JORHAT, April 22 - A book on the unedited and unpublished stories of eminent Sahitya Akademi Award-winner short story writer of yester-years, Late Sneha Devi was released at a solemn function held this afternoon at the auditorium of Jorhat Science Centre and Planetarium by distinguished educationist and writer-cum-former president of Sadou Asom Lekhika Samaroh Samity Binita Dutta.
The book named Anabritayon, edited and compiled by Late Rekha Barooah, a niece of Sneha Devi, is a compilation of 17 stories, with 15 written by Devi and the other two unfinished stories completed by Barooah.
The book, published by Jorhat-based Sabda Publications, has a foreword written by renowned writer and former Asam Sahitya Sabha President Dr Nagen Saikia.
Speaking on the occasion, Dutta while paying glowing tributes to Sneha Devi, said the Late short story writer holds a notable position in the realm of Assamese short story writing due to her �lucid, meaningful and thoughtful style of writing�. She said that Dr Saikia has very aptly chosen the unusual name of the book � Anabritayon � meaning unfurling of the veil of a woman from her head, in Assamese.
Stating that Sneha Devi, who studied only till Class-V, is a great source of inspiration for upcoming writers as she (Devi) despite not having formal education went on to become a quality writer due to her inherent talent and �close and minute observations� of life.
Dutta said that Sneha Devi who belonged to the Ramdhenu era of Assamese literature, could touch the hearts of the readers due to her careful and minute observations of people�s lives, and especially the challenges the womenfolk faced in various ways. She said the humanist angle was always found in Sneha Devi�s stories.
Dutta said that though the stories in Anabritayon were written about 70 years back, they were relevant in present-day society too, besides having a universal appeal.
Paying tributes to Late Rekha Barooah, whose paternal aunt was Sneha Devi, Dutta said that Barooah herself was a writer par excellence, who admittedly drew inspiration from her aunt.
Complementing Barooah for her painstaking efforts and her quality work in finding the unpublished stories of Sneha Devi and then compiling them for publication, Dutta said it was �very unfortunate� that Barooah passed away a few years before the book was published.
She said Rekha Barooah has not only compiled the15 completed stories of Sneha Devi well, but in a very fitting manner completed the remaining unfinished stories by keeping the spirit and tenor of Sneha Devi alive. Dutta also praised Barooah for her quality as a �good human being� in her dealings with other people.
Earlier, educationist and retired Principal of the State Council of Education Research and Training, Assam (Jorhat) campus, Dr Nirmala Sarmah, who was guest of honour on the occasion, gave a presentation on the life of Rekha Barooah and recollected her personal association with her.
She said Barooah, who had spent her early years with her aunt Sneha Devi at Naharkatia, had imbibed the qualities of Sneha Devi, who inspired her to write. She said Barooah first wrote an article at an early age after she saw some birds flying, and the same was published in an Assamese newspaper.
Sarmah said Rekha Barooah was actively involved in social work as she assisted her husband Late Anil Kumar Barooah, a tea planter and member of the Lions Club of Jorhat. She said Barooah was a compassionate woman who managed family chores very well and was known for her fine organising skills.
She said Barooah was also deeply associated with Lakhimi Sangha, a women�s organisation and was one of the key members in organising cooking and flower show competitions by Lioness wing of Lions Club.
Gayatri Borpujari, the daughter of Rekha Barooah, while recollecting her experiences with her mother, offered the vote of thanks.