Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Diarist Par-Excellence - Ajoyanand Bora

Dear friends let me have the honor of introducing you to Ajayananda Borah an extremely interesting person and in his own words 'a wannabe record breaker who seeks entry into Limca Book Of Records by penning his thoughts since 1961 till date without a single day's break.'Mr.Borah has been visiting our dental clinic for the last many years and in spite of various chit-chats between us ,this interesting side of him was not known to us.In the first week of Feb he invited us to attend his Golden celebration of continuous diary writing (1961-2010) at Guwahati press club.This Thursday evening me and my husband visited his place .Here is a personal account of the things we talked about.
Here in the above picture you see the man himself.Below is the picture of his diaries 50 in number all labelled year wise.
When he first jotted down his thoughts in a personal diary as a schoolboy,he had no idea that his new hobby would become an abiding passion.'My diary is entirely personal,i do not claim it to be a detailed record of contemporary events,but definitely is a non stop journey of half a century i.e.1961-2010'.He is legitimately seeking a place in the Limca book of records and if his feat is recognised,Borah' will edge out present record holder Chandulall Chowdhury of Mumbai who wrote diaries from 1965 only.Mr. Borah's personal notes run into 17,900 pages and more till this date.We had the pleasure of peeping through all of his diaries with his due permission as he believes that now his diaries don't belong to him alone.For my blogger friends i clicked this picture where the very first and the latest page of his diary are shown together.
He was born in the year 1943 at Biswanath Gymnkhana European Club near Pabhoi tea estate in Assam,India.In 1964 after his graduation he started his career as a high school teacher and later on joined All India Radio Dibrugarh as Programme Announcer since its inception in1969,after 35 yrs of service retired in 2003.He has produced a number of Radio plays and dramatized multi serial episode serial novels .His very popular radio programme 'DAK PAKHILI' is still remembered by the listeners where he used to reply listener's letters.
Though he developed the habit of writing in 1954 when he just got admitted in high school,he had no records of initial years ,because most of the jottings were on loose papers.He started maintaining hard bound diaries since 1961 in Darrang college where in influenced by Principal Bipinpal Das and Dr. Amalendu Guha ."I was not directly influenced by anybody but indirectly inspired by my high school teachers like BirenKakoty,KeshabMahanta and many more."
Justify Full Running my fingers through the pages of his diaries was amazing ....he read out to us many interesting incidents from his diary...his wedding day,the cost of the gold at that time of the year( was rs 880/10 gm),annual expenditure of the year 1963 was Rs 308,he bought cloth for his trouser at rs 3/ ,Petrol per Lt cost RS 1.60 in the year 1973.Apart from keeping record of national,international and local important current events he kept record of the climatic conditions too.Events of Burning Assam Agitation are all portrayed very vividly in his diaries.
His day always starts at 5 am and he always carries a piece of white paper and a pen so that he can note down important things and at the bed time he finally records them in his diary.He maintains an Index Volume of diaries for easy reference -like he showed us the day when he for the very first time visited our dental clinic.Borah's record has been entered in Asomiya Book Of Records edited by Santanu Kausik Baruah 1st edition2006(see the page in the picture above).
Here is a picture of the letter written by the people of Gupta Diary of Kolkatta...he has been writing on the diaries sold by this company since the very beginning.He has submitted adequate documentations to the Limca book of records and is awaiting their response.World record of writing diaries is held by Col.Ernst Loftus of Zimbabwe,who wrote diaries for 91 yrs and died at the age of 103 yrs in 1987.Asked him if he has a similar target,Mr.Borah quipped....."it is simply impossible,i am already 67,let me see how long i can continue,i will go on writing till the last day of my life.He is trying to contact Guinness Book(International British Ed)to ascertain whether his feat of 50 yrs of continuous diary writing has any parallel in this particular discipline.
His wife Mrs Bella is a very sweet and soft spoken lady,they have two kids ,one medico son Abhinandan and a daughter Monmayuri ,both of them presently residing at Delhi.He tells me that inspired by him his daughter too has been maintaining a diary for the 10 yrs while one of his sister wrote diaries for almost 20 yrs .I asked Mrs Bella if she too maintains a diary to which she replied that each year since they are married he has been gifting her a diary but most of them are blank....we all broke into a laughter hearing that.We were treated grandly by many snacks , savouries and tea and later he showed us his large collection of music cds and movies dvds,a large number of different styled set of playing cards,his badminton racket .Over all it was an evening that would be etched in our memories for ever.I came back highly inspired and motivated ...i hope to be more regular in updating my blog .


  1. oh wow...a post from you...and that too a fantastic one..

    you are so lucky have got a chance to have a look at those valuable diaries..

    Mr. Borah is indeed a very patient person to have maintained diaries for almost forty years! that's indeed some period..

    and I am thankful to him for one more reason - he inspired you to take out a bit of time and update your blog :)))

    Mr. Borah, keep inspiring my dear friend like this :)))))))

  2. Aren't blogs online diaries, at best??? He should start a blog, too, because it could contain photos to augment his written words, and would reach many readers.

    Way to go, Kavita! Thanks for this interesting post.

  3. thats very interesting...has he recieved any confirmation from limca book of records ..Hope it happens soon :)...lovely post..

  4. I am honored indeed to be introduced to Mr. Borah through your blog. He is an amazing person indeed! I started several diaries through my life (my daughter says "they're JOURNALS now, mom") :=} but each one lasted only a few months.

    What makes it even more amazing ... 1961 is the year I was born. Wow.

    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

  5. This one is just too good! I'm sure there are a lot of things Mr. Borah has written about, which might be of archival value. I would love to meet him in person! Thanks, Kavita ji, for telling us his story. Keep up the good work! Lord Mani

  6. very interesting, i have been journaling quite regularly since 1960 but not daily! that takes lots of self discipline. i certainly enjoy blogging daily...

  7. That is something of perseverance..writing everyday for 50 years...:)

    Loved reading this one

  8. Very nice post. Like mr. Borah, I too write a diary and have written since I was a teenager but I write more sporadically now, not every day.

    Btw, Kavita, your blog is just awesome with beautiful pictures. Give us more:)

  9. This is very interesting. I have a hard time maintaining a few posts a week He is to be congratulated. Hope you are having a nice Easter and thanks for coming by.

  10. great
    thanks for introducing Mr.Borah
    great inspiration for bloggers and writers.
    congrats to mr.borah for such great efforts.

  11. Wonderful post, Kavita.
    I really enjoyed it!
    Thank you for the introduction to Mr. Borah.
    Great pics. also!
    Thank you for sharing and do come back soon with another post, ok dear!

    Margie :)

  12. Impressive.
    I've kept a journal since 1985, but haven't written every day...

  13. what an inspiration to lazy folks like me!!

  14. vallah beautiful post kavi..reallly good...and v feel so good when v highlight the good work of someone right? instead of pointing fingers at others all the time...our best wishes to Mr.Borah and congrats to u..gr8 work Dr

  15. today my gmail working ya..god knows..have to wait and c..cheers dr

  16. Wow! What a passion. Truly inspirational!!
    Hats off to Mr. Borah!

    I wish I am able to do the same on my blog!! :p

    And thanks for sharing this in such a wonderful way, Kavita. :)

  17. What dedication! I too started writing a diary when I was a teenager but gave up soon. To think that Mr. Bohra has maintained this for so many is awe-inspiring. All the best to him.

  18. This is really great news, Kavita! I tried to write diaries many times, but the new diaries will have only 5-10 inked pages! This is a real art. Then I was always worried that somebody will read it! Paranoid thoughts! Anyway, I passed over the diaries I got as gift afterwards! Easy way out!

    Congratulations to Mr. Borah and thank you to you for sharing this interesting news!

  19. U always get the best things for us Kavita. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. I so hope he makes it to the Limca Book Of Records. Totally deserving!
    I wish I cn blog for many yrs too and make a record like that lol ;)

  20. Amazing... writing for 50 years! WOW! I wish I become more regular with my blog... lolz... Too good! I am so inspired. I hope he wins.

  21. shucks..y y y.i wrote comments 2 times for this post..both dint get regd..anywy..gr8 post kavi..our best wishes to Mr neha says v r thankful to him for one more reason - he inspired you to take out a bit of time and update your blog :)))plz keep up the gr8 work dr...wishes always:)

  22. WOW.. This is simply unbeleivable.. I know i write diaries but mine r not everyday.
    It is indeed a very unique distinction to get .. GOOD luck to Mr Borah and All the best for continuing with his writings.. and may he break all the records ....

  23. Wow, my husband jots down something almost everyday. Has Ajayananda Borah checked out the Guinness Book of Records to see who has kept diaries/journals the longest?

  24. Thank you for introducing us to this honorable man!

    We are still talking about and revisiting your elephant post from the taxi. Wonderful...

    Sorry I haven't been visiting as often as I'd like, but I've been
    having connection issues that I THINK I've solved. Thanks for YOUr
    visits & comments :)

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

  25. Neha..thanks,you are a great friend and a great motivator.Even i consider my self lucky to have got a chance to have a look at the diaries.Mr.Borah is a very interesting man to talk to..i was awestruck,completely.

    Gigihawaii...thanks.i did suggest him blogging ,he said he will think about it.I am glad that you liked the post.

    Jaya,you are welcome here.A confirmation from the LBR is still awaited,i hope it happens soon.Thanks for your visit and kind comment.Hope to see you more.

    Clytie...thanks.Even i tried writing or maintaining a diary many times,but failed to continue it for long.I had a wonderful weekend ,thanks for your wishes.

    Khudawandraam..I spoke to him about you .I am very sure that you will find many interesting facts in his diaries.Thanks for your encouraging words.

    Lin...the way you and Glenda(Gigi)blog daily without any fail ,is amazing.Hats off to people like you,Glenda and Mr. Borah.Thanks.

    @Tarun Mitra...yes,it is.Thanks .


    firstly i would like to introduce myself- i am Abhinandan, son of Ajoyananda Borah, on whom you have recently done a piece on your blog. i just went through it and i would like to convey immense gratitude to you for showcasing deuta's lifelong commitment to the practice of maintaining a diary. as i could not find a way to reply or comment on your blog, i took the liberty of e-mailing you.
    i was really touched by your gesture and cannot thank you enough. days would go by and however or whatever the circumstances might have been, deuta would always put his day in words into his diary before he would retire to bed.... joys ,sorrows, moments.... but there is one thing which i would like to tell you- that it was only a few years ago that he thought of claiming a record for this practice... that is to say he never thought of it as record breaking feat... or anything else for that matter. he was just content with the pleasure he got from this hobby of his.
    i can't begin to recall the countless number of times that we have asked deuta (father/dad)to dive into into the pages of his diaries to fetch us some information or the other right from when me and my sister first walked or when i got that first bicycle...or what the weather was like on such and such day in such and such year...and deuta would happily get us the info in a flash! but that is not all there is to keeping a diary. i'm sure one of the reasons why deuta is a very reasonable person with a very broad outlook is this practice of keeping a diary.... in todays busy world seldom do we get time to introspect and evaluate our day today interpersonal interactions.... but writing down your thoughts at the end of the day makes you face your true self, and you evaluate your immediate reaction to certain situation or person..... i am sure deuta must have made some very crucial decisions in those introspective moments.... and i have to say- seldom has he wronged anyone in life.... none that i can recall.
    i n spite of being his son i have to admit that i could not emulate this fine hobby of deuta's, despite making many unsustained efforts.... but i'll try again! and i'm sure your blog will inspire someone who has thought of taking up this wonderful habit!
    i also went through fewnother articles in your blog and they are so interesting, i subscribed stat! i will definitely be a follower now!! hope you keep up the wonderful work!! (excuse me for taking your mail i.d. from deuta)
    Abhinandan Borah

  27. Panorama..thanks.

    Margaret Cloud...i too have tough time updating my blog regularly.Thanks for your Easter wishes.

    SM..i am sure many people are going to be inspired by him.Thanks.

    Margie...Thanks for appreciating the post.:))

    167 Dad...writing for nearly 50 yrs without a single day break is a very extraordinary thing.Thanks . surely are inspired,i read a new post in your blog .Thanks.:)) feels good to talk about good things.Thanks friend for encouraging me.Cheers!

    Shilpa...writing diary is an abiding passion to him.Thanks for liking the post.:)))

    Rajesh..thanks,welcome !

    Magic eye...thanks a lot.

    Aparna...even after so many years his enthusiasm is noteworthy,a pen and a paper in his pocket all the time.Thanks.:))

  28. Sandhya..oh,so i am not the only one who is paranoid about it he...Thanks for finding the post interesting.

    Swaram..i hope too that this deserving man makes it to LBR.Thanks a lot for your wishes Swaram.

    Priyanka Khot..i do see you upating your blog more regularly now..hee.Thanks

    Bikram..yeah,it sure is a unique distinction.Thanks a lot.

    Patty...when for the first time i heard this, Abe's name popped up in my mind,i have been following your and his blog for quite sometime.Mr. Borah is trying to contact GBWR .Thanks.

    Cloudia..i am glad that you liked meeting Mr. Borah through this post.I think i need to post another article on elephants -just for you.

  29. thanks again for this post and congratulations on hosting such a wonderful blog!!! i liked the earlier posts of bhela ghar and the elephant and the rest of your wonderful posts on various aspects of assamese culture!! (i put your blog on STUMBLE UPON stumblers... i hope it will expand your reach!!)

  30. Hi Kavita Didi,

    Glad to be sharing my opinion on this blog after a long time :) And thanks for leaving your signature on my posts :)

    This post is inspiring, motivating and encouraging us to take a leaf out of his books. Happy to have got a chance to meet a person like Mr.Borah through your words.

    I love diary writing and almost every year, I start writing from the 1st of Jan - with sustainable gaps in between and failing to find time for it, I mostly end the hobby by Republic day.

    So, you can find lots of diaries in my cupboard with first 20 pages in ink and the rest, just blank :)

    The sad thing is I was never able to pull the hobby beyond the Republic day and I hope to fare better next year :)

    There are so many people out there who have this healthy habit of diary writing, which is nothing but introspection and self-examination.

    But the question is how many of us would pen down all the important daily thoughts and activities honestly??

    One of my friends is a regular diary writer, he started writing promptly since a couple of years. He says that most of the times he forces himself to skip certain thoughts (though they are significant) because he feels they are kinda too personal.

    I asked him whats the use of the hobby when you miss the core purpose of it?? Diaries are meant to carry our personal stuff.

    But he argues that - what is put on paper can always fall into the hands of others someday and it would be embarrassing that day. So, he skips certain thoughts but writes most of the day's activities.

    Well Didi, this comment grew too lengthy, if I don't conclude now, it would look like a blog post :)

    Many thanks to you Didi for sharing with us such a clear view of your visit and regarding the feat achieved in diary writing by the great man. Yes, it is a worthy hobby which is a lot more than just a hobby.

    Sai :)

  31. hey kavita..thanks a tonne yar..u r such a good person u spread positive vibes all around..keep up the cheers buddy:)

  32. Diaries make intersting read long after they are written, chronicling event, opinions, threats, prejudices, new lessons of an era. But only the systematic can do it. I can't even keep track of jobs done. When the Project manager asks for manhours spent on each job, I have to rack my brains for what I did a week ago. :)

  33. Really interesting a nice read and Ajayananda Borah really deserves to get into limca Book Of records...

    i think dairy has been a integral part of his daily life i wonder how he managed to write during days of examinations, functions travels and other days? not missing single day is really mind boggling, what ever it is he is really amazing!

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. I read somewhere always keep a diary and someday it'll keep you.
    You gave an excellent account and insight into the personality of the person penning the diary.
    Good style of writing from your side too . Keep going

  36. very refreshing blog. glad to have chanced into it.

  37. Myself Monmayuri Borah, daughter of Mr.Ajoyananda Borah, take this golden opportunity to express my unending happiness to such an achievement of my father as the ‘ Master Diarist ‘.The fast pace at which we lead our lives offers us no time to ruminate on our actions and their consequences. Sitting down every night and writing a page or two in your diary is a discipline by itself.
    My father is the man who have managed to continue maintaining this discipline as a habit for the last 55 years. I consider myself to be very lucky to have attended the Golden Celebration of my father’s diary writing held in Guwahati Press Club in the month of Feb. He have been writing diaries for the past 55 years, not having been intended for the public eye, without even missing a single day. His main purpose was, to just have a brief chronological record of events he considered personally important to him, for his own reference at a later stage and not for publicity. For me ‘my Father’ is a hero in the true sense of the term. Essentially a man of few words, a man of discipline. His love is also unique and transforming for his family.
    He affords to record in a more casual and brief manner some important events of his day to day or personal, social, professional life and occasional strong emotions that comes to his mind from time to time in his diaries. Maintaining a personal diary, I feel, is a tough call. One writes diary to archive one’s thoughts. My father has almost kept the track records of all the events that had happened in life- weddings, births, deaths, birthdays, etc, whether personal or world related. If there is something he can’t put into words, he simply makes a drawing or writes a simple poem on it, which also throws light on his creative mind. He enlivens all his feelings and just let out anything he wants to verbalise through his daily writings. Whatever information we need about any minute little thing revolving around us , the only reliable sources to us were, are and will always be ‘my father’s diaries’. Even till date, not only we but also our relatives whenever they drop in at our place and we discuss about any passing affair, the 1st thing which comes to their mind are my father’s diaries to get a clear picture of it. Wherever we go, in whatever condition he will be, u will always find him with a pen and some loose sheets, jotting down things of that particular day.
    Writing diary is the most effective way to develop and enhance great understanding about yourself, understanding about how you become what you are, what directions you want to go ahead in your life. It helps you to connect to your experiences both in everyday life routine and otherwise. Life is lengthy but for the learning process, we should stay connected to ourselves, and diary writing can guide, inspire and allow you to develop a greater understanding of who you are, how you came to be the way that you are. It connects you to your experiences, both the mundane and the extraordinary. Life is a learning process, but how can we learn if we are disconnected from ourselves.
    This is what I have learnt from my father. Though I never really took the opportunity to personally ransack through his diaries until very recently but I could feel the emotions that are shown by some tear stained pages in his diaries. But no matter what, it is very sweet of him to gift me, my brother and Ma every year a diary for sure. I , personally, stumbled upon diary writing when I was in the 9th standard which I could hardly maintain more than 10 years unlike my father.This year too he has gifted diaries to me and my brother. My Father believes ‘Memory is a diary that we all carry with us’ as quoted by Oscar Wilde.
    Last but not the least my heartfelt thanks and regards to Mrs. Kavita for acknowledging his diary writing in her blog which I believe will help to motivate a lot of people.

    Monmayuri Borah

  38. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  39. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  40. dear anonymous ... first i need to now who you are and your page too .