After Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva, the outstanding figure who left an indelible mark in the social and cultural life of Assam through his extraordinary literary creations and philosophy of neo-Vaishnavism, is Mahapurush Sri Sri Madhabdev. The much revered Vaishnavite saint and the chief disciple of Srimanta Sankardeva had composed numerous works on holy themes in different literary forms that reveal his great erudition, intense devotion and ingenuity. His profound efforts not only played a significant role in the growth of the Satras and Sattriya culture, but also helped create an atmosphere that fostered and enhanced harmony, understanding and tolerance among people hailing from various castes, creeds and communities.
The remarkable life of the saint, the creator of the epoch-making – Naam Ghosa, is now being made into an Assamese animation film, the eagerly anticipated ‘Mahapurush Sri Sri Madhabdeva’, which is all set to release on March 29. The film, produced by the Ramani Chitram Memorial Trust, is conceptualised and directed by noted promoter, preserver of Sattriya culture and philanthropist, late Dalim Pathak. It has always been his endeavour to disseminate and promote the philosophy of Sankardeva, and his faithful disciple Madhabdeva, among the young generation who knows very little about the great saints. A man of deeply held religious convictions and beliefs that permeated every aspect of his life, Pathak, whose humanitarian missions took precedence over everything else, contributed immensely with his artistic inputs during production, besides motivating and guiding a stellar creative ensemble, who dedicated themselves to carry out his vision.
Recently, the film’s audio album, comprising of several Borgeets, Ghosas, Pods, and its official website, were released in the presence of several noted celebrities from various walks of life, at a dignified function held at the Grand Bhabendra Alay, in Guwahati, recently. The film’s teaser had been released earlier. The function, wonderfully compered by noted musician Abani Ranjan Pathak, started off with a Borgeet, rendered by Jonali Ojah Basumatary. The traditional lamp was ignited by noted actor and a close ally of late Dalim Pathak, Sadhan Hazarika. The film’s audio CD was released by veteran actor Nipon Goswami, who appreciated the noble endeavour of Pathak. The website – www.mahapurushsrisrimadhavadeva.com, was released by popular actor Dinesh Das, who expressed happiness on being given such an opportunity. He heaped praises on Pathak and his team for their tireless endeavour and tenacity of purpose to realise an abiding dream. Sadhan Hazarika stressed on the need for the new generation to follow the saint’s footsteps and uphold traditional values and customs, which have eroded to a great extent. The other guests – actor Ashim Krishna Boruah and cultural activist Ramen Das, also spoke on the occasion.
The music of ‘Mahapurush Sri Sri Madhabdeva’ has been composed by noted Sattriya artiste Gunindra Nath Ojha, noted singer and Sattriya promoter Hamendra Kumar Das and noted classical vocalist Jiten Basumatary. Interestingly, Barpeta Satra’s Satradhikar, Basistha Dev Sarma (‘Burha bhai harigun gai nacha..’) and the Deka Sattriya of the Satra, Nabajit Das Pathak (‘He bhabok bhai..’) have rendered playback singing for the first time in the film. Musically arranged by Manabjyoti Das, the other singers, who have rendered Borgeets, Ghosas and Pods, are Gunindra Ojha, Hamendra Kumar Das, Jiten Basumatary, Madhusmita Bhattacharya, Krantika Sandilya, Jonali Ojha Basumatary, Rabindra Nath Das and Dinesh Das. The associate singers are Dhananjay Ojha, Nandita Das and Nabajit Das. It has to be mentioned that Dalim Pathak, who was involved with a number of socio-religious associations, was present every minute during the song recordings, and more importantly, provided his own inputs and ideas.
This animation film is produced by Dalim Pathak’s sons, Bishwajyoti Pathak and Gauravjyoti Pathak, who have been doing everything possible to keep the memory of their father’s philanthropic causes alive. The dialogue and research works have been done by Prabhat Chandra Das. The script is written by Dalim Pathak, Dr Gautam Kumar Das and Abani Ranjan Pathak. Dr Gautam Kumar Das, who provided his services as the editor and animation director, really worked hard to bring about an accurate reflection of the legendary personality. The film’s associate director is Abani Ranjan Pathak. The film’s assistant director is Dipmoni Chutia. The VFX works have been done by Rahul Das. While Kanika Pathak has worked as the production manager, the film’s assistant production managers are Dr Dipanwita Das, Basuri Pathak and Jahnabi Pathak.
‘Mahapurush Sri Sri Madhabdeva’ features a number of profoundly moving traditional Borgeets and Ghosas, including ‘Aalo bhai chalo Aais’, ‘Aalo moi ki kohbo dukh’, ‘Muke ebar karuna’, ‘Narayan kahe bhokoti koru’, ‘Pawe pori hari’, ‘Pamru mon Ram charane’, ‘Moi durasar’, among others.
The voices to various roles in the film have been rendered by Ranjan Bezbaruah (Madhavadeva), Nipon Goswami, Dinesh Das, Syed Sadullah, Surnjit Malakar, Arati Kalita, Anamika Bordoloi, Jayanta Bhagawati, Abani Bora, Nayan Prasad, Nikumani Barua, Ashim Krishna Boruah, etc.
The full measure of Mahapurush Madhabdeva’s rich intellectual and spiritual legacy has still to be determined and assessed. It’s widely hoped that the film, made with the aim of promoting and propagating the ideals and beliefs of Mahapurush Madhabdeva, will succeed in appealing to a wide range of audiences in the State and even outside.