MAMONI RAISOM GOSWAMI’S THE MOTH-EATEN HOWDAH OF THE TUSKER: A MIRROR OF THE SOCIO CULTURAL ASPECTS

Naba Moni Saikia
Assistant Professor (Contractual), Department of English, Majuli College, Majuli, Assam, India

Abstract
Mamoni Raisom Goswami is a renowned Jnanpith Award winner Assamese writer, editor, poet, professor and a scholar. Most of her novels are realistic novel and she portrayed a vivid and life-like picture of the society. “Literature is the mirror of society” and Mamoni Raisom Goswami’s novels is a perfect example of this. In her literary creations, she doesn’t distinguish between rich and poor or between high and low culture. But she presents them in front of us as they actually are. This novel The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tuskar is based on Amranga Satra, situated in South Kamrup. It provides us a real picture of the society of Amranga Satra and informs us about the rituals, customs and cultural practices that were followed by the inhabitants of that society. Almost all the characters of this novel are taken from that Satra. Although this is a realistic novel and gives us a true picture of that society, the writer also has mixed some of her imagination with reality as she has stated in the preface of the novel, “there have been close brushes of imagination with reality.” By reading this novel we can definitely portray a socio-cultural portrait of Amranga Satra in our mind. In this research article, an attempt has been made to examine the socio-cultural picture portrayed by Mamoni Raisom Goswami in her novel The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tuskar.

1.   Introduction
Mamoni Raisom Goswami is a renowned Jnanpith Award winner Assamese writer, editor, poet, professor and a scholar. The book called The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tusker is originally written in Assamese as Une Khowa Howdah where we find the abundant use of Kamrupi dialect, and it was translated into English by the writer herself. As the original novel was written mostly in the Kamrupi dialect, it would have been difficult to get it translated by any other person except the author herself. Interestingly not many people of Assam are conversant with this dialect and many of the words of this particular dialect have now become obsolete. The novel was included in the list of classics by Sahitya Akademi and was translated into many Indian languages. The film, Adajya, which was made on the basis of this book in the direction of Dr Santwana Bordoloi, was very well received in film festivals in India and abroad, and won many national and international awards. 

The novel The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tusker reflects the nostalgic memory of the writer about Amranga Sattra, situated in South Kamrup. Almost all the characters have been picked from this Sattra but a little amount of imagination is also used in the story. The novel begins with the mentioning of a year, 1948, and it clearly indicates that the novel depicts the socio-cultural lives of the inhabitants of Amranga Sattra of post- independence era. It reflects the tragic condition of the upper class widow, terrible effect of opium, illiteracy, caste system, superstition, emergence of new laws and many other things happening in that era in that Sattra.

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