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National bravery award winners Ratul Chandra Rabha (left) and Rituparna Boro at the
Hem Sishu Sadan in Guwahati

Young bravehearts

National bravery award winners Ratul Chandra Rabha and Rituparna Boro were recently felicitated by the Indian Council for Child Welfare, Assam, in collaboration with Ladies' and Children's Recreation Centre and the Kamrup District Council for Child Welfare at Hem Sishu Sadan in Guwahati.

Both the bravehearts were presented with gifts on behalf of the three organisations.

The duo intimated the audience about the incidents, which won them the Bharat Award under the National Bravery Award.

The meeting was presided over by Amoya Chaliha, president of the council. Padmashree Hemo Bharali and Gandhians Hemo Kakoti and Kamal Kumari Barua also attended the function.

Author Anuradha Sharma Pujari was the guest of honour.


Child prodigies

They are not only the best of buddies. They also form a great pair on the dance floor, dancing their way into the hearts of connoisseurs at New Delhi recently.

Charavi Baishya and Anwesha Barua, both 10 years old and students of Class IV at Maria Public School and St Mary's School, Guwahati, respectively, have already succeeded in carving out a niche in Sattriya dance from at a tender age.

The dancer duo has now added a new feather to their caps by becoming the youngest Sattriya dancers to perform in front of national audience at a recently concluded function organised by Bharat Dalit Sahitya Akademi in New Delhi.

Both dancers mesmerised the audience during their hourlong performance with their prodigious talent and bouncy energy.

'Both of them possess great talent. They are child prodigies and both have started showing their talent from a young age,' said Sattriya exponent and their guru Ramkrishna Talukdar.

He added, 'I have been teaching both of them for the past few years and I am proud to say that both are picking up the nuances of the dance form very quickly.'

Both dancers had a tough time through the year, balancing their stage performances and studies.

'Since last year, we have started performing together. This year we have already performed in nearly 25 different shows throughout Assam,' said Charavi. She added, 'But we enjoy our performances and it feels great to be students of one of the finest art forms ' Sattriya dance.'

Echoing Charavi, Anwesha said, 'Along with our performances, we try to strike a balance between our studies and dance.' She added, 'No matter what may come, we will continue with both dance and studies.'


Temples of glory

A recent archaeological excavation and findings near Malinithan, a place of pilgrimage and tourism in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, have indicated the presence of more temples adjacent to the main temple. The discovery will throw light on several historical facts relating to the state.

The antiquities, stone sculptures of Brahmanical deities and architectural pieces that have been unearthed along with a temple base, speak volumes on the probable presence of many other temple ruins that have been damaged by earthquakes or landslides, said director of research Tage Tada.

Malinithan is indeed a monument of great synthesis of cultures that took place in India through the ages. It reveals the link of Arunachal Pradesh through Assam with the rest of the country. The art and architectural representation of the site speaks about the culture of the Orissa school of style of the medieval period, which was the salient feature of that time in Assam.


Film-flam

The first-ever Assamese film festival in New Delhi got off to a colourful start on January 6, but not before state chief minister Tarun Gogoi disappointed the 400-strong audience at the Siri Fort auditorium by his late arrival.

A film personality said the delayed inauguration of the event reflected the state government's 'attitude' towards promoting films. Further evidence of this was indicated by the contents of the souvenir released on the occasion.

It was expected that the souvenir would carry a message from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, applauding the festival and extending co-operation in future ventures.

Instead, there was a brief four-line message from Congress president Sonia Gandhi praising the state's 'unique and distinctive cultural identity'.

This really stumped filmmakers present on the occasion. Someone even went to the extent of describing the momentous event as a 'Congress rally' on the eve of the Assembly elections.


Book release

Popular Assamese author Arupa Patangiya Kalita recently released her collection of short-stories, Alekjaan Banur Jaan, at the 20th Guwahati Book Fair held at the Assam Engineering Institute Field in Chandmari in the city.

The low-profile author, who is also a teacher of English literature at Tangla College, was honoured by Zuban Publication House, New Delhi.

The publication house has brought out the translated version of her novel, Ayananta, into English. The translated novel, Dawn, is receiving good response across the country.

'I felt honoured when Zuban came forward to publish the English version of my novel. As an author, I write for my readers. They are the best judge for any creative person in all fields. Having a readership outside Assam feels great too,' the 50-year-old author, who holds a record of producing 14 bestsellers, said while meeting her readers at the release.


Magic loom

Despite a busy work schedule at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Assam, senior scientific assistant Mukul Kuli has managed to find time to work on an 'automated loom' for poor weavers who cannot afford a powerloom.

The semi-automatic flying shuttle loom developed by Kuli will have many advantages over the traditional handlooms like automatic shedding, beating and picking.

Kuli is now scouting for 'someone who will adopt his baby' and start commercial production so that the benefits of his innovation can trickle down to the poor weavers.


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