Abdus Sattar –
Syeed Abdul Malik is a committed Assamese writer. Nearly all the genres of literature have been cultivated by him. People living in the lower strata of society have been paid much importance by him by presenting their lives psycho-analytically. The problems faced by women, Malik’s biographical aspects and his love for the Assamese language has also received equal importance in the present topic.
Syeed Abdul Malik is a popular name in the pearl house of Assamese Literature. He has contributed a lot to the Assamese people penning down nearly in all the genres of literature. He wrote short story, Poetry, drama, child-literature, Essays Research works, and humorous literature and so on. The touch of Malik’s hand in any genre of literature has made him an unchallenged composer of songs of human beings, highly appreciated not only in his life time but the days to come. Malik’s position as a contributor of Assamese literature comes just after Lakhsmi Nath Bez Baruah and Atul Chandra Hazarika. Among all his literary compositions, short stories and novels have got large number of readers. The number of his novels is more than 50, the collection of short story is 20, the number of drama is 16, the collection of story for children is two and books on poetry are 5.
Malik’s literary composition is immeasurable because of the varieties which he handled. He speaks of the people, he speaks for the people and he speaks of the ever green nature. The themes of his writing are spread out from the earth to the clouds in the sky, from the heart of an adolescent girl to the unemployed adult, or from the sorrow and suffering of village life to the unexpressed agony of a modern prostitute. He speak for the poor, the down- trodden, the have nots and stands as a voice for the voiceless and hopeless. If literature is considered as the mirror of a society, Malik’s literature is perhaps the best mirror in reflecting the Assamese society in all its varieties. Extreme emotional expression is the chief feature of his compositions. His main purpose is to give expression of inner feelings in emotional varieties of people. The unearthed mystery of man’s mind and their psycho-analysis can be found in his writings. Malik’s poem, ‘My Heaven’ gives us the glimpse of mystery behind his writings:
“Life is with memory and hope
Life is an exploration of peace
It is as good as the Heaven.
This is my Heaven
Lovely,,deadly,smile and warm tears
Daily flying with love and welfare here
The dust of the Heaven.
I am a child of this world
I love the worldly Heaven
I love the love of this earth.
The Almighty is in that world,and
Here lies the ecstasy of heart.
………………… I am connecting
Link between them.”
[Trans., Mine, my Heaven, lines (115-126)]
The truth behind the creation of Malik is his love. Malik is a lover of life, a worshipper of mankind, and above all a worshipper of the nature. He looks at life with inner eyes and hearty sympathy. To Malik, the plunderers, the thieves, the docoits, the prostitutes, and the criminals are not the citizens of underworld but the co-passengers of our worldly journey to the path of eternity. This portrait of human life with sympathy is the greatest contribution of Malik of Assamese literature.
In the world of Assamese Novel, Syeed Abdul Malik is an unchallenged and popular name. In most of his novels, he is committed to the people about whom he speaks and writes. There is no dearth of examples to prove his excellency as a committed novelist in the sphere of Assamese novel. The novels which have immortalized his name are “Rup Tirthar Yatri” “ Jia Jurir Ghat”,Aryanna Devata” “Parash Moni” Shil Aru Shika” “Matir Saki” “Suraj Mukhir Swapna” Aghari Atmar Kahini” “ Dhanya Nartanu Bhal” Adharshila and so On.
With a view to reflect the elemental human feelings, Malik paid his importance to the village life in Assam which gave him unending source of love, gratification, mutual understanding and fellow-feelings.He gets easy to live at ‘Naharani, his own village, Malik’s famous novel “Suraj Mukhir Swapna” was written on the basis of village life.There is virtually no difference between the life style of Naharani life and the life lived on the bank of river Dhanshiri. The scenery of Dalim, and the people of Dalim are all honest. Gulash,Chenimai,Koahi,Tora are all the villagers living near Naharani.They may be poor, but they are not heartless;no brutality is in them.They are the soldiers of endless struggle of life.
Malik’s deft expression makes his readers to think, the emotional feelings underlying his story is lively and universal. These are meant not simply for short moment but give a lasting effect to the whole life.
The problems faced by our mother’s community have got a psycho-analytical treatment in his novels. His novel ‘Matir Saki’ is basically about one hero and four female characters and “Annya Akash and Annya Tora” is about one male character and three female characters. His great novel ‘Adhar Shila’ is also about male and female relationship where a large number of women come to the life of the hero
The moment when Malik portrays the character of women, the picture of illegal physical relation, and the picture of prostitution find their best expression. His character ‘Rita’ (Shonali Shutare Bhadha) ‘Apara’ (Aghori Atmar Kahini), ‘Chenimai’(Suraj Mukhir Swapna)’ Sonpahi’(Adhar Shila) and many others who make physical relation with male under situational compulsion and need. He brings out much untold truth through the psycho-analysis of the characters.
‘Jaya ’(Matir Saki) becomes socially outcaste because of being the mother of Joba, a child without a legal father,Being desperate for livelihood and shelter,she became a guest of a city with her innocent daughter ‘Joba’. [Trans, Mine— Matir Saki’ Lines- (6-90 Page No. 27]
Even in that city, Joba became a maid servant of a widower,Madhav Chaliha where she lives upon the sympathy of prosperous chaliha . After the death of his wife,chaliha did not get anyone to satiate him sexually except the maid servant Jaya. The physical relation between Jaya and Madhab Chaliha was an open secret among the city people.
Radha, another prostitute, in the same novel plays on piano losing her identity in the world of human beings. The strings of Piano echo her inner agony and unexpressed sufferings. She is living not for herself but for others. The echo of which can be got in the following lines:
“The nights of Radha are not for her; but
For others [Trans, Mine— Matir Saki’Line -21 Page No. 50
“Radha could have lived in another world maintaining a prestigious position as a piano player; perhaps, she would not have yielded her body to others removing the melodious tune of a Piano. But Radha had lost that right many days ago. She does not have even time to regret for that. She is to keep busy herself in entertaining others.” [Trans, Mine— Matir Saki’ Saki’Lines – (25-29) Page No. 50]
Two of his biographical novels namely ‘Rup Tirthar Yatri’ and ‘Dhanya Nara Tanu Bhal’ are based on the lives of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and Sri Manta Sankar Deva respectively. Both of these books are highly appreciated by the people of Assam. Besides these, the Marxian philosophy is reflected in his novel ‘Rothor chokori Ghure’. Malik could have successfully portrayed the characters of New Assamese people—– their love and laughter, sorrow and suffering, ups and downs and so on.
Contributing to the people of all age groups, Malik had not stopped his writing. Rather he left his mark for the innocent ones who views life from a dreamy angle – to them world is filled with astonishment and surprising aspects. His literary creations relating to children are full of humor, enthusiasm, hope and didactic in nature.
The vastness of Malik’s literary creation and their continuous popularity are unquestionable matters. The readers delve deep into the underlying meanings of his writings but stops the same being astonished at the underlying unending interpretation. This reflects Malik’s unlimited loves for Assamese people and their language. In his own language—
“The Assamese language is mine, speech
Is mine, song is mine.
Composed by the nature of Assam.
Even dancing bird becomes silent
The Assamese song is generated from the core my heart.”
Malik was the worshipper of the Assamese language and Assamese literature. His achievement cannot be measured by a short eassy like this. He is not physically alive today but his philosophy, his popularity as an eminent literetteur in the history of Assamese literature shall be remembered till the dooms day.
- Malik – Prafulla Bora, Jorhat, 1986.
- Ashomiya Shahityar Ruprekha – Moheswar Newag, GU, 1960.
- Ashomiya Upannashar Gatidhara – Sri Shattendra Nath Sarma, Bani Prakasha Pathsala, Kamrup 1976.
- Ashomiya Shahittya – Prof. Hem Baruah National Book Trust India, 1970.
- Sahittya Aru Sahittya – Mahendra Borah, Bonolata, Dibrugarh, 1088.
- A Brief Bio-data of Syeed Abdul Malik – (As on October 1986) Compilated by Sri Ajoy Kr. Dutta Student’s Store, Guwahati, 1986
The writer is the Research Scholar, B.R. Ambedkar, Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar (India)