Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Review of Ananya Jamaja Poetry Book by me

This is a review by Sj.Bankim Chandra Moharana, the retired Head Master of Bari High School. Sj.Bankim Sir own National Award in 1990 for his contribution as a teacher. The best part of his review is its form - i.e. a poem in appreciation of a poetry book . It's a recursion!

His book 'On the Coral Circle' published by All Odisha National and State Awardee Teacher's Organization is beautiful expression of his love for teaching and students. We are indebted to such teachers indeed.

I express my sincere gratitude for your appreciation sir.

24th June 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In English

Namaskar to my Visitors!!!

Last few months towards end of the last semester as usual of my types, I was busy in being true to profession doing grading etc. Interestingly, I'm not sure how my students grade me! I'm sure they must have been kind to me. But, it's not only one reason for me being not appearing on my blog 'MoKatha'. It's not also true that there has not been interesting things around me. Infact, they are plenty. Whether they are so or I make them that way, is also an issue. True is,I was busy in finishing writing of my second Odia poetry book. A couple of those I put it on my blog too. I am sorry these postings have been no use to my non-Odia visitors. So, as soon as I put up the last posting on Savitri, I got an email thanking me turning to English. I am happy to know that my visitors expect me to write.

But, at the other side it pops up a doubt on longevity of Indian Languages. English has been big-brother to all Indian Languages. Many of us make very conscious decisions in favour of it. Our kids, at least my kids do not know to read and write odia. My son argued against studying Sanskrit and Hindi in his school. I'm sure many of you must have encountered the same at different occasions against Indian Languages. At least I can say of Odia. I feel it's an endangered language for its sparing usages. In official domain English rules. So, also in higher education. Middle class prefers to English. Listen to an urbanite Odia, will find him talking Odia assorted with English or Hindi words. I doubt some time just they do – drop off English (deliberates or habituals ?), if at all it's needed for.

With my new incarnation as nascent poet, I had a privilege to have an hour long discussion with Sj. Ramakanta Rath a Padma Bibhusan awardee, distinguished bureaucrat ex-chief secretary of Odisha. More to it, he is a fine poet full of human sensitivity. He was also the president of Kendra Sahitya Academy. I was lamenting of my kids' inability to read and write Odia. He told me quite revealing that that is so even for kids in Odisa for parents talk in broken English assorted Odia at home and prefer to put kids at English medium schools. Just, imagine if the trend is like this what will be the situation after say fifty years. Even now, we have a chief minister who does not speak our language. With all appreciation to the most popular CM, I'll fall short to understand how a ruler can't speak in subjects' language or a leader can't speak in the language of mass! Anyway, he gets his votes, it's fine, probably?

But, the point is not only of Odia but also so for many Indian languages. Sj Ramakatha Rath tells the day will come Odia may extinguish like many languages had to in recent past. To me it is very saddening, so also for many of my generation. How can I imagine an Odia without a Champu or Salabega Janana? A Bengali without Rabindra Sangeet or Jibananda Das poems? A renowned Odia female novelist Smt. Supriya Panda, who discovered me on my blog put a bit of counseling to my concern. She said, as long as kids are sensitive, it does not matter what languages they know. Could be true. She seems to be very pragmatic, so are the ladies invariably!

But, for me my sensitivity is more expressive in Odia than English. So, occasionally I resort to Odia on my blog. But, I will be pragmatic where it demands to ....

Hrushikesha Mohanty
4th June 2009