Odia literature's modern man

Read more below

By LALMOHAN PATNAIK
  • Published 3.03.13
  •  

Cuttack, March 2: On the occasion of the 89th birth anniversary of Kishori Charan Das, eminent personalities recollected the contribution of the litterateur who had brought modernism to Odia literature.

Born in 1924, Das is credited for giving a new direction to Odia literature in the post-Independence era.

At an event organised by the Kishori Charan Smruti Sansad at Satabdi Bhavan here last evening, author Prativa Ray said that Das had laid the path of modernism in Odia literature by exploring the blighted dreams, inner-conflict and existential anguish of his characters in urban milieu.

If his short stories exemplified his master storytelling ability, his novels were intense and selfless study of contemporary middle and upper middle class urban life.

Professor Jatin Kumar Nayak said Das had set a new trend in Odia literature by making urban life as the focal point of his creations.

His writings marked a turning point in Odia literature as his protagonists, who had rural origin, were bereft of village nostalgia.

Delivering the inaugural address, former judge of Orissa High Court Justice Bimal Prasad Das said that the legendary author had started writing novels at the age of 70 because he admittedly found the ambit of short-stories insufficient for his explorations into urban life.

He wrote seven novels in the last ten years of his life and gave a new direction to Odia novels, Justice Das said.

The Kishori Charan Das Sahitya Purashkar was given away to Chittaranjan Chiranjit for Cell, a 165-page Odia novel published by Satyam Book Agency, on the occasion.

The novel revolves around a youth’s secluded life in a cell (small room) and his fixation with a cell phone that borders on mental aberration.

“The award, which is the first recognition of my literary work, is an inspiration for me to pursue the path of a writer,” said 37-year-old Chiranjit after receiving the award from Prativa Ray.

“We have been giving away the Kishori Charan Das Sahitya Purashkar to an Odia author below 40 every year since 2007. It includes a cash award of Rs 10,000 and a citation,” said Bijayananda Singh, secretary of the Kishori Charan Smruti Sansad.

Kishori Charan Das, who died in 2004, wrote in both Odia and English. He also translated his own works. He received the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award in 1976.

Some of his important works are Odia short stories Bhanga Khelana (1961), Ghara Bahuda (1968), Manihara (1970), Thakura Ghara (1975), Khelara Nam Ranga (1982), Bhinna Paunsha (1984), Shita Lahara (1986), Nija Sanja (1992), Taranga (1997), Odia poetry Mana Kamana (1983), Odia essays Lekhakara Samsara (1986), Odia novels Satoti Dinara Sati (1993), Neta O Netramani (1997) and English stories Death of an Indian (1984) and The midnight Moon and Other Stories (1993) and English poetry Faces in the Dark (1980).