Birth: On 14 November 1942 in a traditional Vaishnavite family that headed a xattra (monastery) at Amranga village in South Kamrup where she spent most of her childhood.
Education: BA in 1960 from Cotton College in Guwahati with major in Assamese, MA in 1963 and PhD in 1973. Several honorary D Litt degrees.
Marriage: Married Madhaven Raisom Ayengar, an engineer, in 1965. He died in an accident in 1967 in Kashmir, 18 months after marriage. She was in her 20s.
Aftermath of husband’s death: Widowhood cast a dark shadow on her. Once, she shut herself in a small room in Goalpara and attempted suicide.
Vrindavan: She spent two years in Vrindavan amidst the Radhaswami widows as a researcher.
Delhi: After joining the Modern Indian Languages and Linguistics Department at the University of Delhi, she wrote most of her greatest works.
As peace mediator: Having lost relatives to the Assam violence and after visiting ULFA camps and families, she initiated the peace process between the Government of India and the ULFA.
Illness: Suffered from pneumonia with several complications and admitted to Gauhati Medical College on 12 February 2011. She later slipped into a com