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Poetry that transcends barriers of language and region

- Kerala weekly features Bipul Regon of Majuli, who writes effortless prose and poetry in Malayalam

Jorhat, Feb. 7: Bipul Regon has transcended the barriers of language and bridged the gap between the Northeast and the south, penning poetry in Malayalam.

Kerala’s widely circulated Mathrubhumi Weekly has done a 19-page cover story on him in its December-January issue, and published four of his poems.

Regon, who hails from the river island of Majuli and has made this Upper Assam town his home, said he learnt Malayalam because of its rich literary heritage.

There was no way of delving into Malayalam literature, as he could only read English translations, which were not the same as reading a text in the language itself.

“Languages of the Indo-Gangetic belt, especially Hindi, are easily learnt and understood by us but south Indian languages are difficult to master. Yet, there is a vast literary output from these states and Kerala being the most educated state in India, I thought I would start with Malayalam,” said Regon.

In 2008-09, he successfully completed a yearlong diploma course in Malayalam from the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore.

After returning to Assam, he continued reading the language on the Internet and brushed up on his vocabulary through a dictionary.

“I also made an annual journey to Kerala every year and made many friends during these sojourns. Thus, I practised speaking the language,” he said.

Renowned Malayalee poet Vaisha Khan said the poems composed by Regon in Malayalam were very good.

“They usually deal with love and passion and generally end on an optimistic note. He has an insight into the lives of people,” Khan said.

V. Abdul Latif, who had interviewed Regon for the magazine and is also a poet, affirmed that Regon was “very good and sometimes had better standards than some Malayali poets”.

Regon, who has composed innumerable poems in Assamese and written four novels and three short novels (one under way), said he also planned to write a novel in Malayalam after completing his third short novel.

He has composed nearly 10 poems in Malayalam, including the ones selected for publication: Endasukham alle (Are you Satisfied?), Kashmir Kanya, Vayal (Fields) and Asamegham (Clouds of Hope).

The first is on Majuli and depicts a land riven by erosion and floods, the people’s struggle for survival and also the culture of Srimanta Xankardeb, inviting the reader to come and listen to the music of this island.

The others are on Kashmir, green fields and feelings on life, he said.

Regon’s novel will also be on Majuli.

A post-graduate in Hindi, Regon is at present learning the Tai Ahom language and will take up learning Urdu soon “because of the soft sound of the words in Urdu and the beautiful ghazals”.


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