“This book contains eleven short stories in Odiya translated into English. The original authors are all well-known writers, some of them winners of the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awards and others honoured with several state-level awards.
The stories in this anthology reflect the rich and divergent cultural heritage of Odisha and the current thinking in Odiya society – varying from focus on the plight of the underprivileged to the struggles of different sections of society in dealing with moral dilemmas.
The stories have been selected carefully to promote the Odiya language, with its colourful idiom, the heritage and the social ambience of Odisha, to a wider audience so that the readers can learn about its rich literature and the glorious history of Odisha.“
To pick up folklore and to translate them into a language that is understood by the majority of the population is no small task. To ensure that the reader who knows nothing about the language, people and culture of a particular state gathers the minutest of things you write, is an even bigger challenge. Often, much is lost in translation but Saroj Mishra has done a wonderful job of translating the works of literary giants of Odisha and ensuring that it reaches the masses who do not know the local language.
Each story addresses a different subject – each depicting some virtue we would like to imbibe in our lives. The stories highlight the lives and livelihood of the common man of Odisha and also the kind of lives they lead. From a simple villages who reaches the town to find a job to the temple chariot festival, it all finds a mention in this collection of stories. Saroj Mishra has done a commendable job of translating, though the proof reading could have been a tad better.
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Writing to me is therapy, it frightens and comforts at the same time. Liberates like nothing else. A book in my own name is a dream, but a bigger dream would be to write something that haunts the reader even after the last page is turned and the book is shut. I enjoy reading and music, spending time with family whilst battling my social awkwardness.