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Poetry: Visit to the Mountains by Barsha Sahoo

Visit to the Mountains by Barsha Sahoo

Barsha Sahoo

 

Barsha Sahoo is 17 years old, from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Reading poetry of different poets, irrespective of age, time and culture is one of her hobbies. She likes to write poems about places and people she loves. She wrote ‘Visit to the Mountains’ when she was 15, after a walk to these mountains in her dad’s native place. Her favorite poem is ‘The vagabond’ by R. L Stevenson. To write a poem, the poet has to picture it first and Barsha was an artist way before she was a poet.

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New Release: Feet in the Valley by Aswini Kumar Mishra

feet-in-the-valley

Rupa Publications’s latest novel Feet in the Valley is the story of a young man Somen, son of an honest railway official, who is trying desperately to redeem himself in the eyes of his small railway town community in Odisha—they have already written him off as a ‘failure’ who could not clear the Indian civil service exams.

Authored by Aswini Kumar Mishra, Feet in the Valley describes how, with the support of his family, Somen negotiates the serpentine path to success. Along the way, he must come to terms with many challenges and frustrations both at a personal and social level—from the venal and widespread corruption of the local public administration officials who treat drought relief funds as their personal bonuses, to the shameless culture of kowtowing to senior officials in exchange for favours; from the anger and satisfaction of supporting the forest dwellers in their struggles, to sorting out his own love-life. More than once, Somen is tempted to take the easy way out and abandon his ethics in pursuit of material success, but with the example of his honest father before him and his mother’s unwavering faith, he soldiers on.

The book gives the reader an unstinting picture of how corruption, nepotism and the culture of ‘bada sahibs’ pans out at a local level. It also paints a sharp outline of the pressures and pleasures of small-town social life, the idealism of love based on trust and mutual respect, and reinforces the message that the small guy can not only survive, but even triumph!

About the author:

Aswini Kumar Mishra is the current Secretary of the Odisha Sahitya Akademi. Feet in the Valley is his maiden English novel. He is a retired officer of Odisha’s state civil service.


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Book review: The Dynasty Of The Immortals by Gopinath Mohanty

Is there another Indian novelist whose books contain, not just so many beautiful sentences, but so many different kinds of beautiful sentences, as those of Gopinath Mohanty (1914-91)? No Indian novelist is as consistently—and meaningfully—melodious as him. Most thrillingly, in Mohanty’s great novels of tribal life in Odisha, the notes he summons derive not just from his own sense of rhythm, but from his material: man as he experiences the pleasure and danger of the forest, the proximity and capriciousness of the gods, and the elemental beat and spark of the life-force itself.

Amrutara Santana, just published as ‘The Dynasty Of The Immortals‘ by the Sahitya Akademi in a translation by Odia scholars and professors of English literature, (the late) Bidhubhusan Das, Prabhat Nalini Das and classical dancer Oopali Operajita, is one of two great novels about Odia tribal life written by Mohanty in his youth. The other is ‘Paraja, which appeared almost 30 years ago in an excellent translation by Bikram K. Das. Read more