Quietly passed away RuchiraSyam, a Bengali poet who used to be bracketed with Meenakshi Chattopadhyay and Bijoya Mukhopadhyay in the late-1960s and 1970s among the free-thinking woman at a time when the conservative and traditional poesy was traumatized by the Hungry Generation (HG) of Bengali poetry.
Ruchira and Meenakshi did neither toe the HG line nor offered an alternative, but brought out an openminded style of poetry through a periodical Sakhee Sangbad The reminded veterans of those days of mock fights among folk-poets, known as Kabiganer Tarja in which Sakhee Sangbad was the most sober section of four phases.
The magazine&’s characterized by its poetry in contrast to highvoltage negation of mainline verses of creative style. It hit the news stands and picked up a readership among little magazine-lovers. But it was a victim of what Prof P Lal once lamented in a letter to the editor of a bimonthly magazine that carried mostly translated versions of Bengali poems and short stories ,’high infant mortality of little magazines”.
Ruchira, head of department of English, Karimganj Rabindra Sadan Girls’ College in Assam at an early age, was inspired by her parents, had a penchant for writing poems. But she took up journalism, got associated with Compass, edited by Pannalal Dasgupta. She trespassed into East Pakistan during the freedom struggle of Bangladesh and sent reports therefrom.
In the early 1980s, she joined the editorial desk of Aajkaal. But poetry was in her artery as very rightly pointed out by professor Tapodheer Bhattacharya, vice-chancellor, Silchar University, in an lengthy obituary piece in a Bengali morninger of Silchar. She was on the right side of seventies when she breathed her last.