- Dr. Gautam L. Baruah
The passing of our beloved Bhupenda has struck all of us dumbfounded with inconsolable grief and has created the biggest void in our lives. As we take the first hesitant and uncertain steps into an unknown world, let us remember the musical, literary, genial and humorous stalwart from Assam through our own personal interactions with him. This fall newsletter is a modest attempt to rekindle some of the memories of the great times we had with Bhupenda. He was one of the greatest sons of Assam but the whole of India knew and loved him. He brought our great and variegated Assamese ethos and culture into the homes of people all over India and the world.This was really reinforced recently when my Sindhi colleague at the office started singing Dil hum hum kare… when I mentioned to him that we were organizing a Shraddhanjali for Bhupenda in Chicago.
- Dr. Monoranjan Bezboruah (Outgoing President)
We begin with a thank you to the community for entrusting us with the responsibilities of the AANA Executive for the 2009—2011 term. In carrying out our duties, we could count on the help from many. In particular, Dilara Boruah, Debabrata Sarma, Ruprekha Baruah and Probha Saikia, Roopa Sharma, Ganesh Deka, Anee and Ranjan Deka, Robert Satin, Pankaj Saharia and Parthajit Baruah, Uma Talukdar and Arundhati Barua, and Arup Goswami helped us by providing the regional/local news/information as and when we called for it. Thank you.We lost a few members of the Association. We mourn their deaths! The deaths of Dr. Jitendra G.Borpujari and Dr. Kamna Das, hit the Association hard, we missed two key persons. The Dr. Kamna Das Memorial Trophy is a timely tribute to her ideals. When we were asked to select the Recipient for the Dr. Kamna Das Memorial Trophy, we looked around, talked to many from all four corners of the North America, and was elated to find one amongst ourselves. Thus, the Executive Committee reported to the organizers thus:
The Selection Committee was delighted to note that amongst us itself there is an individual who fits the candidate that we were looking for to award the Kamna Memorial Trophy.
– Dr. Monoranjan Bezboruah (Outgoing President)
This issue is dedicated to the memory of our parted friend Dr. Kamna Das. Despite our desires that she be with us for a long time, she will not be present in this Convention! I am reminded of a couplet from our Panchatantra:
What is not to be can never be;
What is to be comes effortlessly;
What lies right on the palm of your hand
Is lost if you are not destined for it.
(For our younger readers, Panchatantra, is the oldest “niti” (means what we should do, the ideal-based living!) based stories of the world. It is a collection of stories which were used by a scholar/educationist, Pandit Vishnu Sarma, to educate three block-headed Princes. The father of these three Princes, a noble and ideal king, was despondent thinking about the future of his kingdom after his death, for these Princes did not evince either any desire or any capability to learn anything!
The Council to the King suggested that the King request this great scholar Vishnu Sarma to educate his three idiotic sons. The King duly invited the sage/scholar to his Court and begged him to take his sons for the needed education.The sage/Scholar/teacher took the challenge. He assured the King that in six months he would return his sons as capable inheritors of his kingdom.It is stated that this Scholar/teacher used these “niti” (again, no English word for it, it means the principles that you should follow in life) stories and indeed transformed these three foolhardy Princes into effective leaders and returned them triumphantly to the King. As stated, these were the world’s oldest stories; passed on orally first, later they were collected in writing. They were treated as if “elixirs” of life, reputation spread far. Persian Emperor sent scholars to learn about them. They were translated into Persian, then into almost all languages, beginning with Arabic, then Latin, English, German, Italian, Spanish, you name it, and even to here into the America’s South!) It was destined that we would lose Kamna so early! Ever since she came to this country in 1983, she remained an anchor of this organization, and it was a privilege to work with her all these years.