Aita Tumi Jerengar
Koka Deuta Mejengar
Tamul Kati, Tantot Lagi Hola Burhi-Ai
Aamar Xewa Lua Ai
Beleg Thaiu Dekha Nai
Ehat Dighal Oranite Thakila Lukai…..
The artist, lyricist , composer – I can remember none. But I still remember the song to most extent although it has been a decade and half since I heard it last. I haven’t been listening to radio since than. Broadcasted from the All India Radio, Dibrugarh centre, it was a song I always enjoyed listening to, and when the first time I heard it(may be at the age of 5/6 years), I thought the song was based on our very own Aita. Aita was also born in a village adjacent to Jerenga Pothar . Although Koka did not belong to Mejenga, somehow he was related to that place. Aita was a typical example of rural Assamese woman by look, voice, the way she talks, the way she lives her life – in short by nature. Mother of three daughters and four sons, Aita managed her big family very efficiently and lived a very simple and peaceful life along with Koka.
As I look back today, I see that I have spent a major part of my childhood time with my Aita. As a toddler I was quite unmanageable (I was a real crier and screamer, they say), and often my mother would get fed up and thrust me on the lap of Aita. And what a cozy place it was ! I would immediately fall asleep as I silently listened to the melodies of Aita’s “Nichukoni geet”. Even as I was growing up, it was my habit to sleep with Aita although sometimes I had to bear with her scolding as often I used to wet her bed during night.
On the summer evenings, she would spread out her “Pati” on the courtyard and start singing some verses of “Kirtan-Ghokha” or “Naam-Ghokha”. We the grandchildren would rush and harass her with our never-ending demands for telling “Xadhu”. She would use a “Bichoni” with one hand to give us a tranquillizing breeze of air as she starts telling “Xadhu Kotha” in her own unique style. With a starry sky over our heads and dim moonlight round the corners, she led us to a whole new world of dreams and imagination on “Pokhiraj Ghonra” . All her “Xadhu” would invariably end up with one dramatic dialogue –“ Tarpisot? Tarpisot Amaru Kapur Kani Kola Hol, Aami Ghoroloi Ghuri Aahilu..”. Children would never be content and urge her for telling another one, and she would start again. One after another, then another – all kinds of “Xadhu”s. She was just an inexhaustible store of “Xadhu Kotha”.
She had this magic on her hands. Anything she cooks, however simple it is, it tastes so delicious. I won’t forget the taste of her dishes – “Masor Tenga”, “ Khar”, “Dhekia-Aloo Bhaja”, “Pura Goroi Masor Pitika” and so on…. Those are just invaluable and I know that I shall never get an opportunity to savor the taste again in my life.
Aita is still there among us though old age has overcome her exuberance of life. Illiterate but wise, poor but happy, she is proud to see her descendants progress in life with success. She feels a completeness within herself being a successful and loving mother as well as grandmother. She won’t tell a “Xadhu” anymore or prepare a dish . But , Aita, I still love you. You are in my heart. And I wish you be with me till the end of my life.
I want to sing every morning – Aita Tumi Jerengar…