Wednesday, October 28, 2015

An Anthology of short stories Translated from Odiya- A Review






Book Name             :       Kanhu & Other Stories        
Author                     :       Saroj Mishra(Translator)   
Publisher                 :       Platinum Press
Genre                      :       Fiction(Anthology)
Number of Pages    :       109
Publishing Date     :        2015
Binding                   :       Paperback
ISBN                       :       9789383562800

Rating : 4.5



Blurb
Original authors are all well-known writers, some of them winners of the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awards and others honored 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 colorful 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.




Plots

Kanhu & other stories is an anthology of 10 stories written by Award winning authors. The book is translated from Odiya by Saroj Mishra. The review of the ten stories follows
     1.     Kanhu- by Gaura Hari Das

Kanhu is the story of a sixteen year old boy who was assigned the job of supervising a house construction. He considers the home as his own and loves each brick used to build it. Encouraged by his master, he plays the role of a manager. After the construction, he goes back to his native place to bring his mother to the new house but what awaits him is an unexpected fate.
The story travels through the intricacies of Kanhu’s love, loyalty, dreams and passion. He is the representative of those innocent youth who toils to serve their masters to get nothing but negligence in return.

     2.     Mystery of the Closed iron chest.- by Sahadev Sahoo

This is a story about old Sudarshan and his mysterious iron chest. Tagged as a miser, Sudarshan himself is a mystery to his family. The mystery of the chest unveils after his demise.
The story is about Sudarshan’s lonely life and how he found solace from his forlornness. Author tells us not to judgemental about anyone, through this story.

     3.     Last Opportunity- by Bipin Bihari Mishra

The book is a story of encounter between Amareesh- a police officer and an old man, at the venue of the famous chariot festival. The old man came to festival to meet his wife after five years. The old man lives with his elder son and his wife with his younger son. The story reminds us that one day; we will also shed the grandeur and security of youth. The old man is the embodiment of a mass of overlooked people in their old age.

     4.     Inauguration of Electric Crematorium- by Paresh Kumar Patnaik

This is a story of travail Municial Executive Office Alek and his Assistant Guru in obtaining a dead body for the inauguration of the Electric Crematorium. An interesting satirical drama portrays the futility of human lives. The conditions cited by the minister regarding dead body and the dead body with the goggles tickles the funny bones as well as pulls the pain string. The story is a comedy ride as well as a tragic reality show.

     5.     The Wound- by Ramachandra Behera

Wound is the story of Jagu, his wife Hema and the children whom they adopted. Well, not legally but they live in Jagu’s house and he looks after them like his own kids. Jagu life takes a U-Turn when two journalists-Tushar and Prakash- visit him and report his life. The story unveils the persona of hypocrisy; how people try to take advantage Jagu’s benevolence for their benefit.

     6.     Mission Heart- by Saroj Mishra

This is the story of Prakash Nanda, an unemployed person, who was dragged into the Marital and extra marital intricacies, by the inescapable and alluring job offer. He is assigned a job by Sanjukta Dash to entice a girl named Swathy, who was in an alleged relation with her husband. As th story proceeds, Prakash becomes an inevitable part of the lives of Sanjukta,Prasant Kumar Dash and Swathy. The story portrays the fragility of relations in modern times.

     7.     Gagan Majhi and his kin- by Bibhuti Patnaik

     The story is about the battle of dalit anit-displacement against a mega steel plant. Majhi was silenced by a few conspirators but they fail to lead a peaceful life. Author wails for the empowerment of the exploited.
     8.     Drowning- but Shyama Prasad Chouwdhary.

Drowning is a psychological thriller? That is how I would interpret it. The confusing and illusive journey of the protagonist through the death of Ipsita and Ramesh.

     9.     Travel and Shoes- by Sri Prasad Mohanty.

The story is a lighthearted tale depicting a conversation inside Pondicherry- Bhubaneshwar Superfast, between the travel mates.

     10.  Goal Keeper- by Barendra Krishna Dhal

This is the story of Janmejoy, who is a government employ trying to meet the ends. He is also a football player who is loyal to his club. P.K.Chowdhary, the owner of their rival club approaches him with an exciting offer in return of match fixing. On one hand sister’s wedding and shortage of money. One the other hand, Self-respect, and professional ethics. Which one does he chooses is interesting to read? The author reinforces the importance of upholding our values.

Highlights

It will take me more than one post to explain the highlights of the book. Each story has a strong plot and fantastic character craft. The stories are the mirrors to the present scenario in the society. From bribery to dowry, conspiracy to jealousy, self-respect to honesty: Authors depicted how the present society exists. The cultural heritage and living standards of the society I mirrored well. The book teaches us the meaning of the proverb ‘Experience is the best teacher’, since the authors have proved what experience really means.
“What if the corpse does not meet the critetia laid down by the minister?”
INAUGRATION OF ELECRIC CREMATORIM

 BY PARESH KUMAR PATNAIK





Saroj Mishra has shown justice to the stories and he succeeded in portraying the essence of Odiya society.

“The work is over, they are not needed anymore”
KANHU BY GOURA HARIDAS



                                                                                             
The book is a part of the Platinum Classics collection. I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate Leadstartcorp in their sincere effort to bring other language books into English so that readers get to know the real meaning of cultural heritage.
“You have upheld your pride and morality instead of your desperate need for money”
GOALKEEPER
 BY BARENDRA KRISHNA DHAL






Drawbacks
There were a few typos. The number of typos is negligible but since the stories are all perfect, the typos stood out like a sore thumb.


One Liner
An anthology of stories with the fragrance of Odisha Soil

Avail the book from AMAZON , other online websites & Leadstart






Reviewed for the publisher (Platinum Press)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.