JORHAT, Aug 29 – Renowned artistes, several business and tea associates of Padmashree Hemendra Prasad Barooah have made a plea to the State government and the civil society for taking adequate steps for preserving the tea doyen’s ideals in public memory for the coming generations while they were attending his adya shradha at the premises of his majestic mansion Thengal Manor in Jalukanibari area in Jorhat on Thursday.
After thirty days of his death in Bangkok Barooah’s kin and relatives paid the ritualistic tribute to the departed soul by organizing the adya shardha at the mansion campus where he was born and brought up by his parents Raibahadur Sivaprasad Barooah and Kamal Kumari Barooah.
Besides being a successful tea planter and a pioneer of tea tourism in the state he cultivated a passion for art, culture and sports and most of his elite associates assembled at the premises recollected his aristocratic choice and valuable contribution.
“We were associated with Hemenda for a long time as he was close to Bhupenda and our Jayanta. He had a world class collection of paintings which should be preserved with utmost care,”said singer Manisa Hazarika, wife of legendary singer Jayanta Hazarika.
Along with film director Kalpana Lajmi she attended the adya shradha at Thenal Manor today.
A compilation of articles and obituaries to the departed soul, titled as ‘Reminiscence’ was unveiled at the campus where renowned writers, tea planters and film-artistes recollected their valuable time spent with the tea doyen in different periods of their life.
According to a caretaker of the mansion Barooah collected several paintings of legendary painter Maqbool Fida Hussain for making the Thengal Mansion more attractive for elite tea tourists who have interests in global art and culture, and several of them have been kept in his Club Road residence at Jorhat town.
Though some days ago senior officials from the department of cultural affairs discussed with his relatives about taking some of his “world class collections” of paintings no decision could be taken as they are yet to see his will.
“They came. But, we are yet to see his will which was given to his daughter Anuradha. No decision was taken in this regard,”said his nephew Rajib Barooah, who is also the present chairman of Assam Tea Planters Association (ATPA).
All his belongings will be kept or distributed as per the will and the decisions of his family members. Earlier to his death Barooah lost his wife and his only son.
His daughter Anuradha Farley and her son and husband arrived from London to attend the adya shradha.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is scheduled to attend it in the evening on Thursday.
On Friday a cultural team from Auniati Satra will perform a Bhaona at the premises of Thengal Manor.