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Tony Jansen
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Burhi Aair Sadhu: A Classic Collection of Assamese Folktales

Burhi Aair Sadhu: A Classic Collection of Assamese Folktales

Burhi Aair Sadhu (Assamese: ààààà ààà àààà), which means Grand Mother's Tales, is a book of stories or folklore that have been compiled by famous Assamese author and poet Lakshminath Bezbaruah. It is one of the most popular texts in Assamese literature and was first published in 1911. The book contains 30 stories that the author collected from the common native people of Assam and some of them were his own creations. The stories reflect the rich cultural heritage, social values, moral lessons, and humor of the Assamese people.


Some of the stories are Bandor aru Xial (The Monkey and the Fox), Tejimola (The Unfortunate Girl), Gangatup (The Magic Pot), Xorobjan (The Golden Swan), Ou Kuwori (The Owl Princess), and Burha Burhi (The Old Couple). The stories are written in a simple and lively language that appeals to both children and adults. The book also has a brilliant preface by the author where he discusses the genesis, movement and importance of folktales in different societies and communities of the world.

Burhi Aair Sadhu is a treasure trove of Assamese folklore that has been translated into many languages and adapted for screen, stage, and television over the years. The book is now in the public domain as per the copyright law of India and can be accessed online in pdf format from various sources[^2^] [^3^]. Burhi Aair Sadhu is a must-read for anyone who wants to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and wisdom of Assamese folktales.

One of the most notable adaptations of Burhi Aair Sadhu is the Assamese film Haladhar (1991), directed by Sanjeev Hazorika. The film is based on the story of Dighalthengia Budhiyok Xial (The Old Fox of Dighal Thengia), which is about a cunning fox who tries to trick a farmer and his wife into giving him their chickens. The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese and was also screened at the International Film Festival of India.[^1^]

Another Assamese film that is inspired by Burhi Aair Sadhu is Tula aru Teja (2012), directed by Junmoni Devi Khaund. The film is based on the story of Tula aru Teja (The Cotton and the Fire), which is about a friendship between a cotton ball and a fire spark that ends in tragedy. The film is a musical drama that features songs composed by Tarali Sarma and sung by Zubeen Garg, Angaraag Mahanta, and others.

A more recent adaptation of Burhi Aair Sadhu is Kothanodi (2015), directed by Bhaskar Hazarika. The film is an anthology of four stories from the book: Tejimola, Ou Kuwori, Tawoiekor Xadhu, and Lotkon Lokhimi. The film explores the dark and twisted aspects of these stories that deal with themes such as child abuse, witchcraft, superstition, and patriarchy. The film won the Asian Cinema Fund's Post Production Fund Award at the Busan International Film Festival and was also screened at various other festivals.

Burhi Aair Sadhu has also received critical acclaim and appreciation from various scholars and critics. The book has been praised for its literary merit, cultural significance, and social relevance. Some of the themes that have been explored in the book are human nature, morality, justice, gender, family, religion, and folklore. The book has also been analyzed from various perspectives such as postcolonialism, feminism, ecocriticism, and psychoanalysis. The book has been considered as a valuable source of Assamese oral tradition and folk wisdom that reflects the collective consciousness of the people.

The book has also inspired many other writers and artists to create their own versions of the stories or to use them as references for their works. Some of the examples are Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya's novel Mrityunjoy (1968), which is based on the story of Tejimola; Mamoni Raisom Goswami's novel The Moth-Eaten Howdah of a Tusker (1986), which mentions the story of Ou Kuwori; and Nilim Kumar's poem Burhi Aair Sadhu (2004), which is a tribute to Lakshminath Bezbaruah and his book. The book has also influenced many children's books, comics, cartoons, and games that have retold or adapted the stories for younger audiences.

Burhi Aair Sadhu is a timeless classic that has entertained and enlightened generations of readers with its captivating stories and profound messages. The book is a testament to the genius and creativity of Lakshminath Bezbaruah and his contribution to Assamese literature and culture. The book is a must-have for anyone who loves reading folktales and learning about different cultures. e0e6b7cb5c


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