Skip to content Skip to navigation

Bihu workshop at Garbhanga Reserve Forest

Maiden Bihu workshop, Garbhanga Reserve Forest - photo by Alex

Very soon the atmosphere of "Rongali Bihu" will be on the air, and hundreds of participants will be flocking in various Bihu dance workshops in the state. However, in a unique development, the dull reserve forest of Garbhanga, in Assam-Meghalaya border has also echoed with the beats of Bihu "Dhol" for the first time, however not enough to bring back the lives of hundreds of trees felled like Michael Jackson's video song "EARTH".

What legs of strength and heart of passion does one needs to repeat and repeat the same Bihu dance steps for more than 6 hours at a stretch? Yes, this is more about passion and grabbing the opportunity that has knocked the village of Jalukpaham, in Garbhanga reserve forest for the first, and the girls know it for sure.For these village teenage girls who have so long spent their time in jhoom cultivation, fetching waters form streams, cooking, washing but hardly know about the outside world and its developing pace. The only fault of these girls is that they were born in Jalukpaham village, in the bordering Assam-Meghalaya border in Garbhanga reserve forest, a place though literally not far from Guwahati city, but the backwardness of this place reminds of the dark days of history.

Its for the first time these few girls of the karbi community have encountered with a Bihu Dance Trainer, Riju Talukdar, who had with all her heart stayed for a week in the village to teach Bihu dance. “It was difficult to teach them because they are too shy and now after a week things are getting better. Says Riju. By next year they will better, I believe, adds the young trainer.

Reema, saily, champa,rita,kaberi have little education and cultural knowledge, however they are very passionate of Bihu dance, thanks to the cheap Chinese mobiles and its video recording and storage functions that have reached the remote village where TV is out of reach because of non electrification. Mobile without SIM cards is the only source of entertainment for many young village folks.Luckily on other side of the border electricity is available for charging Mobiles. However for the fresh bihu dancers twisting their tongues with fluent bihu songs has become a big headache, apart form understanding the rollins and cuts of the Dhol. Yet, the relentless effort put on by a group of few young people form Guwhati, has yielded an average result within limited time. After a gap of a week the fresh dancers were at ease bending their bodies and other postures though at times they get puzzle with the Dhol beats. Make it easy more easier, keeps saying Sanjib Deori to Dhurva Buragohain as both concentrates at the dancers timing and the Dhol beats and the rollings while reharsing Bihu dance steps.

“O JAN Oi, ASOMIYAR RAIJOR UTSAV TINITI,
TINIURE TINITI NAAM, ETI NAM KONGALI,
ETI NAM BHOGALI ARU EITI RONGALI.”

Here goes the introduction as the girls pose singing the tune in a mild and sweet voice, And if everything goes fine they will be performing at a Bihu stage in Kalilipara during Bihu celebration. A very small step towards a new beginning, but will be a big dream for these village girls to perform in Guwahati. "We will dance this time for sure, but we don’t know what will happen next year", says Reema. "May be I will get married", she adds. “Amar eyat sowali bilak hunkale biya hoi jai” (our girls gets married at early age).And this is so common in the village where education is almost at a nil stage in comparison to any town. My daughter got married last year, she was just 12 years old, says , a father who looks still young but his rough skins tells all about his toiling life and helplessness. The same story may very soon reflect the young Bihu dancer’s life, thus a news beginning of their life may soon end with dejection. But, for the timing their happiness, enthusiasm and smile is all that matters.

Author info

Peter Alex Todd's picture

Journalist, musician.

Add new comment

Random Stories

Curfew in Kokrjahar, Sonitpur

24 Dec 2014 - 11:07am | AT News
Simmering tension in Kokrjhar and Sonitpur have forced the authorities to clamp in definite curfew in both the districts where NDFB-S militants killed over 50 Adivasi people in five serial attacks on...

Press Meet on Campaign for Good Governance

23 Mar 2011 - 12:36am | editor
The denigration of the parliamentary democracy by almost all the political parties is a matter of grave concern for all of us. The criminals and corrupt people have thronged the political parties;...

Road shows end

26 Feb 2014 - 4:48pm | AT News
Road shows have come to an end. Rahul Gandhi got rousing response from lakhs of the people on his way from Nagaon to Tezpur on Wednesday afternoon.Sitting on the hood of his car, the Congress vice...

ULFA-I claims I-Day bombing responsibility

16 Aug 2016 - 1:55pm | AT News
The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I) on Tuesday owned up the responsibility of the serial explosions when the state joined the country wide Independence Day on Monday. In a statement, ULFA-I...

Other Contents by Author

Following a week-long inspection tour of the six venues chosen for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, and with less than 200 days to go until the footballing talents of the future compete on the pitch, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have released the official match schedule and unveiled the tournament slogan. The tournament will start in New Delhi and Navi Mumbai with the first double headers being held on 6 October. The quarter-finals will be in Goa, Guwahati, Kochi and Kolkata, while Guwahati and Navi Mumbai will host the semi-finals. The final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 will be held in Kolkata’s iconic Salt Lake Stadium.
Prominent layers, human rights activities goverment officials of India and Myanmar rubbed shoulders recently at Myanmar where they fine tuned a slew of measures to firmly deal with human trafficcking. The culsultation was held to establish a standard operating procedure (sop) on providing, assistance & protection to victims of trafficking in human beings at Naypyi Taw on June 16-18 and Yangon, Myanmar on June 18-20. The Indo-Myanmar Consultation on developing Standard Operating Procedure to address Cross Border Human Trafficking was participated by Law Enforcement Agencies of the two countries to view and resolve the challenges of assisting human trafficking survivors and those who...
There is rare dose of good news for the AIDS patients on the planet. Courtesy Dr Dhaniram Baruah. After many years of intense research, the genetic engineer claimed to have cured the dreaded disease. That too with only five injections.Dr Baruah on Wednesday paraded before the media Vijender Singh, who revealed that he is out of danger. The middle aged man from Haryana claimed recovery after he was attended by the controversial genetic engineer. Dr. Baruah further got released two volume of his epoch making books on AIDS Reaching the Unreachable with Baruah Combat Genes” by Vijender Vijendra Singh told reporters that some seven years back he had come to know about Dr. Baruah and...
Assam buys yet another bad name. A farmer died after self-immolation attempt in Dispur on Monday. That too because of land patta. The man in the centre of shock is Pramode Boro. The 45 year old carpenter by profession from Gorchuk took this extreme and unprecedented step sending shockwaves across the state. It was on Monday. The clock struck at 9-50. All of a sudden, he got down from a vehicle in front of Dispur state secretariat. Immediately after landing in the public place, Pramod whose dress was wet with kerosene set himself on fire with the match he had in his pocket in full view of the security forces. Immediately after it blazing fire engulfed him entirely. Blankets and water were...
Following the hue and cry after media reporting on the death of a woma at Lakhimpur with as "rape and murder" media,s own conclusion before the official report had not only tarnish the image of the state but has forced to ask the credibility of the Media, especially the National media, however not generalising all the National or local media. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that " Every News paper has a responsibility, without verifying one should make sensational news, they can wait for a day, this sensational news creates distrust,leads to violence, so media or anybody should not come to conclusion without verifying the fact,particular responsible people of the nation, i am...
Assam produces 55% of India's total tea production. However, producers of Assam tea do not sell their tea through the Guwahati Tea auction centre which is a big concern for Assam tea. "We are giving agriculture subsidy of 6% and levying only 0.5 % Tax, yet the tea producers are not selling tea from Guwahati Tea Auction Centre", said Industry Minister Pradyut Bordoloi, at a press conference on Tuesday held at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. The industry department has been trying to woo producers to sell their tea through the GTAC, so that the standard of the Assam tea can be judged and thus promoting Assam tea.The GTAC was established in 1970, with lots of aspirations for Assam Tea, but...
BJP's National spokesperson Tarun Vijay  addressed a press conference in Guwahati on Tuesday, where he said that the city of Guwahati and Shillong should be developed as a International knowledge hub of Science and Technology for East Asia and South East Asia. Vijay stated that the pool of talents of North Eastern states have not been given bigger platform nor infrastructure in sports and education by the Government for so long. As a result, there is huge drainage of talents to different parts of the country. Many young people due to lack of platform chooses the wrong path. "I want that all political party should come together leaving behind their political ideas for infrastructure...
The Narengi Army public school in Guwahati, will soon a have a full fledged football stadium in the Name of "Bir Chilarai", the great general of the 15th Century Koch dynasty.The foundation stone of the stadium in the Army School premises on Saturday, was laid by General G S Chima, HQ 51, who is also the patron of the school. Along with was present Indrajeet Saikia, the President of Koach Yuba Chatra Parishad. On this occasion a book on Bir Chilarai was also released.Speaking to the gathering of students the general had asked the students to read about Bir Chilarai, who know for his fast movement the prey bird "Kite", He added " I am aware that football runs in the blood of the people of...
An Indian Army contingent of 160 member landed in Guwahati Airport on Thursday after ending a 10-day-long joint military exercise with the Chinese counterpart. Brigadier D S Shisodia, who led the team for the joint anti-terrorism training exercise at Miaergong of Sinchuan Province, southwest of China, said that it was good experience all together with professional interaction and good training on counter terrorism It will boost the relation of the two nations. "I hope it will promote regional tranquility along the border and improve mutual trusts". He added.Code-named 'Hand-in-Hand 2013', the joint training session included demonstration of weapons, physical training, handling IED, exchange...
May it be insurgency, rebel groups or their factions, everyone now seems to be getting more into amassing funds rather than anything serious. Bargaining for peace seems away from finding the light at the end of the tunnel.What eludes people in general is whether all the peace deals come to an fruitful end. If experts are to be believed there is a long way to go and the new groups are more into money-making.“They are all bunch of goons and thus there is no point talking to these factional groups”, said Wasbir Hussain, at a seminar entitled “Peace Audit North East”, held in Guwahati jointly organized by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi and the Centre for...