January 24, 2016

Documentary ‘O Aai, Sai Gaonkhon Koloi Gol?’

Lyricist of the famous Dipali Borthakur song ‘Chenai Moi Jau Dei - Bihute Ahimgoi’, and tuner Kamal Hazarika has been a London resident for well over five decades. Despite living abroad for so many years, the place of his birth figures constantly on his mind. He can never forget his roots, its a permanent part of him. Its like a center of the universe for him. The sheer beauty of the place, it’s people, leaves, trees, flowers, roads, mountains and rivers – all occupy a very special place in his heart and soul. The urge to make a livelihood brought him all along to London. However, no matter where he eventually settled down, his yearning for his beloved little village precedes everything else.

Whenever he got free time from his job, this prolific singer, lyricist, tuner and social worker travels to his place of birth. However, over the years, he has become quite distraught to see several changes taking place in his village. The place of his birth he once cherished has lost much of it’s sheen. It was like a body without soul! The result was a long emphatically written poem titled ‘O Aai, Sai Gaonkhon Koloi Gol?’ Hazarika used to jot down notes of his experiences and thoughts in small pieces of papers while travelling on the rails, buses, and sometimes while taking a stroll between the years 1978 to 1992. These pieces of papers finally found it’s way in the form of a book due to the persistent efforts of his wife Dheera Hazarika (Assam’s first trained woman pilot), who used to hoard these up over the years, as well as Surya Hazarika. This 35-page book of poems published in 1998 is a reflection of his true feelings for his place of birth. It also contains beautiful pictures, making it suitable for children also. Famous historian Benudhar Sarma was astonished by the poem’s profound depth of perception, after listening to a recitation by Kamal Hazarika. He even likened it to a beautiful picture. His encouraging words inspired Hazarika to make a 35-minute-long documentary on his village. Produced under the banner of Dhirkamal Production, this documentary entitled ‘O Aai, Sai Gaonkhon Koloi Gol?’ (Oh Mother, Where has that Village Gone) is directed by noted actor-director Upakul Bordoloi. He also wrote the film’s script.

The frequent yearning for his village, his roots often spares him from loneliness. The film shows Kamal Hazarika reminiscing about his birth place while sitting near the river Thames in London. Bordoloi assembles several of Hazarika’s momentous years in the documentary - the childhood tenderness, a river that flows through the village, a squirrel climbing a tree, flock of birds in flight, birds’ nests, the perennial Kapili river among other things, and at the same time, explores the ravages of modernity, the human condition and complications. Upakul Bordoli also renders a section from Kamal Hazarika’s poem ‘Baatsorar Nongoladorit Sai Balimahiti Koloi Gol, Dhutura Phoolere Bera Di Rokha Sakoni Barikhon Koloi Gol?’, that has been used in parts in the documentary.

This documentary film dedicated in the memory of Kamal Hazarika’s mother Padmawati Hazarika was recently released as a video in the market. The film’s videography has been done by Jatin Nath and Lakhi Nath. The background music is scored by Rajkumar Ravi Das. Editing is done by Sailokyu Pegu (Mohan). Audiography and mixing has been done by Bhaskarjyoti Deka. Luna Hazarika worked as a co-ordinator during the shooting held in London. The camerawork was done by Gregory Mandri (BBC). The sub-titles in English are by Amitabh Agarwala and Loya Agarwala. The voice of Kamal Hazarika’s mother is provided by Rajat Kamal winner at the National Film Competition, Moni Bordoloi. The film’s executive producer is Dheera Hazarika.

Kamal Hazarika will complete 92 years on February 1. A fascinating film that is a pleasure to view, ‘O Aai, Sai Gaonkhon Koloi Gol?’ (Oh Mother, Where has that Village Gone) is highly recommended.


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