Writer passes away at 89

Chandrasekhar Rath

Bhubaneswar: Chandrasekhar Rath, who made his presence felt in diverse literary genres, including poetry, story writing, belles-lettres and essays, passed away at a private hospital here on Friday at the age of 89.

Talking about the diversity of Rath's writings, writer Bibhuti Patnaik said: "He was really different from authors of the state. He had grasp over a wide range of topics that were expressed in a number of forms of literature."

Around a hundred and fifty of his essays have been published in a dozen volumes. Some of the most prominent ones include Vision and Views, The Outer Woods, This Dear Earth, The Unheard Voice, The quest for Manna, The Slaves Dream, Wedded to Truth I speak.

Sabutharu Dirgharati, the award-winning collection of short stories by Rath, provides interesting glimpses of rural Odisha. He has also translated the commentary of Acharya Shankara on Bhagwad Gita into Odia. He has also rendered Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull into Odia as Sagara Vihanga.

Writer Jagdanand Chhuria said: "I found a lot of honesty in his writings. I had recently listened to his talk during a gathering and it seemed like sermon. He was really interesting to listen to as a public speaker."

Two of his poetry collections that require special mention are Rathasaptaka that is woven around Lord Jagannath and the car festival and the other is a record of reflections and meditations inspired by Sri Aurobindo and his integral yoga with which Rath had been associated for nearly half a decade.

The Padma Shri winner of this year has 12 volumes of stories to his credit that has also fetched him the highest state literary award and the Sahitya Aakdemi Award. His three novels form a trilogy depicting a value, positive, spiritual and human as the thesis in Yantrarudha, juxtaposed with the antitheses of the death of all values in the darkness of Asurya Upanivesh and finally culminating in a synthesis of transcendence in Nav Jatak.


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