27 June 2014


21 June 2014

09:15 TRAIN


After getting down from the train at Bhanjpur railway station, the grand old man would slowly walk through the narrow dusty walkway. He would prefer a shortcut route to his eldest son Basanta’s house.
The three grand children would run to welcome their Dadu and relieve him of some luggage which he had brought with him. The youngest one could not keep pace, would stay half way crying but his Dadu would lift him and put him on his shoulders and carry him home for the rest of the distance. After they reached home the children would leave for the school.
Unlike today’s children they did not expect anything from their Dadu except his love and a toothless smile. They would wait eagerly for the last school bell, so that they would come home and be with their grandfather. There was a special fascination between them.
The two bundles made out of an old dhoti and a red towel would contain some guavas, mangoes, drum sticks, Mudhi, Chuda, Ukhda, Arisa Pitha and a small glass bottle containing hardly 100grams of ghee, all homemade. The fruits were from the backyard garden of Pandhda House. The cows hardly give any milk due to their poor breed and lack of proper fodder. They are kept mostly for the cow dung and they live till they grow old and die. No one would sell a cow to the butcher if it stopped giving milk, as it was believed to be a great sin to do so.
The grandmother Rukmini would struggle to make this amount of ghee for her eldest son over a period of six months. “This ghee is not to be shared with anyone”, so the grand children knew about it and would never ask for it from their mother.
           After a couple of days of Dadu’s stay, son Basanta would take his father along with the children for the evening Raymond circus show. That was an international circus party. Three hours of sheer entertainment for a fee of fifty paisa for a gallery seat. Due to the projection of a powerful light, the sky would lit up at nights and the villagers from far and near would come to know about the arrival of a circus party at Baripada. The tribal and non tribal people of Mayurbhanj would folk in to the town walking or through the narrow gauge train.
 Dadu would stay for a week, when his time comes for departure the grand children would cry and hide his cloths so that his stay would get prolonged. But Bholanath Dadu had to go back to village for other important work, he can’t extend his stay. All the three grand children would accompany him to the Bhanjpur railway station to see him off and also to have a glimpse of the made in Great Britain steam engine.
 The Rail line is as straight as an arrow from the Baripada station turning to Bhanjpur, a distance of three and half kilometers. Those days other vehicles used to safe guard themselves from these demons, be it a narrow gauge or a huge Canadian engine. But now with increase in literacy level and more educated people around the engines and its drivers are afraid of smaller vehicles, at times of human beings.
Children would put their ears to the rails and try to guess if the train is approaching or not. Most of them eagerly wait to watch the engine with its black tail of smoke while passing through that Bhanjpur tunnel hissing and puffing. The train with its four small compartments would reach Bhanjpur around 4:30 pm from Baripada.
Bholanath Dadu as well as the little ones would become emotional, shed few drops of tears as the guard would blow the whistle and wave the green flag. All of them would wait until they could see no more of that last compartment disappearing at a distant curve. After coming home, the youngest one would sob in his mother’s lap. Mother Annapurna would console him with her soothing words “Do not cry, my little flower; we will be going back to our village shortly in that same train.”

Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy

15 June 2014


Debasish performing the last rituals of his mother.(Puruna pokhori--Pandhda)

The relatives of Prativa at the Ghat.(Pandhda)


Gradually one drifting away like a dry leaf
The wind takes it from hither to thither
The same leaf which was a beauty for the passer bye
Suddenly has become useless like a bird without life
The color is gone the shape is distorted
The leaf reconciles that is what we call life.
Who ever one meets on the road or in the house he would say "has no time".
What they probably mean is "No time for useless things of life" from useless people.
Here the useless means from whom the person does not gain any thing.

01 June 2014


Brajanath babu & Sanjoy

Brajanath babu at his residence ,sunhat of Balasore

Brajanath Rath with Wife Puspalata

Brajanath babu in his library.
SRI BRJANATH RATH (12.01.1936----31.05.2014)
I had the opportunity to meet Brajanath Rath at his Sunhat residence of Balasore town in the month of February-2014.
I still remember with a lot of gratitude and nostalgia how cordially he interacted with me and my younger brother Surjit. Brajanath babu and Basanta Satpathy  were two sides of the same coin, inseparable as the people of Balasore used to say. Rath babu was being an excellent organizer, the cultural people of Balasore used to entrust him with a lead role during important literary functions. He was liked by the writers of India and abroad, as well as the common men of Odisha for his simplicity and insurmountable knowledge in literature. The family members of Basanta Satpathy send their heartfelt condolence to his wife Puspalata, sons, and daughters and near and dear ones for the sad demise of this great literary person of India.  Brajanath babu was not keeping a good health for quite some time and expired at 17:30 hours on 31st May, 2014 at his residence. Odisha has become poorer in his death. Let his soul rest in peace.

Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy and members of Basanta Satpathy family.