
Offerings to the mother have been washed with brother’s bolld; To satisfy the mother earth Offering’s flesh has been cooked in her breast’s milk!
It is afternoon now. Let’s go to the tailor’s; to get measured. Measurements of neck chest hands and arms Measurements of the palm and the heart
We housed them in prisons
For they wanted a home,
We killed them for they wanted eternal life
Then bulldozed their prisons into fields of corn
What’s that hand sticking out from the earth?
Other hands will sprout from it ...
And tickle us to death.
[ Translated by Pradip Acharya ]