Other States

Story of a heritage house, illustrious occupants

House of the Baruas in Guwahati.  

An almost 100-year-old house in Guwahati facing an iconic field has yielded 29 Assamese films, eight actors, four movie directors, three singers, two composers, two Ranji Trophy-playing cricketers, a footballer and a politician.

This house and its illustrious occupants are being chronicled in a feature-length documentary planned for release in 2022 when the expansive Assam-type structure enters its 100th year of existence.

Pond filled up

A young Assamese group from central Guwahati’s Uzan Bazar area had in the early 1900s filled up a pond to establish Latasil Field. It helped the nationalists kill two birds with one stone – ensure space for the locals to pursue sports and send a message to the British who had barred the locals from playing on the Judges’ Field to the west, beyond the Gauhati High Court.

On the eastern side of Latasil Field stands the House of Baruas, constructed in 1923 with a mix of materials sourced locally as well as imported from the U.K. The story of the house is being told through ‘Baruar Xongxar’ (Barua’s Family), an Assamese documentary.

“The Baruas are the only family in Assam, and perhaps in India, that has produced so many noted personalities in fields as diverse as cinema, music, sports and politics. The idea behind the film is to audio-visually document the family’s contributions to these fields and present it before the world,” the film’s director Utpal Borpujari said.

Apt tribute

The first schedule of the shooting of the film has been completed, and the second and final schedule will be done around May-June. “Launching the film when the House of Baruas enters its 100th year will be an apt tribute to the family,” Nayan Prasad, one of a quartet of producers said.

The House of Baruas was constructed by engineer Chandranath Barua of Bihdiya village near Guwahati. The house became associated with arts and culture in 1955 when family member Nip Barua directed the film Smitir Parax (‘Touch of Memory’). He was a footballer, flautist and painter besides being a filmmaker.

The house has been home to some of Assam’s most famous personalities such as filmmaker-actor-musician Brajen Barua, singer-turned-composer Ramen Barua, filmmaker Dibon Barua, cricketer turned singer Dipen Barua, cricketer-pilot-entrepreneur-politician Girin Barua and radio broadcaster Niren Barua.

Girin Barua, who captained the Assam cricket team in the Ranji Trophy, had been a leader of the anti-foreigners Assam Agitation of 1979-85 and had formed the now-defunct Asom Jatiyatabadi Dal.

Some of the Assamese blockbuster films that the Barua family produced included Dr. Bezbarua, Ajoli Nabow, Toramai and Kokadeuta Nati aru Hati.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had played the nati (grandson) commandeering the hati (elephant) in the film.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 17, 2021 6:51:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/story-of-a-heritage-house-illustrious-occupants/article34286293.ece

Next Story