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Pioneer Mini Bihuwan designer Gopinath Talukdar passes away

An appreciator of classical music, folk art and theatre, who took an innovative plan to weave Assamese traditional Bihuwan in a mini form, Gopinath Talukdar expired recently at his Eighties. Died after a brief illness on June 25 evening at Dispur Hospital, Talukdar lived in Pathsala, a small town of Barpeta district in western Assam, where he was cremated with Hindu rituals in presence of his family members and well-wishers.

Born in January 9, 1932, Talukdar was the eldest son of Satya Talukdar & Ramanti Talukdar and he had his early education in Pathsala and Howly. Later he shifted to Guwahati and Shillong to complete his IA and BA courses. Talukdar had to abandon his Science stream due to financial constrain and took a part-time job to continue education through night classes. Initially Talukdar had to take care of his brothers and sisters too. After the completion of BA from Saint Anthony College, Shillong in 1955, Talukdar joined in Assam Cooperative Society and retired from the department in 1993 as the Deputy Register.

As a sincere, committed and honest employee, Talukdar earned goodwill from his colleagues. A thinker in nature, Talukdar also tried his hands in cultural plays, writings and handicrafts. Since early Eighties, Talukdar developed a mini form of Bihuwan (6 x 14 sq inches) with the traditional design and motives.

“Initially he (Talukdar) used to send the Mini Bihuwans to the closed relatives and well-whishes. Our leisure time was mostly spent in weaving those pieces. Slowly his initiatives received appreciations from various sections in the society. During the Pathsala session of Asom Sahitya Sabha in 1987, we had opened a stall and where thousands of Mini Bihuwans were sold,” said his bereaved wife Kanika Talukdar remembering the golden days.

It may be mentioned that Bihuwan is recognized as the highest traditional love and respect to somebody in the Assamese society. The traditional Assamese towel, Bihuwan is offered to the dearest one during the Bohag bihu festival celebrated in every spring.

A habituate angler, Talukdar designed the initial emblem of Bajali College of Pathsala. A vivid fan of Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Talukdar himself used to sing and encouraged his daughter and four sons for formal education in classical music. For some time, he taught in Bajali Higher Secondary School, Pathsala too.

A soft spoken gentleman, Talukdar also tried his hands in creative writings and two collections of his poems titled as Samannay and Adhyatmika were published. Many of his creations on spiritual theme were also translated from Assamese into English by himself. Talukdar also entertained the invitations from different organizations and individuals for recitation (reading) of holly volume of Bhagawat in various places. His crisp and clear voices with wisdom added attraction to the devotees and also the general listeners.

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Nava Thakuria's picture

Senior journalist based in Guwahati.

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