GUWAHATI, June 25 � Noted critic Dr Hiren Gohain mourned the demise of Saurabh Kumar Chaliha as a great loss for the world of Assamese literature. �Saurabh Kumar Chaliha is perhaps the greatest contemporary authors of the short story in India today. His passing away makes us aware of the enormous
difference he had made to the art of the Assamese short story,� he said.
�Single handed, Chaliha brought about a revolution in technique and content of the short story, departing from the traditional human interest type of stories to stories filled with the tensions and ambiguities of the modern self and through such tensions and ambiguities, expressed in an inward-directed language, he also held up a deep longing of modern man for a lost harmony of existence,� Dr Gohain said.
All the accomplished modern short story writers in Assamese of the following generation have been called up by the power of his genius and they all feel deeply indebted to him, said the noted critic.
Prof Ranjit Dev Goswami said, �Perhaps for quite a long time we would not come across such a level of creativity that Chaliha could accomplish. His stories were unique. Our senior generations treated him to be an elitist, as he was quite different from his predecessors.
�He shaped his language to suit the contemporary scenario. He departed significantly from the traditional approach. His stories reflected an extra ordinary sensitivity of a modern man with an urbane, cosmopolitan outlook. We are fortunate enough that we had such a litterateur among us. He had the power in his language to stir the souls of his readers,� said Prof Goswami.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi deeply mourned the death of Saurabh Kumar Chaliha and in a condolence message described Chaliha as one of the bright stars of Assamese literature. Chaliha demonstrated unparalleled abilities in penning short stories which enriched Assamese literature. His death is an irreparable loss for the State, Gogoi said and extended his sympathies to the members of his bereaved family. The Chief Minister also announced that an amount of Rs 50,000 would be borne by the Government from the Chief Minister�s Relief Fund to meet part of the expenses incurred for Chaliha�s treatment.
Filmmaker Altaf Mazid, who made two films � one portraying the world outlook of Saurabh Chaliha and titled Lakhtokiat Golam and the other Bhal Khabar, based on an article of the same name penned by Chaliha, described Chaliha as a great genius. �Chaliha�s writings have the magic to enchant his readers. We the members of his fan society are trying to translate all his works into English, Bengali, Hindi and German primarily for www.sauravkrchaliha.org, he said.
He also informed that already 15 of Chaliha�s stories have been translated into English and these stories, along with 28 other short stories of Chaliha in original Assamese, have been uploaded in the website, which was launched on January 1 this year. Mazid is the president of the fan society.
The AASU and the North East Students� Organisation have mourned the death of Chaliha and extended sympathy to the members of his bereaved family.