GUWAHATI, July 4 � Hiren Bhattacharjya was a unique talent of Assamese poetry. He is one of the major Assamese poets of our time. The news of his death is a great shock for me, said noted poet Nilamoni Phukan.
�Hiren Bhattacharjya is one of the best Assamese poets of the contemporary age. But above all, he had a unique inimitable personality. The pain that has been resulted from his death has two aspects for me. One of them is related with the public life � our society has lost one of the extraordinary poets and thoughtful personality. The other one � I have lost a friend with whom I was associated for the past about 60 years, said noted folklorist and former president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Dr Birendranath Datta�. But, Dr Datta maintained, Hiren Bhattacharjya will remain alive with his numerous witty remarks, and poetic works.
Noted poet Harekrishna Deka described Hiren Bhattacharjya as one of the architects of modern Assamese literature. �His poems have given Assamese poetry a new dimension. His poems are the bridge between romanticism and modernity. The thematic contents of most his poems are romantic but they are expressed in a modern manner. His reliance on the modern way of expressions has restrained his emotions.
�He has penned Assam�s natural setting in a vibrant manner. The nature painted by Hiren Bhattacharjya may be compared with the nature painted by Bangla poet Jibanananda Das. Both of them have painted nature in a sensuous manner.
�Rhythms of Bhattacharjya �s poems come out lyrically, while their synergy come out through synesthesia.
�Hiren Bhattacharjya is undoubtedly one of the best poets of the modern Assamese poetry, which started in the Jonaki era�, said Deka.
Noted litterateur and theatre personality Arun Sarma described Hiren Bhattacharjya as one of his school day friends. Though junior to him (Sarma), because of their association that started in the Parijat Sangha in the 1940s at Tezpur, the difference of age became obliterated. Hiren Bhattacharjya started writing poems at the Parijat Sangha, Sarma said.
�When I sat beside him and used to listen to the words or the verses pouring out from him, it seemed that Hiren Bhatta himself became an embodiment of a long poem I was reading,� said the noted theatre personality.
�His commitment towards Assamese language, literature and society was at the core of his creativity. He loved people the most and his concern towards the people is the main theme of his writings. Though not known much, he also had a significant command over prose. He could write prose in a similar eloquent and poignant manner in which he could mould his poetic works. His death has snatched away a very warm companion from me�, said Sarma.
Noted critic and translator of some of Hiren Bhattacharjya �s poems Pradip Acharya said, �Bhattacharjya popularized modern poetry and made it accessible to the people. He could attain universal fame by writing in his mother tongue, such was the power of his poetry�.
Personally, Acharya said, he is feeling lonely as he had a long and deep association with Bhattacharjya .
Noted writer and journalist Dr Sivanath Barman described Hiren Bhattacharjya as a simple person, who was always one among the commoners. �Though he used to write poems on serious themes, by nature he was humorous. He was somewhat bohemian too. He loved sports and used to read the sports page of the newspapers with keen interest and he never posed himself to be a learned man.
�The lyrical character of his poems made them popular�, said Dr Barman.
Terming Bhattacharjya as a colossus, academician and playwright, Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury said that a poem had come to an end with his death but the poet in Hiru-da would live through his words and continue to �enthuse us with hope and optimism�. He said that Hiru-da showed the way to the new generation to think differently.
Veteran journalist and author Kanak Sen Deka said that among the modern Assamese poets, Bhattacharjya stood out for his humanism and romanticism in his works. �Simplicity was his forte as manifested not just in his creations but in his persona as well. The new generation of poets has lost a stalwart and a path-breaker,� he said, adding that this endeared him to the masses.
Author and president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Rong Bong Terang said that his poems represented contemporary society in its myriad hues and was redolent with artistic charms. �As a man also he represented many a virtue, and was equally popular with all the tribes of Assam,� he said.
Singer Zubeen Garg, who had a close association with Hiru-da having sung a number of his lyrics, termed him as the �immortal classic modern poet in Assamese poetry.�
�Even his Bangla poetry was unique, and I am blessed by his presence and inspiration in my life. He will live forever in my conscious mind�long live great Hiru-da,� Zubeen said.
All Assam Students� Union adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya termed Bhattacharjya�s death as an irreparable loss and said that his legacy would continue to endure and inspire generations to come.
Author Anuradha Sarma Pujari, while describing Hiru-da�s death as a huge void that would be next to impossible to fill, said that one should take solace in the unparalleled contributions made by the poet. �An all-pervasive emptiness has engulfed us with his death�,� she said.
Singer Apurba Bezbaruah who lent his voice to many lyrics penned by Hiru-da, said, �The State has lost a great literary figure�and this is a personal loss for me as well�.
The Kamarupa Anusandhana Samiti, the All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association, the Assam Chamber of Commerce, the Sabita Sabha, Guwahati, former president of the Asom Sattra Mahasabha president Bhadra Krishna Goswami, have also mourned the death of Hiren Bhattacharjya . The publishers and book sellers� body has decided to keep close all the book shops of the State tomorrow in honour of Bhattacharjya. Assam Trinamool Congress has also mourned the death of the noted poet.