|Had tried to capture the arrival of Bordoisila March 2009 from our terrace|
It was a Saturday most probably in the month of March approximately thirty five years back. My dad was newly posted to this small town of Assam. The town had a tiny market comprising of not more than five to six shops. I still remember it had a small general store, one tea shop, a vegetable stall and another meat and poultry shop. It was a ritual to visit the nearby town Tejpur which was just forty kms away every Saturday for our weekly shopping. We were returning to our house after one such very initial trip. The weather was bit cloudy but pleasant. All of a sudden the sky turned almost black. A fierce and strong wind changed the whole weather in few seconds.
There was thunder and lightning in the area and we could hear and see the flashes of thunderbolt. Soon it was accompanied by heavy downpour. It was impossible to move further. My dad parked the jeep on the side of the road by positioning it in such a way that it faced into the wind. The jeep was shaking badly and all three of us (me, my sis and brother) were pretty scared. My dad was cool though. He looked back at us and said," don't worry, it’s Bordoisila, and she is visiting her mother's house. Everything will be fine in few minutes”. Thousand questions cropped up on my mind… who is she? Why is she so angry? Why is she doing this? But at that moment i was too scared to ask any question. Soon the weather calmed down and we reached home safely. Later that night mom narrated us the legend of Bordoisila.
Bordoisila is a wild, fierce wind which announces the arrival of spring season in Assam. It occurs in the month of March -April, just before Rongali/Bohag Bihu one of the most famous festival of Assam. The wind carries dust, dry leaves, twigs and plastic wastes in case of cities/towns and anything that comes on its way. It is soon accompanied by huge mass of dark clouds and heavy rainfall. It softens the dry fields. Many times it leaves behind a trail of destruction.
The Legend Of Bordoisila:
Legend has it that just like a young, married woman would hurriedly, fly back to her mother destructing literally anything that comes her way; Bordoisila comes to Assam. The meaning of the word "Bordoisila" still draws a lot of controversy. People from upper Brahmaputra valley may define it as derived from Ahom word "Sila" means a kind of kite. "Bordoi", could be her name. Then down the valley they say "Bor-" means big, "-doi-" means water in Bodo language and "-sila" from 'Shikla' in Bodo which means girl.The Bodo word for Bordoisila is "Bardwisikhla" which breaks down to "Bar-" meaning wind, "-dwi-" means water and "-sikhla" means girl in Bodo language. It represents the mythological Goddess of Nature, and it marks the beginning of the festival month of Bwishagu (Spring season).
As a traditional belief in Assam people offer her a special comb to comb her hair and a wooden stool to sit her on. The comb is made of Bamboo and is called Kakoiphoni; it was used for combing hair in ancient times by Assamese people. The stool is called Borpira. Some keep in their courtyard a bamboo strainer which is used for clearing dirt from the grains specially rice. It is called Salooni (as the word Chalni in Hindi).Many throw rice in their courtyard (sutaal) to calm her down.
Bordoisila returns from her mother’s home after the end of the month ‘Bohaag’ (April – May) which is the first month of the Assamese calendar, and the same is repeated again. This time instead of being angry she becomes emotional and burst out into tears. Blame it on Global warming or other climatic phenomenon, its frequency and occurrences has seen some drastic changes over the years. If I am not wrong Bordoisila never showed up in its true spirit here in Guwahati this year
An Article by Kavita who blogs at My Room