Bhubaneswar: Internationally acclaimed literary platform, Kalinga Literary Festival organised it’s 3rd KLF Corner to engage with the literary community and the youth of the state. Literary youth Icon Biyot Pronja Tripathy joined the Conversation with Living Literary Legend Shri Devdas Chhotray. The best of the two generations at one place in conversation with each other on the concerns of our time and nuances in literary reflections.
“Nothing is more important in my life than coffee and books. And as I live in Cuttack, I am very much acquainted with corners ( Laughs). Oxford Bookstore has organised such a sweet and beautiful Corner in collaboration with Kalinga Literary Festival,” said Living Literary Legend Devdas Chhotray.
speaking over significance of his name. He said wherever I went for interviews for jobs, people asked me what is the meaning of my surname more often than my name. During my first interview for IAS, the interviewer asked me about democracy. Meanwhile, a bus passes by blowing horn sharply. That sound caused the Doppler effect which distracted me from his question and I answered him “I completely agree with you”. One thing I learnt from the incident that if you could agree with things in life, many things will get easier to deal with. My horoscopic name was “Durgacharan”but my father chose to change the name. He liked the name Devdas but my mother didn’t like it. Well, that was a perception regarding the character of Devdas that he was not a positive character. But somehow my father trucked her saying “naming our son Durgacharan will make him a devotee of one goddess but naming him Devdas will make him a slave of every god of the universe. The tragic part of this name is Devdas is fine until Romance continues and files and trash of government services don’t strangle you. We all think and are conscious about death, but the character of Devdas rushes in the crave to die.
speaking over essence of Urbanesentation in his poems he said that he didn’t realise it ever that he is an urban poet. “Cuttack is the place to which I relate and where I live. If you call Cuttack an urban place, it is rather a urbanised village because Britishers paved this place first in Odisha. Cuttack is the place from where I have gathered all my urbanity and probably you see it reflected in Literature. I too write rural pieces like “Gotie Saree”. It’s upto the readers who have divided into categories. Well, the rural essence in my poems and lyrics I have got from my mother. In the lyrics of “Teeniti Jhia”, you could see the rural essence in between the shadow of urbanity. However, the song is equally mine and of Akshaya Mohanty,” said Mr. Chhotray.
How Devdas Chhotray became a lyricist he said that “Ja re basanti Sandhya bajai sankha mahuri”of Akshaya Mohanty cured my typhoid of which I was suffering. He first had virtually instigated song writing in me. I used to write and hide it from my sister. But eventually my family found it and my mother told me “why are even writing all this? Do you really think Akshaya Mohanty is going to sing them?” But eventually he sang all my lyrics.
“The inequality between men and women is prevailing since periods ago. Everyone wants the protagonist to be a male. The context always leans towards the male’s perspective. Or on the other part, audience or readers demand passively, he said this while answering why many of his writings are not women orientated?.
“He was not into politics but was into governance. But why there is no political insight in any of his writings. My father was a political person, but I am mentally devoid of politics. Even I have held elections three times but have never voted. Politics of today’s world holds no beauty, and no essence. Wilson Churchill won battle using his force and power of mobilizing a language,” he said this while speaking over political insight in his writings.
I never search for news or not I write on news. I write Stories only when they find a way to reach me. Writing on and of your experience should not be a priority. When you write about experience, you are not the only character in it, rather, there are several people playing characters. You must began to forget things and get out of focus to write, said veteran poet while answering how his administrative life’s influence on his works.
Over his Experience and views on Ravenshaw University he said that Ravenshaw is my experience. My book “Chumbaka” is dedicated to the sundial placed in the quadrangle lawn of Ravenshaw. People say that an individual grows in enlightenment if he walks in the air of Ravenshaw. But when I served there as a Vice Chancellor, I tried to open up the squeezed environment of Ravenshaw.
It should be noted that KLF Corner in Bhubaneswar launched on 12th December 2018 in collaboration with famous Oxford Bookstore at the Pal Heights, Jayadev Vihar. In the inaugural edition, literary youth Icon Shri Kedar Mishra joined the Conversation with Living Literary Legend Shri Jayanta Mahapatra. The best of the two generations at one place in conversation with each other on the concerns of our time and nuances in literary reflections.
Founder Shri Rashmi Ranjan Parida strongly believes that there is an urgent need to engage the youth icons with the legends in the literary world. He has plans to invite all Living Legends of Odia Literature and have conversations on their own writings, comparative insights, discussions on books and authors those who have won the national and global prizes like Sahitya Akademi, Jnanpith, the Booker and the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Programme Coordinator Shri Debasish Samantaray feels that there is no better opportunity than this to listen to these great voices and meet them in person and get their Autographs and Selfies! He further emphasizes the need to celebrate the lives of our own writers and poets; their creative works, contributions and impact. The program was conducted by KLF Coordiantor Sarnya Das ,Debamitra Mishra and Pradyumna Sekhawat.
KLF Corner promises to be a thought-provoking and entertaining. The Venue will be Oxford Bookstore, Pal Heights, Jayadev Vihar every last Sunday of the month. KLF Coordinator Satya Patnaik and other senior members of KLF joined the program.