Nina Zivancevic

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Stuty Patel, the youngest sister of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika converted all her memorabilia about him into her first book about him. She was married to Kailas Patel, maternal uncle with whom she raised three daughters in Canada. She spends her time between Toronto and Guwahati while she curates three other books including one with the poems of her other late brother Balen Hazarika.


To be able to publish my aunt Stuty Patel’s book of her recollections of her eldest brother Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (1926-2011), my late father, is a matter of personal pride and joy.  Written in Assamese, these pages of her diary entries along with photos, art and reproductions offer glimpses into both ordinary and some critical aspects of my father’s everyday life. The book is also a testament to my aunt’s love and devotion for family and her pride and appreciation for her culture. Although she spent much of her adult life far away from Assam, deep and rich must have been her own early acculturation, it must have helped her to survive the long period of ‘cultural exile’, first in Uganda, then in Canada, two widely different worlds to adjust to. She accomplished this with her husband Kailas Patel, a Ugandan Indian who loved Assam, she raised their three daughters in a Canada of harsh winters but a welcoming nation geared to accommodate diversity within it’s rule of law.

After her husband Kailas’s expiration in 2002, and as her daughters Aradhana, Shishirkana and Prathana moved away to live their adult lives, Ruby (Stuty’s nick name) Patel has been visiting Assam every year, six months at a time spending her time archiving paraphernalia and writing.  In 2016, her dream materialized with the publication of Jajabori Bhupenda in Assam. On behalf of Stuty Patel and our entire family, our gratitude to Bidhan Dey, publisher of Bhabhani Books, for undertaking the task accomplished by his staff members Prince Choudhury, Nripen Barman, Kulandhar Kalita and Tarun Phukon, for patiently laying out her vision for this volume. Jajbori Bhupenda was received enthusiastically in Assam when it was introduced at the Guwahati Book Fair.  This Coolgrove Press edition of Jajabori Bhupenda, is possible due to the kind permission of Bhabani Books, to publish it on our imprint.

         The rare front cover image of Bhupenda as film maker is due to the kind courtesy of Anupam Hazarika, reproduced on the cover with apologies for credit omission in first Assamese tradition. On behalf of Coolgrove Press and Stuty Patel, we want to thank each of you whose possessions and or writing have been reproduced here. If you have any questions about their use in this book and wish to contact us about the matter, please write to info@Coolgrove.com.

It is my sincere wish that this book will bring not only pleasure to his fans, but also shed more light and inspire readers to drink deeply from Bhupenda’s message of diversity and inclusiveness as the basis for a dynamic India.

—Punnag Tej Hazarika, Brooklyn, 2018


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