Cuttack: The inaugural edition of the Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) Cuttack took place at the scenic and historic city of Cuttack at the Odisha State Maritime Museum, nestled on the banks of the majestic Mahanadi River.
The event commenced with the lighting of the lamp by esteemed guests of honor, Mayor Subhash Chandra Singh, MLA Mohammed Moquim, Shri Satyabrata (Kuna) Tripathy, eminent Poet Shri Amaresh Pattnaik and renowned academic & translator Prof Jatindra Kumar Nayak. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Soumyaranjan Sahoo, the coordinator of Kalinga Literary Festival, shed light on the importance of the language, culture & history & diversity of Odisha as well as the significance of Cuttack as the cultural hub of the state. He also emphasized the relentless efforts of Kalinga Literary Festival in promoting Odisha’s contribution on a Global stage.
The day was filled with captivating discussions and sessions. The inaugural session, titled “Ekabinsha Satabdi ra Odisha re Sahitya, Sanskruti au Ayitiha ra Sahara, Cuttack,” was moderated by Shri Dipak Samantarai and featured Mayor Subhash Chandra Singh, MLA Mohammed Moquim, Prof Jatindra Nayak, Poet Shri Amaresh Pattnaik, Chairman OFDC Shri Satyabrata Tripathy, and Shri Soumyaranjan Sahoo. The panel delved into the legacy, history, culture, and folk traditions of the Silver City.
The next session, “Reimagining Cuttack,” saw Prof. Kharvela Mohanti and Shri Dipak Samantarai discussing the city’s history, anthropology, and antiquity. They touched upon the enduring spirit of brotherhood among the city’s inhabitants, which has been a hallmark of Cuttack for centuries. Prof. Mohanti proposed starting a light and sound show at the iconic Barabati Fort, bringing the city’s history to life, and advocated for the establishment of separate authorities for the River Bed Project. He emphasized the role of literature as a primary source of understanding the essence of Cuttack.
Another highlight of the event was the session with Author & Sr. Journalist Shri Sandeep Sahu and Author & Sr. Journalist Ms Kasturi Ray, discussing their books, “Madam President, Droupadi Murmu” and “Droupadi Murmu, from Tribal Hinterlands to Raisina Hills.” The conversation, moderated by Prof. Jatindra Nayak, shed light on the extraordinary journey of Her Excellency, India’s second woman president, and her indomitable spirit that serves as a beacon of hope.
The day culminated in a poetic extravaganza, with several eminent poets from Odisha presenting their poems that captured the nuances and ambiguities of Cuttack in the session named “Kabi ra Kabya re Kataka”. The poems by Dr. Sarojini Sarangi, Bijay Malla, Dipak Samantarai, Frederick Wright, Amiya Ranjan Mohapatra, Amaresh Pattnaik, Chimoy Jena, Suersh Nayak, Jnanee Debashish Mishra, Ranjita Nayak, and Anjuman Ara filled the hearts of the audience with the magic of the city, evoking deep emotional connections and profound contemplation.
Mystic Mic provided a platform for young poetic enthusiasts to express their thoughts and creativity, promoting budding artists and their literary expressions.
KLF Founder, Rashmi Ranjan Parida said that, “Cuttack has been the literary, cultural, and business capital of Odisha for centuries. KLF Cuttack is an attempt to engage with & celebrate Cuttack’s glorious past, the vibrant present, and an inspiring future. Cuttack, dear friends, is more than a city; it is a living, pulsating testament to the grandeur of history, culture, and heritage, instrumental in moulding the unique cultural ethos of Odisha. Nestled on the banks of the majestic Mahanadi River, Cuttack has witnessed the steady march of centuries, each leaving behind a wealth of tales and architectural wonders. This festival is not a mere gathering; it is a grand celebration. It is a salute to Cuttack’s architectural marvels, its intricate silver filigree work, its cultural landmarks, and its hidden treasures. It’s a timeless journey where the whispers of the past meet the voice of the present, revealing glimpses of a bygone era that still echo in the city’s heart”.
Kalinga Literary Festival remains steadfast in its commitment to intensify the love for literature among enthusiasts of all ages in the Millenium city, Cuttack bi-monthly. It aims to paint even more vibrant strokes of literature and provide an enriching experience for literary aficionados, young and old alike.
The event witnessed a confluence of eminent writers, poets, speakers, journalists, politicians, and literary enthusiasts who came together to celebrate the beauty of literature and the rich cultural heritage of Cuttack.