If you can spare some time and have a
liking for history, make it a point to drop by at the Barisha 'Borobari' to
remain witness to some artifacts that have defined the dynamics of the state
Once you enter the 'Borobari' of the Roy
Chowdhury family, the exhibition will transport you to the land of kings and
queens, zamindars and nawabs. You'll have the opportunity to have a look at the
diamond ring given to Lakshmikanta Gangopadhyay - a member of the 22nd generation
of the Roy Chowdhury family - by Jahangir as a token of love after he handed
over the 'jagir' to him.
"We cherish a 475-years friendship
with the Mughals, which dates back to 1536 with Panchanan Chattopadhyay, the
war strategist of Humayun. This member of our 19th generation was later given
the title of Shakti Khan. The relation passed on and Jahangir handed over the
jagir to us as token of friendship," Deborshi Roy Chowdhury, a member of
the 35th generation and the man responsible for the exhibition, said.
artifacts on display
Artifacts like the sword of Shahjahand and
Aurangazeb, rare silver coins of the Shah Alam age, Babar and Jagangir, their
perfume container, Gulabjal container and a container to detect poison have
been displayed in the exhibition. "The container to detect poison is
unique. The container would crack if there's poison in the food store. To test
the food served, the emperors used to put them in the container before
eating," Deborshi said.
A small table used by John Fringi, the
nabab of the family, placed at the corner of the hall had a very interesting
story behind it. "One of our predecessors Bidyadhar Roy Chowdhury gave
this table to John. He used to carry this table even to his workplace. Once
during Holi in 1691 when the English force wanted to enter our outhouse (which
is Writers' Buildings now) to see girls bath, John resisted. Furious Charnok
called him the next day and beat him mercilessly. He was beaten so badly that
he lost to capability to work and so Bidyadhar Roy Chowdhury helped him to open
a salt manufacturing unit at Shyamnagar. But he carried this table with him as
a token of gratitude. Later, his grandson Antony Firingi gave this table back
to us so that we can preserve it," he added.
Mamtaz Hossain Chowdhury - one of the
descendants of the Mughal family, who also contributed to the exhibition, said
"Our relation is not based on personal impression but it has been a
friendship that has been carried forward by generations. So when Deborshi said
he wanted to organize an exhibition to highlight our relationship, I couldn't
deny. I gave all that we preserved for years."
With the passage of time, many items of
historical significance get lost in the sands of time. Any attempt to preserve
history is welcome. The initiative taken at Barisha Borobari is an example
worth emulating for all.