Dr. Mamoni Raisom Goswami - a Tribute by Ankur Deka

Some thoughts and memories centred around Mamoni Baideo
By: Dr. Ankur Deka, Shillong

“When you laugh, laugh with the world,
but when you weep, weep alone.”
-- Shakespeare

With author's daughter Alakananda
Most of the great souls in the world achieved their greatness through series of tragedies in their life. Despite of sadness in their hearts and being in a state of social isolation, these people work for the mass and their happiness relentlessly. They find solace in spreading good news through their respective fields.

Everyone’s 'baideo' Dr. Indira Goswami or better known as Mamoni Roisom Goswami was such a figure who excelled in using her pen to draw live pictures of each and every phenomena of human life in micro form through her invincible novels or rather be termed as ‘Character graphs’. She excelled because she entered into the lives of the figures, not virtually, but in real life situations. She travelled among the mass herself to learn their plights and to know their socio-economic conditions as a measure towards finding first hand information. Therefore, most of the writings of Mamoni baideo are based on authenticity.

Mamoni Baideo was a social figure who made others happy through her inspiring words. She liked to laugh and make others laugh. But as a person she was suffering from depression from a very young age and it triggered later through a series of tragic incidents in her life.

I become nostalgic when I remember the days filled with sweet memories when I met her at different situations in different places. Her residence at Gandhi Basti of Guwahati is not very far from our home and thus, we in our young days, used to see her whenever she returned from Delhi.

She was a great admirer of my father Late Principal Bhabananda Deka who was the founder President of Assam Society of Delhi in 1969 and also the forerunner in opening the Assamese Language Department at the University of Delhi. He was also one of the first Senior Research Officers of U.P.S.C. when Assamese language was first introduced in Civil Service Examination (then Indian Administrative Service Examination). As Mamoni baideo was the head of the Assamese Language Department in Delhi University, she had close ties with my father and I saw her several times at our residence discussing about matters related to economics and literature with my father.

Later, I met her at Delhi University several times. She was a true guide and philosopher during my student life. She taught one thing – strive hard towards a definite goal in life and success will touch your feet one day certainly.

She is no more now and had left this earthly possession on 28th November, 2011, at 7.45 AM; this time it is not to make us laugh, but to break our hearts with grief. She was the true daughter of Assam and her soil, and a strong voice that echoes the plights of the oppressed; particularly the lower class people, like the tea garden labourers.

She has left us and will never return; but her creations will remain alive in the hearts of people of Assam, North-east, India and the world. May her soul rest in peace in heaven alongside with Dr. Bhupen Hazarika whom she adored the most and expressed that she was unable to draw the picture of Assam without his golden voice.