From Assam with Love is about all aspects of Assam from the viewpoint of a Proud Assamese.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Assamese Novel Makam by Rita Choudhuri



I was eager to grab a copy of Assamese novel  Makam, since I was quite excited about the latest addition to Assamese literature by Rita Choudhuri, whose earlier Assamese books(novels) like Deo-Langkhui, MohaJibanar Adharshila, Popiya Torar Sadhu, Nayana Sujata toralihot etc were able to create stir in Assamese literature. The latest novel Makam is about the plight of chinese community in Assam and allegedly made Indian govt to rethink about the identity of Chinese community of Assam. So thanks to my little bro who helped me to lay my hands on the hottest Assamese novel for quite some time. Here I want to discuss what Makam is about , how I liked it.
Makam(Makum) is a well-planned, beautifully structured Assamese novel, such clarity of thought along with simple but brilliant expressions of thoughts really deserves appreciation. But  Rita Choudhuri is already a veteran author, in number of her publications though not by age! So it is beyond doubt that while writing this bulky novel, Rita madam has not wasted a single word by planting it without its exact value.

The novel is set up in some layered time-frame almost two and a half decade of time. The balancing act of covering different societies of different periods of history and recreating the lost world of Chinese people in Assam's Makum area is definitely a challenging task, and Rita ma'am has done it efficiently. The heart wrenching description of human-trading in the early British era and the plight of Chinese people in that era is made vivid and credible by the writer.
The life of contract laborers whom British had brought to Assam from different states of India are found in many books and fictions. But I am not sure how many Indian writers have traded the path of finding out the roots of Chinese people in India and taking their cause to give back their rights.

I have not yet finished my first read of Makam, but could not stop writing a vote of thanks to the novelist. It is altogather a different matter what is the future of Makam or the fate of  diaspora of  of chinese people in question for that matter. Because a section of Assamese readers and people are expressing their concern over the development of events after  the novel. And China Govt's aggressive stand in matters related to the Bordering areas of India, I am only affraid that the novel do not aggravate the condition.

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