Amrita Bora
Research Scholar, Department of History, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam, India


Mahim Borah, a prominent writer of Assamese literature, occupies a special position in literary world through his valuable writings. He was former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha (1989). Mahim Bora is awarded different respectable awards like Padma Shri,Sahitya Akademi Award, Assam Valley literary Award etc. for his contributions. His writings covered different subject matters. Through the use of minute observation of things, real expression of situations, use of perfect comparison and symbolic concepts etc. he gracefully created his writings. He is especially well known as a story writer. His popular story“Kathanibari Ghat” is translated to different languages. Some of his stories reflects different social problems of our society. The prime concern of this paper is to find out different social problems depicted in some stories of Mahim Bora.

Key words: Mahim Bora, Stories, Social Problems, Contemporary society

1.   Introduction

Mahim Bora is one of the prominent writers of Assamese literary world. He was born in 1924 at a tea estate of Sonitpur district. He is well known for his famous story “Kathanibari Ghat” 1961. Mahim Borah is a poet, a novelist, an educationalist and a story writer of Assam. He also wrote for children. Some of his short story collections are Kathanibari Ghat (1961) Bohubhuji Tribhuj (1967) Eai Nadir Sonte (1975) Rati Phula Phul (1977) etc. His only work on poetry is Rangajiya (1978) “Chinta-Bichitra” is a work on criticism. Mahim Bora was elected as a president of the Assam SahityaSabha held in 1989 at Doomdooma. He was awarded Padma Shri (2011) Sahitya Akademi Award (2001) and Assam Valley literary Award (1998) etc. Mahim Bora basically writes on the theme like rural society, human life, social problems, changing human attitude etc. Minute observation of things, real expression, of situation use of perfect comparison and symbolic concept etc. are some of the characteristics of his writings. Some short stories written by he reflects different social problems of our society. This paper tries to find out different social problems which were depicted in some of his stories.

2.   Objective
Through the paper, an attempt is made to find out different contemporary problems reflected in a few stories of prominent writer Mahim Bora.

3.   Methodology
This paper was based on analytical method. The informations were collected from primary sources i.e., the author’s short stories. Different secondary sources like books, magazines, internet etc. were also used in preparing the some.

4.   Results and Discussion
Mahim Bora depicted some social problems in some of his short stories. “Uchargharia” In this story the writer describes a small interesting incident of our society. In our society, there are many poor families, who cannot enjoy the primary needs of human life. Domestic violence is often seen within such families due to their acute poverty. Sometimes poverty adversely affects the relationship of husband and wife.  Yet they search happiness in their sadness. In this story the writer describes about a poor neighboring family with lots of children. They were too poor to fulfill the necessities of their children and their own life. As a new comer of that place, the mother of the poor family came to the author’s room and requested him to provide some basic amenities so that she could prepare food for her hungry children. That night she scolded her husband due to his negligence for their children and for his drunken nature. Then her husband started to beat her and shouted in anger that he would kill her. The wife then cried “Who is there, save me?” Hearing this author feared that the husband might really kill her. But next morning he saw that the husband was searching louse on his wife’s head sitting on the grassy varanda. Thus through the social problem “poverty”,he is describing a real scene of human life. Though there is sadness, misery, scarcity domestic violence etc. in poor couples life, yet they enjoy their lives in accompanying with each other.

In his story “KeyanAnguli” he describes another social problem. In our society almost all people believe in superstitions to some extent. This story is about a newly married couple. Here the bridegroom had long little toes. In our society, women having such finger is considered as a sign of bad luck or in other word “Kulakshani” Bride Someshar felt very unhappy when village women criticized his wife for having long little toes. One day “Moujadarani” (wife of an influential officer called Moujadar) came to his home and she told that having long little toe is not a sign of bad luck, then Someshar felt relax. Suddenly, he noticed that ‘Moujadarini’ also had long little toes.

Thus superstitions of our society have been revealed in this story and through the story the writer is showing that superstitions are only man made. They are irrational. Long little toes cannot determine the luck of a human being.

In “Akhej” Mahim Bora depicts a picture that how “Maujadar” “Maharaja” etc. affluential class of society deceive common people. In the story, Rupeswar Mahajan gathered huge property deceiving common people of the village, Maneswar, who was a poor villager, became much poor due to Rupeswar’s atrocities. Rupeswar tactfully usurped all his property- land, cow, gold etc. Exploitation of the poor by affluential class is a common social problem of our society. In the storythe writer has shown the downfall of exploiter. A sudden earthquake destroyed all the properties of Rupeswar. Maneswar then assail to take revenge on Rupeswar Mahajan by cutting the vein of his throat. Thus corruptions exploitations ended in the village.Thus through social problem, the author Mahim Bora gracefully describes a real scene of village life.

In his another story “ Poitachura (Cockroaches) ” he is depicting unemployment problem of our Society based on the unemployment problem of a highly educated youth, the story is developing. A young boy “Ballav” graduate mechanical engineer could not able to get any job. His parents often pressurized him to do something as early as possible. His mother urged him to marry a girl from an aristocrat family, so that he could easily become rich.

His friend said him that to be employed, one must have political support. Gradually Ballav suffered from inferiority complex as he relying on his parents. He had a dream for his beloved sister. But due to his unemployment condition he could not help her. Ballav’s mother wanted to give her marry with a veterinary doctor, Ballav opposed it. But his mother did not care him and said that as he completely dependent on his parents. So he was disentitled to take any decision over his sister which deject Ballav a lot. Ballav disliked “Poitachura” very much. But at that time, looking at Poitachura he felt that he was the only company of his life like this way based on unemployment problem, writer Mahim Bora beautifully described the story, Poitachura.

Thus different aspects of our society like poverty, unemployment, superstitions, corruptions, exploitations etc. evil practices has been revealed in Mahim Bora’s writings. Mahim Bora himself writes that stories are written for the pleasure of the reader (cited in Dr. Prahlad Kumar Baruah’s “AssamiyaChutiGalparAdhyana PP-126”) . But it is also true that literature is the mirror of a society. Many stories of Mahim Bora like “Akhon Nadir Mrityu”, “Tup”, “TinirTiniGoletc.”stories reflect the picture of Assamese rural society. Mahim Bora’s stories also reveal that he was an opponent of social problems. His stories based on social problems, depicts downfall of the exploiter, incredibility of superstitions, remedy from corruptions, sympathy for the weaker sections etc.  From the analysis of stories like keyanAnuguli, Akhej, Poitachurawe can say that Mahim Bora is desirous for a problem free society.

5.     Policy Implications
At the period when Mahim Bora started to write on Assamese society gradually transformed under the influence of modern machinery. Economic reformation in pre-independence period covered Assamese also. Impact of modern technology on rural life changed social structure human life, their attitude and also created some new social problems. Upendranath Sarma at the preface of “Mur Priya Golpa” says that depiction of pre-technological Assamese society is nowhere found in the writings of other writers. So, in this context, Mahim Bora’s writings work of pre-technological Assamese society. So his writings have enough value. Readers should observe his writings or his views from social perspective. Then, they will be able to realize the messeges of Mahim Bora towards the society.

Other aspects of his writings can also be recovered only through wide study on Mahim Bora’s writings. Organization of seminars, workshops or research works on Mahim Bora or his writings can help in this regard. Government should launch a special trust through which financial aid can be provided for research works on him.

Very poor information on Mahim Bora can be obtained through different websites. So a special website should be opened dedicating on behalf of him. Besides, an interim interaction should be organized through electronic media is utmost necessary for rousing awareness within people for Mahim Bora’s work.

6.  Conclusion
Mahim Bora is a prominent writer of ‘Ramdhenu’ era (1940-1970) of Assamese literature. In the articles written by Apurba Sarma , MuninBarkataki and Upendre Nath Sarma (published in Mahim Borar Galpa Samagra ,1993, Banlata ,Dibrugarh ), they commended Mahim Bora’s writings. On the other hand Trailokyaonath Goswami, Dr.Prahlad Baruah criticized Mahim Bora that except a few stories like Kathanibarir Ghat, Tup, Tinirtini Gol etc. other stories are not successful. Dr. Prohlad Barua says that Mahim Bora is not trying to observe the life deeply (PP.-231, Asomiya Chuti Galpor Adhyan). From the view point of literature that may be true, but from historical perspective, most of the stories have great value as most of them reflect different social problems like poverty, corruption, exploitation, superstitions etc. Human life and contemporary society also can be traced from his writings.

  • Mahim Bora. Mur Priya Galpa. Dhemaji: Dhemaji Book Stall aru Offset Printings, 2004.
  • Dr. Prahallad Kr. Bruah. Asomia Suti Galpar Adhyan. Dibrugarh: Banalata, 2008.
  • Dr. Hiren Guhain (Ed.). Mahim Borar Galpa Samgrah. Dibrugarh: Banalata, 1993.
  • AApurba Sarma (1993). Mahim Barar Galpa: Ati Oparua Drishti. Mahim Borar Galpa Samagrahat Prakasita, Dibrugarh: Banalata, pp.398-400.
  • Manin Barkataki (1993). Natun Suwadare Suwadi. Mahim Borar Galpa Samagrahat Prakasita. Dibrugarh: Banalata, pp.369-370
  • Upendranath Sarma (1993). Mahim Barar Priya Galpa. Mur Priya Galpar Patanit Prakasita. Dhemaji: Dhemaji Book Stall aru Offset Printings.
  • Upendranath Sarma. Ramdhenu Jugar Suti Galpa aru Galpa Lekhak. Prakash, 1984, 10 Year, First Volume.
  • Arup Kr. Guswami (1993). Akhan Nadir Mrituyt. (Mahim Borar Galpa Samagrat Prakasita), Dibrugarh: Banalat, pp. 401-407.

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