Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Personal feelings communicated in letters are not only depositories of human memories capable of conveying undisclosed qualities of contemporary society, but also are of immense literary value inasmuch as they carry expressive words in speaking manners, often sans sophistications but always with emotion, observed eminent men of letters at Bhubaneswar on Sunday when Adhyapak Bishwaranjan’s innovative journal titled “Chithi”(Letter) commenced its new phase of journey under editorship of his son Netaji Abhinandan, after a stoppage spanning 26 years. Laxmidhar Creative Center, a registered Trust is its new publisher.
The evening event, witnessed by leading lights of Oriya literature in the Red Cross auditorium, was charged with the rhythms of romance as all-round author and noted orator, Prof. Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo dwelt at length on ecstasy that always enlivens writing letters and waiting for replies between dear ones. Recalling Chandrabhanu’s letter to Lavanyabati in Upendra Bhanja’s immortal pen to show how letter writing has remained a brilliant feature in Oriya literature, he said, life is worth living if the ability to feel this ecstasy does not diminish.
Distinguishing unpretentious letters from sophisticated ones, Guest of Honour Prof. Ganeswar Mishra emphasized on selectiveness in entertaining them for publication while maintaining that published letters are capable of linking past with the present as well as the present with the future. Revival of Chithi, which as a journal of letters is the first of its kind, should serve this unique purpose, he wished.
When official letters are guarded expressions, personal letters are so ebullient that both together may help society study its own shape, said the other Guest of Honour, Hara Prasad Das.
Acharya Bhabananda chaired the event. Both the father and son, Adhyapak Viswaranjan –the founding editor and Netaji Abhinandan – the incumbent editor, dwelt on the inspiration that has pivoted the venture terming it as the urge to beat the distance to achieve nearness, as in personal life, in the life of the community.
As a token of circulation, two copies of the journal were delivered one each to two eminent authors present in the audience after Prof. Sahu formally launched the revived edition. Ms. Kumudini Ray, noted for story writing, proposed the vote of thanks.
The Puja festival seemed more festive with availability of a new platform to share the ecstasy of writing letters.