BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Eminent poet & critic Mr K. Satchidanandan launched the book ‘Colours of Loneliness and other Stories’ written by Sahitya Akademi Award-winning author Paramita Satpathy at India International Centre recently. The book is a collection of stories by the author, translated from Odia by Ms Snehaprava Das. The title has been published by the Oxford University Press (OUP) and is available across major bookstores in India, and online.
The author spoke about the book in a candid conversation with Mr Chandrahaas Choudhary at this launch, while also actively interacting with the discerning audience. Ms Shivangi Sharma of OUP welcomed the guests and Mr Abhishek Tripathy conducted the program for the evening.
Sharing her experience while writing this book Paramita Satpathy said that the stories in the collection are a translation of 14 such stories out of almost one hundred stories she had penned. The undercurrent in most of the stories is loneliness and therefore both she and the translator thought that the name of the title be Colours of Loneliness after one of the stories in the collection. She also said that as a writer melancholy in human lives influence her the most. She said that the works of world-class writers like Alice Munroe, Dorris Lessing, Tony Morison, Amrita Pritam, Ismat Chugtai, Mahasweta Devi, Sara Joseph and others shaped her feminine sensibilities.
Talking on the book Mr K. Satchidanandan said Paramita’s work is a significant contribution to modern Literature. She has in a very subtle manner expressed her anguish towards the wrong done to the marginalized and the poor. The themes of her stories are varied from one another and together in a spectrum, they create anxiety in readers to go through them.
Mr. Chandrahas Choudhury said that Paramita in a very adept manner has brought out different shades of loneliness that people experience. Fiction and poetry can delve well into human thoughts which have been very artfully displayed in Paramita’s stories.
The stories in this collection straddle many layers of human experience. Some stories even deplore the evils of a social system like sexual abuse of children, dowry deaths female foeticide while others protest the crude invasion of urbanization into the peaceful territory of nature. Thus, it was a houseful event attended by known names in the field of literature, art and government.
About the book
The protagonists in most of the stories are driven to seek a state of euphoria to release these dormant passions in unguarded moments. While some stories deplore the evils of a social system that find expression in ‘Children’s Day’ (sexual abuse of children) or dowry deaths in (‘The Ultimate Payment’), others protest the crude invasion of urbanization into the peaceful territory of nature. A striking note of feminism is discernable in stories like ‘The Nowhere Nest’ and a few others where the women protagonists boldly challenge patriarchy and hypocrisy. Others like ‘The Wound’, ‘Elixir of Love’, and ‘A Strange Bond’, are efforts to dive into the human psyche to unmask the real self, haunted by a sense of guilt, insecurity and frustration.
About the author
Paramita Satpathy belongs to the second generation of modern fiction writers in Odia. In her career spanning three decades, she has carved out a niche for herself with seven short story collections and three novels to her credit. Several of her works have been translated into books in Hindi and English. This work is a collection of 14 short stories written by her that have been selected from four different Odia books to depict the range and diversity of her creative output. Paramita is a civil servant and presently works as Commissioner of Income-tax in Delhi.