GUWAHATI, April 13: Bohag mathu eti ritu nohoi/ Nohoi bohag eti maah/ Axomiya jaatir e aayukh rekha/ Gonojiyonor e xakh (Bohag is not only a season/nor is it a month/ it is the lifeline of the Assamese/the courage of folk life). This is how Sudhakantha Bhupen Hazarika describes what Bohag exactly is for an Assamese.
Call it modernization or cultural onslaught — ever since the Rongali Bihu has come to the stage, it has metamorphosed a long way – on all fronts. Changes are glaring in the lyrics of Bihu songs. This is inevitable as a language gets birth, grows and dies like a living organism. The movements of Bihu dance are also getting changed continuously at the impact other dance forms. With the Rongali Bihu going audio-visual, experts feel insecure in keeping the distinctiveness of Bihu music and songs alive.
Bihu pandals, on the other hand, are also getting changed thoroughly, and big budget Bihu is becoming a reality in the State. In Guwahati this year, while the budget of Beltola Buhagi Utsav is Rs 30 lakh this year, that of Noonmati Bihu Sanmilan is of Rs 25 lakh, Pashim Guwahati Bihu Sanmilan is of Rs 22 lakh, Pub Guwahati Bihu Sanmilan is of Rs 18 lakh, Guwahati Bihu Sanmilan is of Rs 16 lakh and Ulubari Rongali Bihu Sanmilan is of Rs 15 lakh.
Despite such a metamorphosis, Bihu is to remain alive, and this makes Assamese puff their chests with pride.