Poet speaks for the voiceless - Sanjaya Mishra pens the tale of migration and poverty
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- Published 27.10.10
|Sanjaya Mishra and his books. Telegraph pictures|
Balangir, Oct. 26: Young poet Sanjaya Mishra has chosen poetry as the medium to depict the poverty, pathos and hunger of Balangir.
Mishra’s series of poems titled “Urmila” is a major work in this connection. In this series, Urmila, the wife of Laxman, talks about the different aspects of poverty in Balangir.
The poet says that he has taken the character of Urmila as a symbol of the hunger in the district. “In the Ramayana, Laxman, along with Rama and Sita go to the forest leaving behind Urmila to look after the old Dasaratha and Kausalya. Similarly, many hungry people in present day Balangir migrate to other states for work leaving behind the numerous Urmilas to look after the old and ailing family members. I have tried to highlight the burning issue of poverty in this part of country through these legendary characters in my poems,” said Mishra, who has so far penned more than 100 poems in the “Urmila” series and some of them have already been published in different magazines.
In his poems, Mishra focuses mostly on the deprivation, poverty, distress, migration and the other socio-cultural problems and pathos of the people of the migrant community. Crop failure, failure of entitlement and other dimensions of rural poverty forms an integral part of his poems. What drove Mishra to write about these people of the lesser god?
“I live in Kantabanjhi, which is the epicentre of migration in Balangir. I have seen the suffering of the people from close quarters. I want to serve them through my poems. I intend to give a voice to the voiceless,” he said.
Mishra has been writing poems in both Oriya and Sambalpuri language for the last two decades. His Sambalpuri poetry collection Maraguda published in the year 2006 won appreciation. The title of the book, which means lost civilisation, talks about the flora, fauna, folk tradition, culture, local beliefs and customs, folk gods and goddess in a lively manner. His piece on Hirakud dam in the same collection has been widely acclaimed.
The poet has done extensive research on folk ballad of western Orissa. Santosh Rath of the Oriya department of Jawahar College of Patnagarh describes Sanjaya as an excellent poet.
“His collection of ballads from different parts of western Orissa and its analysis is a rare work,” Rath said. Mishra is now attached with the department of Oriya in Jawahar College of Patnagarh in the capacity of a research scholar supported by UGC.
He has been selected for the travel grant fellowship by the Kendra Sahitya Academy and also selected for the SAARC poetry festival for his literary excellence.
His publications include Agantuka (1999), Bhangi Padiba Agaru (2006) and Dhasa(2010).