AUTHOR’S INTERVIEW : FEATURING Late UMA SHANKAR PANDA
Interview with UMA SHANKAR PANDA
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
The living Icon of literary Orissa is Mr Uma shankar Panda. Translation is an area in which much attention has been paid. Most of the books into Oriya are translated into Bengali novels and many others. Almost all the prize winning works are available in Oriya translation. In a very cordial interview , Mr. Panda talks about his life and works.
Works of the author :
Umashankar Panda has been familiarized many western authors to the oriya reader. A great contribution by him . A poet, short stories writer, radio and television script writer and an incredible translators of regional and foreign languages books/novels/fictions.
Author’s inspirations :
Serious writers don’t wait to be inspired. Serious writers roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of writing. According to him “Being inspired” smacks of amateurish, daydream passivity, the notion that some supernatural presence must appear before us before the words can flow. He draws inspirations basically from nature, human psychology , and the human behavior . To be inspired by people is to be continually rewarded with story ideas. People are walking, talking stories. Everyone we encounter has the potential for contributing to our understanding of human nature—if we allow ourselves to be inspired by human nature in all its diversity. Inspiration matters because it prods us to traverse the full spectrum of human experience. An important part of what it means to be a writer is to become so turned on to the business of being alive, to be so completely inspired by life, that you will harvest ideas for writing everywhere—from books, from people, from music and other art forms, from the natural world, and most of all from your own inner resources. There are ripples created in the mind and heart which is expressed in the themes of poetries and other prose writings such as stories, novels and plays.
When asked about the spheres of life he has worked on , he replied ,
I have worked on emotions and imaginations. The life around us i.e. all living creatures , cycle of birth to death and all the nature.
I asked him , “ in which languages do you write ? “
Basically , I write in Odiya.
Out if curiosity , I asked him , “ Did you belong to any literary movements? If so, Please describe.
He was very frank about it and declared openly ,
“In the early phase of my life I was a Communist/leftist thinker and was writing poetry for the masses , laborers and downtrodden. But afterwards , I shifted my writings to portray the human emotions and aptitude of the common mass and its effect on the day to day life.
In the second phase, I indulge myself writing poetry and prose analyzing the psychological mindset of various classes of people( Men and women) and their social behavior in different spheres.
I was the Vice Chairman of Odisha Sahitya Academy too.”
- Odisha Sahitya Academy Award in poetry.
- Bisuvaya Award in Poetry.
- Jhankar Award in Poetry
- Dharitri Upayan in Poetry
- Fakir Mohan Galapa Saman from Utkal Sahitya Samaj
- Akil Mohan Bisesh Kabi Saman
- Akash Vani Annual Award, New Delhi
- Utkal Pustak Sansad
- Ati Bhali Jaggnath Dash Puraskar
- Gangadhar Sammruti Saman
11.Pustak Mela Saman / Book Fair Awards across the states.
and many to his credentials.
I was so engrossed with his works and life , that I could not help but asking about his opinion regarding the young generation writers.
His tone seemed to be very optimistic. He replied , “ A progressive trend is flourishing. Mindset style of work is gradually changing with the influence of social, political and life style of the countrymen at present.
The Young talents are bright and conscious of their own position in the social frame. They are faithful and true to their emotions. They often compose their best and most lasting work when they are young. “There’s something very misleading about the literary culture that looks at writers in their 30s and calls them ‘budding’ or ‘promising,’ when in fact they are peaking.”
Lastly , I dedicate this question to our dear readers . I asked this great personality to leave a message for you all and here is it , from our very own Umashankar Panda :
“ The readers should have a wide mental set up and neutral in judgement while reading books. They should have their own impressions and freelancing aptitude while commenting on the latest work of literature.”
Lastly , a treat to our readers : A Poem by Umashankar Panda
‘The White Flowers ‘
In this bosom . . .
I must carry a basket
as the flower
is a kind of fire
that burns the unconcerned bee
and helpless butterflies.
is the wicked wind
that makes you naked
If I meet Grief
I shall ask —
what is its intention
to come so suddenly
like the lonely girl
carrying white flowers in her hand
as if a magic wand ?
( Interviewed by – Siddhartha Mishra )
Siddharta Misra is a lawyer and a freelancer
( Earlier The interview was published in Intellinotions )