By: Samiran Bhuyan
“Silpi Unmesh” or “Rise of an artist” is an autobiography of an Assamese traditional drama (Bhaona) artist Arup Saikia. The experiences writer gained internationally during voyage from the native river Jia Bhoroli (presently watery stream is called) to Euro-Russian river Volga via many countries are expressed in words through “Silpi Unmesh”. It’s noteworthy that the birthplace of said artist, Arup Saikia, is near the river Jia Bhoroli. The cultural journey from the Bhoroli to Volga is a true depiction of artist Arup Saikia’s assimilation and broader acceptability of fraternity across the globe. The language, community or nationality never matter here at all. The friction and agony an artist always faces is the formative base of this autobiography. This happens during the preaching of the revolutionary artistic genre.
A genuine artist is one who understands the newly sprouted feelings in people’s minds in addition to the prevailing trends of society. The artist is a real human being, one who properly cares for people’s outlook. This vision of the writer is conspicuously stated in “Silpi Unmesh”. Moreover the writer is easily able to feel the motion of time and take everything as inevitable. Therefore the obstacle during novelty of creation is a common phenomenon in society. To fathom or express the cardiac vibration of the new generation, Performers have to walk on thorns. Artist Arup Saikia is a performer of this kind. His journey is not a cakewalk. Arup Saikia one hand clearly grasps the degradation or numbness of society also. This is caused by a narrow outlook and wrong meaning of orthodoxy. But the author gained a fiery impulse to write an autobiography. This is for widespread mixed reactions while adorning Assamese traditional drama – “Bhaona” in new linguistic attire (English).
Arup Saikia is genuinely an artist of difference. Basically In the beginning of acting in rural areas, Saikia tried to bring modernity and change of style ignoring the usual accepted trend of traditional drama (bhaona). Bhaona is an art although it was created religiously. Changing is inevitable. Transformation begets beauty and elegance which eventually sustain legacy. Arup Saikia’s contribution for cultural transition of “Assamese pride -Bhaona” traversed everywhere. The author here presents a connecting link among all the major countries or races of the world.
The book is worth the reader’s time. No unnecessary description is included. There is frequent undertone of drama-poetic monologue. The musical garland of words differentiates the autobiography from the usual one. The series of pamphlets in ‘Silpi Unmesh’ that readers go through raises a sense of intellectual independence in the name of culture among them. The visiting places are described in a lovely outline. The type of writing which stimulates intellect with brilliance flashes of wit. Rather than simply performing a show, the author-artist focuses on comparative study of culture from the indigenous river Bhoroli to Volga. Extensive research has been done of alien culture. It’s specially emphasized to know through autobiography whether any particular event owes to our country or has influence to change the stream, vice versa.
The narrative of the book is a kind of self investigation. Author Arup Saikia asked and replied to himself the fruit of the mission. What’s the necessity of swimming in the opposite direction? Arup Saikia says, “Art is a tree in a porous cage where air can flow uninterruptedly without shaking the roots.”
Once in a chapter, social worker Hemalata Saikia said to the author, “Conflict always increases the circumference. You cross its local boundaries and embrace more avenues.” Author finally says that cultural integration is an unending process. It will continue until a civilized race or country exists. The more we exchange, the more we attain wider acceptability. Protest is another name of recognition. It’s published by Gunjan Kakoty. The readers will test mass motivated artistic zeal while reading this book. (The author is a writer, cultural activist and motivational speaker)