'All about love': Legendary Odia poet Jayanta Mahapatra launches autobiography

Speakers at the launch event said that what makes the book unique is that it is contemplative in nature than offering just anecdotes on events in his life which is more revelatory of the workings.

Published: 15th May 2022 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2022 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

Legendary Odia poet Jayanta Mahapatra

Legendary Odia poet Jayanta Mahapatra (Photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: 'Bhor Motira Kanaphoola', a unique autobiography of Jayanta Mahapatra in Odia language, chronicling the experiences in his life that shaped him as a poet of international repute, was released in the Capital city here on Saturday.

Speakers at the event said that what makes the book unique is that it is contemplative in nature than offering just anecdotes on events in his life which is more revelatory of the workings of a poet's mind. Also, through the book, the poet has established himself as a lyrical Odia prose writer.

Speaking on the occasion, Mahapatra said he started writing very late in life. "I did not know anything about writing or poetry because I was a Physics student. In fact, it was my wife Jyotsna who was an English literature student. Since I was educated in English, I gathered courage to write in the language because I could use the words properly. I wrote a lot, published around the world a lot but I did not know how I did that," said the doyen of Indian English poetry who is a Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi awardee.

From his first book to the latest one, the poet said all his works revolve around his 'desha', Odisha. "I do not think I have loved any other state more than Odisha. I have had several opportunities to stay and work in other parts of the country. While my eminent poet friends AK Ramanujan, R Parthsarathy stayed back, I decided to return to Odisha. I love my State's weather, its air, and rain. Even at the age of 94, I like getting drenched in rain. I got drenched today," he said with a smile.

Mahapatra was eloquent about his love for Cuttack, his hometown. Cuttack, he said, has many things that hold him back from moving to any other part of the country. He said his book is all about loving each other.

"Poetry gives us scope to love someone. If I cannot love the people around me...my cycle mechanic, my newspaper hawker and everyone else, how can I write poetry," he said, adding his autobiography is not about events in his life but his experiences of loving people.

The book launch was attended by retired Justice Arun Parichha and Odia author-columnist Gourahari Das. Justice Parichha advised readers not to read the book as an autobiography. "Because every paragraph in the book is poetry," he said. The book of around 360 pages has been published by Ketaki Foundation Trust, Bhubaneswar. 


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