It is a rare tale of love, passion, commitment and dedication, which has almost become a legend.
Anyone in Assam is aware of this artist- couple of painter Neelpawan Baruah and singer Dipali Borthakur who have woven this legend of love and commitment. Padmashree Dipali Borthakur, known as the Nightingale of Assam for her melodious voice was at the peak of musical career when she very unfortunately got afflicted by a severe motor-neuron disease making her paralytic for the whole life. Bedridden, vocally challenged and becoming immobile except for a wheelchair, the Nightingale sank into fathomless despair. But as like a true silver line in a dark cloudy sky, Neel Pawan Baruah came to her life , married her in 1976, and since that day onward has single-handedly been nursing her, taking care of her like a mother does to an infant, right from feeding to bathing to making her sleep.. In a rare exemplary dedication, a person like Neel Pawan with his own creative drive in fine art which demands time, effort and energy to utmost level has made great sacrifice and has become the irreplaceable support like the oxygen for life to Dipali at the cost of his own artistic career. As the saying goes… Thou greater than your Art!
Neel Pawan Baruah is an eminent artist of Assam who has dedicated his entire life to the pursuit of fine - arts and the aesthetic ideals. With his creative endeavor, relentless effort and deep commitment he has contributed immensely to the growth and artistic development of the modern art in Assam. Emerging in the art scene of Assam during the seventies of the 20th century, he became one of the forerunners to give a new momentum to the modernist discourse in art. Neel Pawan Baruah’s artistic endeavor unfolds a plane of intersecting forces, polyvalent vision, ranging a multi-stylistic approach - the figurative, abstract, cubist, expressionistic and surrealistic.
Neel Pawan Baruah(Born on 1st June, 1936 in Tamulichiga) is the son of renowned Assamese poet Binanda Chandra Baruah and Lawanyaprabha Baruah. He graduated from Kalabhawan (Shanti Niketan) under Vishwa Bharati University and Sriniketan, West Bengal in painting and glazed pottery in 1966 and came back to start his career as an artist in Assam and teach at the Government College of Art & Craft, Guwahati. He was the founder of Assam fine Arts & Craft Society, Guwahati (1971) and also Basundhara Kala Niketan,(1971) the first private Art Institute of Guwahti. For last four decades he has been persistently engaged in art creations exhibiting at several places in Assam and India. With his rich and diverse experiences of art training at Shanti Niketan, Garhi Studio, New Delhi and other places he has exhibited at different places in India like the Birla Academi of Art & Culture, kolkata, Lucknow Lalit Kala Akademi, Bhubenswar etc. Neel Pawan Baruah has produced a huge amount of art work of high quality and refinement. He completed 2000 Drawings and 2000 Paintings in 2000, a rare feat for an artist of Assam. He has also contributed to the promotion and preservation of the folk art and craft of Assam. He organized a three months workshop on Folk Art of Assam and the first phase of the Vaishanava- masks , with the mask makers of Majuli in 1982. He also attempted to revive the art of Vrindavani Bastra, the famous textile painting associated with the great Vaishnavite Saint Srimanta Sankardeva of mediaeval Assam. He had represented Assam at Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi and has also written three books namely Anya Ek goti(A collection), Basundhara-I and Basundhara-II.
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