Neelim Akash Kashyap
Every year, February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to love and lovers. Starting from February 7, the consequent days as celebrated as – Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day and at last, Valentine’s Day is celebrated. Many, like me, believe that we don’t need a special time to fall in love. Love is not limited to a specific time, hour, minute, or second. Even if we don’t say ‘I love you’ everyday to our beloveds, we may always feel it – from the core of our hearts.
We celebrate Valentine’s Day to honour the Christian martyr Saint Valentine. There are also many iconic couples of Assam who are not any less than Saint Valentine. Whenever we turn the pages of history, evergreen couples like Joymoti-Godapani, Panoi-Janki, Usha-Aniruddha will remain evergreen. Can we ever forget the sacrifice that Joymoti underwent for Godapani, or the love Panoi and Janki had for each other? Chitralekha had drawn a picture of Aniruddha, the one Usha had seen in her dream and considered him as his lover – a story of one-sided love.
There are also many memorable modern-day love stories in Assam, the bond between singer Dwipen Baruah and Syeda Jyotshna Rahman, who, after 20-odd years of their relationship, set on the lifetime bond of marriage, remains unforgettable. Similarly, the story of artist couple Dipali Barthakur and Neel Pawan Baruah, is a unique story of love.
In short, their love stories are not any less than that of Dante-Beatrice, Laila-Majnu, or Shahjahan-Mumtaz. I have written a novel in Assamese on the timeless love story of Neel Pawan Baruah and Dipali Barthakur, named Xonor Kharu-Kalijar Chaa. After being diagnosed with motor neuron disease, Dipali Barthakur lost her voice for life but, shortly after, Neel Pawan Baruah married her, showing his respect for their love. Can we also show respect for their evergreen love and lifetime sacrifice?