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Jatin Bora (centre) interacts with participants in a summer acting camp organised by Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra

A new direction

Nayak, circa 2001, helped Jatin Bora establish himself as the superstar of Assamese filmdom. Five years on, the actor is reinventing himself as Adhinayak with his first directorial venture.

Slated for a mid-February release, Adhinayak is the most eagerly-awaited Assamese film in recent times.

Success for Adhinayak ' in which Bora is the protagonist himself ' will mean he stays at the top. If not, several youngsters vying for the number one spot will see an opening.

'Yes, Adhinayak means a lot to me,' says Bora, who has completed 16 years in the world of glamour.

The film will have a special screening at Anuradha Cinema on Sunday before its release in theatres in Nagaon, Tezpur and Dhemaji on February 17.

'Sixteen years of experience in the industry has given me the confidence to step into the realm of direction,' Bora says . 'As an actor, I have always taken keen interest in the entire procedure of filmmaking and had always aspired to direct one someday.'

The film follows the life of mechanic Raja, played by Bora himself, and his evolving relationships with the other characters. The film also features Arup Bora, Nishita Goswami, Hiranya Deka and Chetana Das.

Bora tasted success in his debut film, Utarkaal, directed by veteran Abdul Mazid. A string of hits followed, most of these directed by national award-winning director Munin Barua. The actor teamed up with director Chandra Mudoi to give the crisis-ridden industry its last hit, Suren Suror Putek.

'I am grateful to the great craftsman of cinema, Munin Barua, who has been a great teacher as well,' says Bora.

Critics, too, are hopeful that his latest offering will be a hit, going by the actor's reputation.

'Bora is known to the industry as a sincere artiste who has been in the profession for more than a decade,' says film critic Arun Lochan Das. 'I am sure Bora will give another commercial hit, this time as a director-actor.'


Brain vs guns

This is the kind of militancy that the insurgency-ravaged region will look forward to.

Hoardings exhorting 'Intellectual militancy ' the need of the hour' are coming up in different parts of Shillong, much to the curiosity of onlookers.

'The need of the hour is to fight with brains, not with guns and bombs,' says Michael Syiem, convener of the Maitshaphrang Movement, which has been propagating the unique idea of 'intellectual militancy' in the region. Maitshaphrang, in Khasi, means to strive to go forward.

Rock icon Lou Majaw has also extended support to the peace endeavour, although he has a different take on the issue.

'Nine out of every 10 anti-socials do not have any love for life and music. I am sure if a person truly loves life and music, the world will be a better place to live in,' says Shillong's very own Bob Dylan, when asked to air his views on social unrest in the region.

Syiem, however, is optimistic that 'fighting with intelligence' will make all the difference. 'There is a lot of militancy in the entire region and elsewhere in the country, which is taking us nowhere,' says the former president of the Khasi Students' Union (KSU).

The torchbearers of the movement, mainly comprising young like-minded people, travel to every nook and cranny of the state to convey their messages to the masses.

The Maitshaphrang Movement has been influenced by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's book, The Ignited Mind.

'The President has made several points which are similar to our idea of intellectual militancy. In whatever we do, it is the mind that should lead us, not guns,' says Syiem.


Nation's future

Children of Assam police personnel celebrated Republic Day with customary fervour at the Assam police complex in Guwahati.

Encouraged by their parents, the children participated in the daylong events with unity and discipline. In the morning, they participated in an hour-long parade, which was followed by sports.

Assam director-general of police Dipak Kumar Dutta presented the awards to the young champions at a cultural function in the evening.

Lauding the children's efforts to celebrate Republic Day, the DGP said: 'I am glad that the children took out time from their busy study schedule and showed interest in conducting the Republic Day function on their own. Children are the future of our nation and should be encouraged to take part in all nation-building efforts.'

The children staged two plays, Ami Shantibisaru directed by Pranjal K. Saikia and Vande Mataram by Nihar Sarkar, during the cultural function.

Ami Shantibisaru depicted present-day society, steeped in terrorism and corruption. The play also contained a recitation by poet Rupanjali Barua.

The second drama told the stories of martrys Kushal Konwar, Maniram Dewan, Kanaklata and Kudi Ram.


Renewing links

Historians claim that there is an 'ancestral relation' between the Bodos and the Mongols. So when a Mongolian scholar S. Dulam came to participate in the 7th Bodo Bathou (a religious congregation) at Titaguri near Kokrajhar, it had an added significance.

Dulam, a teacher at the Institute of Study of Nomadic Civilisation of the National University of Mongolia, was accompanied by two Buddhist monks from Ladakh.

Hundreds of representatives from Tripura, Nepal and West Bengal participated in the three-day religious festival of the Bodos organised by the All Bathou Religious Union from February 6-8. They discussed various aspects of this old religion and ways to popularise its philosophy. Expressing happiness over the warm reception accorded by the Bodos, Dulam said: 'The term Bodo in Mongolia means peak, great, real and heroic, which means that the Bodo people are great, real and heroic'.


Ramkrishna Talukdar gives a Sattriya recital

Sattriya recital

Dance lovers were treated to some of the finest Sattriya recitals at Nritya Sambhar ' an evening dedicated to the dance form ' at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati on January 29.

It was presented by students of Nartan Kala Niketan under the guidance of choreographer Nrityalankar Ramkrishna Talukdar to a packed hall.

The function was attended by eminent Sattriya gurus, dance exponents, critics and mediapersons. The first ever website on Sattriya dance ' www.sattriyaramkrishna.com ' was also inaugurated by Gautam Sharma, the secretary of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, at the function.This is expected to promote the dance form all over the world.


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