Hiru-da had to his name ten anthologies, two collections of children’s rhymes
Popular and celebrated Assamese poet and winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award and several honours Hiren Bhattacharyya passed away at a private hospital here on Wednesday. He had been undergoing treatment for lung and urinary infection since June 14. He was 80. He leaves behind his wife and a daughter.
Popularly known as Hiru-da, Bhattacharyya was widely known for using simple words in his poems, through which he could establish direct communication with his readers. He possessed a large vocabulary of simple Assamese words, which is very rare in contemporary Assamese literature. He had to his name 10 anthologies of poems apart from two collection of rhymes for children.
His poems occupied a wide canvas, covering love, patriotism, rebellion, loneliness and humanity which, unlike the work of most poets, also left an unmistakeable mark of hope and optimism.
Born in 1932 in Jorhat, Hiru-da won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992 for his anthology of poems ‘Saichor Pathar Manuh.’ He got the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad award in 1993. He was the poetry editor of the prestigious Assamese fortnightly Prantik for over three decades. For his anthology of poems ‘Sugandhi Pokhila,’ Bhattcharyya won the Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987, the Bishnu Rabha Award of the Asam Sahitya Sabha for the year 1984-85 and the Rajaji Literary Award of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. He was also a recipient of the Assam Valley Literary Award in 2000. He published two collection of rhymes for children, ‘Lora Dhemali’ and ‘Akou Dhemali’.
‘Ancient Gong’ is a collection of English translation of his poems by Professor Pradip Acharya.
‘Death is also an art’
A portion of one of his famous poems is often quoted in Assam in the context of death: “Death is also an art/greedless sculpture carved on the hard rocks of life.”
Pall of gloom
A pall of gloom has descended over the entire State with the demise of this popular and celebrated poet. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Governor J.B. Patnaik led the State in mourning the demise of Hiru-da. A large crowd of his admirers gathered at the hospital and later at his residence, where the body has been laid in state, to pay their tributes. The cremation will take place on Thursday.