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Oriya Literature

K. Mahapatra

By Kishori Charan Das
Cuttack Students' Store, Cuttack-2, 1975, Price Not Stated

VOLUME II NUMBER 1 January-February 1977

Thakura Ghara, the Sahitya Akademi award winning book of 1976, is the fifth and the latest collection of short stories by the author. 'God's Apartment' is the vantage point from which the author sur­veys the middle class world. Obviously a writer of the traditional school, there is a gentle irony in his delineation of events. The middle class world is de­void of any ideals and there is self-de­ception in all their actions. The wife embraces during love-making according to 'Estimate' and all relationships are without any warmth. The author has very pungently depicted the exhaustion, crisis, disaffection and aversion to ideals in the lives of his characters. He does not depend on sensationalism or close-­knit plots for the effect but tries to reveal the inner consciousness of men in sensi­tive reaction to events and situations. It has been his object to provide tantalizing glimpses of truth rather than comfortable certainties. Irony enlivened with com­passion is the dominant tone of his stories, which are expositions of the tin­sel middle-class 'virtues' which prevent the individual from realizing himself.   Lakshmira Abhisara (The Honeymoon of Lakshmi) by Manoj Das. Jagannath Rath, Cuttack-2, 1975.   Manoj Das is a Sahitya Akademi award winner for Oriya short stories. His book is a small collection of a dozen of his stories. One can hear the boister­ous laughter of the writer behind every episode. His capacity for surprising and upsetting our expectations appears in the title story, where Lakshmi is a girl of six years only and her date is with the deity inside the temple whom she wanted to meet for a heart-to-heart talk. She suc­ceeds and her talk reveals her confronta­tion with the temple priest in the process of making a mockery of all the rituals and the absurdity of the adult world. The other stories also reveal the pretence and absurdity of the contemporary society rather mercilessly. In the process, the writer extols the innocence and simpli­city of rustic life and its superiority in spite of the awe the rustics have as illus­trated in their attitude to the 'Sahib' in the story, ‘The Crocodile Lady’. ‘The Mayor of Madhuban’ is a graphic analysis of the nature of petty politicians. Manoj Das is a leading young Oriya writer whose fame is not confined to Orissa only. Most of his stories have got good publicity through English transla­...

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