Thu, 29 Nov 2012 12:40:13 GMT

Indira ''Mamoni'' Goswami disliked some elements of Ramayana!



New Delhi, Nov 29 (PTI) Did you know that the late author Indira Goswami, who went by her pen name Mamoni Raisom Goswami and considered an authority on Ramayana literature, did not like some elements of the epic initially?
"Travelling with Words", a documentary by Delhi-based filmmaker Violet Barman on the Assamese litterateur, who died last year on this day, brings to light many such interesting facets of Goswami''s life.

The 2000 Jnanpith Award winner, who taught Modern Indian Languages at Delhi University, did not like episodes in the Ramayana like Sita''s banishment, Suparnakha''s disfigurement by Lakshman and Bali being stabbed in the back.

However, later on, when she met Camille Bulcke, a Belgian Jesuit missionary in India and a famous Hindi scholar, and her teacher Upendra Chandra Lekharu, she realised that the things she didn''t like were actually interpolation of the epic.

Then she began to understand the real essence of the Ramayana. She began reading regional Ramayanas presented in different languages and started participating in a number of international Ramayana conferences and read papers on the subject. She also delivered lectures on the epic at various institutions - both in India and abroad.

Besides, she chaired several sessions at international conferences on the Ramayana and was recieved the International Tulsi Award by Florida International University for her book, "Ramayana: From Ganga To Brahmaputra".

The 29-minute documentary in Assamese with English sub- titles has interviews with Goswami and other people related to her life and works. Violet Barman began the shooting in 2010.

"The film was shot both in Guwahati and Delhi. It was completed about three months before Mamoni baideo''s death. I gave her a DVD but could not get her feedback as she fell ill," says Barman.

After suffering a cerebral stroke in February last year, Goswami was brought to a hospital in Gurgaon but later taken back to Guwahati.

The film has been screened at many institutions and festivals like ISFFI Chennai, DBICA and JDCA Documentary fest in Bhubaneswar. .

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