A tribute to renowned Sattriya and Odissi exponent Garima Hazarika

This tribute is to Garima Hazarika, a well-known Sattriya/Odissi activist

All the gurus of Garima—Pandit Charu Bordoloi in Kathak , Surendranath Jena and Muralidhar Majhi in Odissi, Borbayans Rosheswar Saikia and Ghana Kanta Bora in Sattriya recognised her potential as a born artiste and Garima deemed this long Guru Shishya parampara as something divine and sacred.

Garima was a passionate dancer and a keen observer of the art form. She made it her mission in life to establish Sattriya as a distinct genre, in accordance with a method, which is a formal order for the performance of the dance. One of her most notable contributions is the meticulously designed Sattriya recital costumes using Assam’s ethnic handlooms. Garima left behind an impressive repertoire that reflects her amazing array of talents. Kelucharan Mahapatra, an eminent Odissi master gave Garima his adoring praises when she charmed thousands with her stunning Sattriya recital during Konarak Music Festival.

Bihu was her choreography at the South Asian Festival of SAARC New Delhi. Garima presented two pieces of Sri Sankardev’s writings to the Unity Concert at Prasanthi Nalaya in Puttapurty. This was an extraordinary display of virtuosity. Jugalbandi was one of her highly acclaimed, flawless experiment in the harmonious fusion of two dance forms—Sattriya and Odissi.

Chandalika’s Rabindra Nrittya Natya was an exciting amalgamation of many Assam folk dances. Garima’s many dance dramas are beautifully choreographed and executed with skill.

In addition to directing dance in 18 Assamese films, she also wrote and directed dramas for Assam’s mobile theatres. Guru Gorima Hazarika left a number of her disciples, who are now well-respected as mentors and teachers. Garima has produced many productions that are a testament to her devotion and commitment, and her concern for the society values that she would uphold with dance.

Garima was a living example of her incredible zest for life. She carried with her an incredible joie de vivre, a sense of joy, happiness, cheeriness, and love wherever she went. The descent into dementia by this talented, up-beat, and unpretentious dancer was like a lightning bolt. It left her family stunned and all those who loved and admired her. The daughter and son-in law Dr Abhijit Hazarika, and Dr Vandana sinha provided her with the best medical care and access to specialist treatment. She was unable to sleep and passed into the good night. Mainu, Rest in eternal bliss and heavenly peace.