When I received the news from the Department of Culture, Govt. of Assam that I had been selected for Sri Sri Madhavdev Award for the year 2019, I was delighted. This award is similar to Sri Sri Sankardev Award which is given for contribution to Assamese culture in particular and culture in general. It is the highest award given by the Govt. of Assam and is a national award. It carries a purse of Rs. 3 lakhs, a citation and a shawl. This award has been instituted only recently. The venue for conferring the award was Narayanpur, the birthplace of Sri Sri Madhavdev. It was to be given by the Chief Minsiter Sri Sarbanand Sonowal.
The invitation letter mentioned that the awardee will be the State Guest and all arrangements for travel, accommodation, visiting Sattra of Sri Sri Madhavdev, meeting with the CM etc., would be arranged. Arriving on 22nd September, I was received traditionally with Assamese Gamocha (scarf) by the officer from Dept. of Culture along with my friend Samar Sarmah at the Guwahati airport. It has been refurnished and when one arrives one sees the large scale masks of Nrusimha avatara and various other characters at the entrance. They are titled as Majuli vignettes, as the Sattra which has specialized in mask making is on Majuli Island known as Chamguri Sattra.
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