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Paramananda Raj Bongshi
Raj Bongshi (born March 1, 1958) is Head of Department of
Assamese, Pragjyotish College, Guwahati (Assam). He has to his credit
seven books of fiction, five books of drama, four books of literary
criticism and folk literature. He edited several literary journals.
The Love Ballad of Farmud
Dr. Paramananda Rajbongshi (Assam)
Farmud goriya, the short statured man lived in the locality of Kanaisuba. It was said so, because Kanai, who was a Gosain converted to Islam and hence the name. The village was situated close to the western side of Mohanpur the capital kingdom of Darrang. The king of Darrang during the battle of Pandughat made good way Mughals his captives. He helped Lachit Borphukan and brought them to his kingdom. A good number of the Mughol soldiers were sold to the local people as slaves, popularly called the Mughal besa. Some of them were made to settle down close to the palace of Mohanpur at Kanaisuba. In this particular place lived a poor old lady Hurmoti \Nlth her only support, Farmud goriya.
Farmud goriya was a bearded man, who performed dhek, a special custom of the wedding ceremony where one party tried to win over the other through the means of a distinctive and characteristic act of singing. This is the main source of Hurmoti’s anxiety. This unfortunate boy is totally deprived of his parents’ love when the latter on their way to Puwamecca perished in the midst of the river and never returned back. Hurmoti was grief-stricken and her tears never seemed to cease.
That simple fellow from Ghour in the pretext of fighting a battle ultimately settled in the locality of Kanaichuba He even promised to stand by her through the thick and thin and with this assurance Oadir even married her and consequently Fatema was born. The baby was gradually springing up but Qadir was nowhere on the scene. This tiny little flower matured into an adult and was also married and turned me a grandmother but Qadir goriya did not return even today.
That unfaithful man may surely be enjoying the warmth of the bosom of his mistress in his own country.
May be he was already married while coming to this country on his mission. He cheated me with his sweet words thus making my body.
The family of Hurmoti turned a deaf ear to her after the latter got married to Muslim. The only thing that inspired Hurmoti to go on with her life and provided her with respite was her lone grandson Farmud who was the apple of her eye.
Unlike his father and grandfather Farmud will never betray me and would definitely look after me. All of you must keep this in mind and just watch.
Hurmoti’s firm belief made her heave a sigh of great relief. A pair of dove sitting over the roof of the big room flew away on the slightest noise made by the old lady.
Hurmoti was awake even till the midnight. She made it a habit to wait till the arrival of Farmud, who generally arrived late at night after performing at the wedding ceremony.
Farmud goriya had brought honour to his village by his expertise in executing the dhek. Whether Farmud played in favour of the bride or the bridegroom party, the defeat of his opponent was inevitable. Hurmoti swells in pride like a frying jalebi and reiterated that Farmud would be able to please the rain god one day through his music.
Some day he would be able to make the clouds play on music and would be choreographed by lightening, to his tune at midnight.
This poor lady bursts out, often accused by her family of committing the grievous crime by marrying a man from a different community. Looking towards paternal home she raised her voice and shrieked.
“One day my grandson would bring rain to this earth and make lightening dance with it.”
Hurmoti did never reveal her internal feelings, fearing that people would laugh at her back. She deliberately suppressed her grief and stopped the teardrops from rolling down. In her distress Hurmoti’s family fully ignored her. No one had come to her rescue when her husband had left; her daughter and son-in-law drowned.
Farmud is your grandson, but you didn’t seem to acknowledge it also. You are the people who brought Kadir goriya construct the house. Owing to financial trouble and the scars left behind by pox prevent anyone from marrying me. I was already over 30 and ot a dunce approached me. Even my body is made of flesh and blood. If Kadir goriya had not touched my body I would have remained a virgin throughout my life. Furthermore, I am not living with a beast. Is not Kadir goriya a man like us with all human emotions and passions ?
In what name you
call me; you glutton
In whichever name you call me.
Sitting under the tent
Suddenly the cracking sound of Hurmoti’s bed ceased.
Yes this is the voice of my Farmud. Now the groom has reached the house of the headman Mozammil whose daughter is to be married. That means Farmud is playing on behalf of the groom’s side. I did not understand why he had to utter the word leopard.
One day Hurmoti happened to hear a part of a conversion of the village folk. She was in a state of trance when Hurmoti overheard people discussing the body of Poji; her son-in-law was lying by the riverside. Some of the men could even see his dead body being taken away by a leopard. After the boat capsized Fatema was washed away by the water while the leopard….. Poji;s body. Strong and powerful Poji happened to kill the cub of a leopard oneday that had entered their village. From the midnight of that eventful incident the villagers of Kanaisuba could often hear the roaring of the tigers from the Gadheni jungle situated nearby. People talked that the voices were that of the parents whose offspring Poji had killed. So Poji was….. by the leopard !
Hurmoti at once rose from her bed, arranging her pateni properly. The kerosene lamp blazing over her head was burning in a pallid manner, which she lifted up on her left hand and took hold of a machete, which was stuck in on the mud wall and marched, ahead towards the site of marriage. She wanted to escort Farmud. On the way she would take assurance from him never to utter the sound—leopard.
Lone hope of Hurmoti
Delivers dhek at wedding night
But could not captivate anyone.
This was the way companions like Mazid, Tarun, Tomzid etc. usually taunted him. Except Farmud goriya each and every one has a companion. Farmud in this regard made to comment but simply laughed privately. It was not that easy to captivate the hearts of the fair sex. Ager all she had to be liked by him. In other words she must succumb to his charms.
All of a sudden Farmud slipped away from his pre-conceived notion. While giging performance in the wedding ceremony of daughter of the Farid, the village schoolmaster of Rangamati, he happened to come under the spell of an amazing beauty. He was accompanied by his group, which included Mazid, Motib, Tomzid and others. She had long hairs and her slim and slender waistline had been enhanced through the beautifully raised bosom wrapeped in the chader-mekhela. Throughout the marriage she was next to the bride just as the moon and the stars.
O the moon of sky
Stars always follow you
O my love here is a banana yard
O my love there is a banana yard
In between passes the Japanese lane
O my love through the Japanese lane
My love motor rides
Inside the motors
The young lady was at her best in singing the marriage song and made Farmud realize that he was the main person whom she was addressing. Farmud’s mind got agitated and he could not understand the reason behind his substandard performance. He was hopelessly under the magic spell of the dame who had captured his soul.
After the marriage ceremony was over Farmud on his way home and was followed by his companions; when he suddenly noticed that the girl was following them along with a little boy. Farmud nearly died of shame seeing her. His friends marked the developments and they stopped in a quiet place. Standing face to face was the bright moon that had come down to this earth to seize permanently sleep from poor Farmud’s eyes. In a hurry Tomzid asked, “Who are you ? Where are you going ?” The girl without much hesitation told him that she had come to meet them. Furthermore she said that she was the only daughter of Gohin Kalita of Bezpara. The boy with her was her brother. She had actually come to attend the marriage ceremony of her best friend; who was the daughter of the village schoolmaster Farid; and now she was heading towards home. She eloquently went on saying that her name was Pamela. She further added that a long cherished dream of her had been accomplished when she witnessed Farmud goriya performing live last night. Farmud regained his senses when the little girl suddenly vanished into the thick mist.
denounced him for winning the heart of a charming Hindu girl. Her figure was as
emollient as that of a fish, and as soft as that of cream. Her flock oif hair
resembled that of the fanlike tail of a peacock. Really she was not lett than
Noorjahan, the queen of Shahjahan.
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