Rongali Bihu in Hyderabad

The Assamese community in Hyderabad too celebrated Rongali Bihu with great fervour, complete with traditional games, cultural programme, Bihu dance and feast. Thanks to the enthusiasm of Dr Aroop Jyoti Kalita, Bimal Bhattacharyya, Manoj Mahanta, Sukumar Goswami, Sushanta Sharma, Srabana Lahiri, Amirul Sheik, Jyotirmoy Dutta, Gitali Thakur, Chandrashekhar Barua, Prabalika Borah, Nilotpal Sharma and Co., almost 200 Assamese from all parts of Andhra Pradesh got together for the first time in Hyderabad to participate in the Bihu celebrations.

After the welcome address by Dr Aroop Jyoti Kalita, everyone took turns to introduce themselves to the gathering. Interestingly, many discovered that they had never met in Assam, despite being neighbours, and the meeting in Hyderabad proved rather rewarding. There were people who had lived in Assam in the course of their service years, who came to the function, unable to forget the Bihu of yore. There were non-Assamese residents of Assam, mostly women, who had married and moved south, who came eagerly, offering all the help they could. And then there were the permanent residents of Hyderabad, as well as the city’s ‘floating’ Assamese population — students, IT professionals, doctors, journalists, and social workers — who made it really happen.

Competitions like ‘Tekeli Bhonga’, musical chair, race for children etc., charged up the atmosphere before Dr S Saharia, a prominent transplant surgeon who has made Hyderabad his home, formally inaugurated the cultural programme by lighting the lamp. The evening began with a chorus presentation by Assamese students of the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL). Then came ‘Pratiddhwani’, a musical journey through Assamese songs over the ages, right from Sankardev’s Borgeet to the timeless melodies of Jayanta Hazarika. It started with Xuro xuro re xuro…, charmed the crowd with songs like Saheb jai agote, Xurore deulore, Kata saki jalai ahili, Aji banduki chandere, O Mising dekati, Bistirna parare, Bimurta mor nixati jen, O dhun dhuniya, Xuworoni kowoliye, Aei luit kaberi, Parichay bihin and ended on an upbeat note with Ami jatri akekhon nawore. Many of those gathered too came forward with great gusto to sing or say a few words on stage. Mrs Agneerekha Goswami remembered her father Subha Chandra Baruah, a pioneer who had brought the Bihukonwari competition to the stage for the first time at Uzan Bazar Bihutoli in Guwahati. But most popular were the Bihu geet sung by 70-year-old Mrs Manorama Das, mother of Dr Uttara, a doctor at NIMS, Hyderabad. Bihu Husori was presented by a group of Assamese youths working as security guards in various hospitals of Hyderabad. That got the mood going for everyone present to break out into the Bihu dance, amidst much merriment. The evening ended with a sumptuous dinner, traditional to the core with masor bilahi tenga et al.

Plans are afoot to set up an association of people from Assam in Hyderabad, who can not only keep up the culture and traditions of Assam in the IT capital of India, but also help patients, students and others coming to Hyderabad in every way they can.

Srabana Lahiri (Mahanta)