It’s World Book Day, today! Well, for a bibliophile it doesn’t really matter, one day or not, every day is a Book Day! But, as it is, UNESCO declared April 23 as this ‘World Book Day’ to promote reading as a culture and so we decided to celebrate it in our very own, customized ‘Odia’ way!
Most of us omit to read our own vernacular stories, or often the ones who want to read are confused about where to start from, so here, we have the list of the FIVE most read Odia Authors. If you haven’t read them, start as soon as you can!
FAKIR MOHAN SENAPATI
Born in Baleshwar, he’s famously known as the ‘Thomas Hardy of Odisha’. The pioneer of Odia Nationalism and new prose forms in Odia, he’s known for his outstanding novel, Chaa Maana Atha Guntha , which revolves around the usurpation of landless farmers by the land owners. It is the first ever Indian Novel talking about this host-parasite relationship between the farmers and land owners. Well, he’s our very own Marx, too! This novel dealt with labour rights even before Marx himself talked about it… The book was published before the October revolution of Russia! He penned the first Odia short story, Rebati, too!
Paraja, as we know, is synonymous to his name. Translated to around 40 languages, this masterpiece has created Mohanty’s identity. Yielding a Jnanpith Award and many more, this remains as the most coveted treasures of Odia Literature. The ‘Chinua Achebe of Odisha’, he’s penned the first ever story based on Tribals- ‘Dadi Budha’. One of the jewels of Odia Literary world he started the idea of “individual protagonist”. A Sahitya Akademi awardee, Padma Bhushan, Mohanty is an asset to all Odias.
Reliving his geographical glory, the Baleshwar born author is perhaps the foremost bilingual Odia author. Writing in both, English and Odia, Das has been able to bag the highest literary award of the country- Sahitya Akademi Award, Saraswati Samman, and Padma Shri, too. Reffered to as “R.K Narayan of Odisha’ by Graham Greene, he is arguable one of the best story-tellers in India. One of his notable works is, Tandralokara Prahari.
One of the noted Indian Bilingual Poets, Mahapatra has been known for his deep involvement in western literature but his ability pen the rare rapturous fragrance of native soil. He has to his credit, 15 poetry collections, 5 essay collections, a travelogue, over 30 contemplative works, apart from numerous translations. His poetry collections have been published in several Indian languages. His notable works are, Sabdar Akash (1971) (The Sky of Words), Samudra (1977) and Anek Sharat (1981). Winner of Sahitya Akademi, Padma Bhusan and SAARC Lifetime Achievement, Mahapatra stands tall in representing Odia literature.
The ‘T.S. Eliot of Odisha’, he’s the pioneer of modernist poetry in Odisha. Rath experimented greatly with form and style. The quest for the mystical, the riddles of life and death, the inner solitude of individual selves, and subservience to material needs and carnal desires are among this philosopher-poet’s favourite themes. Padma Bhusan, Sahitya Akademi winner and Saraswati Samman winning poet, Rath’s famous works are, “Kete Dinara” (Of a Long Long Time), 1962, “Aneka Kothari” (Many Rooms), 1967.
Did this push you to grab one of those books and just start reading? Oh, sure, it did! Why wait, now? Go, get going to the nearest library and start reading!
Contributed by: Abinash Dash Choudhury