BHUBANESWAR: “A Time Elsewhere”, the English translation of the one of the most acclaimed works in Oriya literature “Desha, Kala, Patra” penned by Jagannath Prasad Das in 1992 was released by Governor MC Bhandare here today. The translation has been done by Jatindra Kumar Nayak and published by Penguin India.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor MC Bhandare said the book was an enriching experience with its unique blend of historical facts and fiction. The events of the 19th Century leading to the disastrous famine and the aftermath till the beginning of the 20th Century has had far-reaching impact on the development of Orissa as a modern state, he opined.
Renowned writer and author of famous works as ‘Paro: Dreams of Passion’, ‘Reminiscence of Kumaoni Women’, ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘In search of Sita’ Namita Gokhale observed that the book records transition of Orissa through the colonisation era.
The book, according to Jatindra K Nayak, tells the story of this transformation of a traditional society under the impact of colonial rule.
The period leading to the famine as well as the impact a million people and the absolute inaction of the colonial administrative heads to prevent the disaster along the emergent Oriya intelligentsia has been traced though a beautiful combination of facts and fiction.
The release function was marked by a very interesting conversation between MP Pinaki Mishra and the author JP Das. Asked by Mishra on what inspired him to write the book, Das revealed that he was researching for a 19th Century palm leaf artisan Raghunath Prusty when he stumbled upon sordid facts and details on the causes of such gross casualties. “All characters in the book are real but conversations imaginary”, he said.
Both Das and Mishra read out passages from the original and the translation for the audience.
Among others, theatre personality Ananta Mahapatra also spoke.