Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Mother Orissa is, this afternoon, bereft of Yotsna Rautray, her daughter of extraordinary creativity, whose role as an author was as humanitarian as ethical was her contribution to journalism.
When a student of class eight, she had earned the rare distinction of becoming a published author with her first novel “Gaira Atmakahani” receiving critical acclaim in the famous soil of letters, Balasore.
In all her works, such as ‘Kichhi Nirdosha Ghatana’, ‘Potashraya’, ‘Bhinna Bhugola’, ‘Anya Nadi Anya Diganta’, ‘Baitaranikulara Jhia’, ‘Draupadi’, ‘Parajita Samragni’ etc, and her acclaimed columns, sic passim was the same signature of humane values that her first published work had carried.
One who has watched her on the desk of Orissa’s first modern broadsheet ‘Sambada’, knows how ethical and keen was she in editing. She was there, since its inception, for more than two decades till she decided with her husband Jimuta Mangaraj, who was also a staff reporter in Sambad, to lead a self-employed life in journalism.
With her passing away, at the age of 55, a chapter that had begun with her birth in 1958 was abruptly closed on a bed in a private hospital at Bhubaneswar this afternoon, when the sky was sending monsoon showers to collect her last breaths in the softest possible fold of vapors the rains could create, oblivious of how that would cause a severe loss to Orissa’s world of journalism and literature.
Her absolutely untimely demise is the severest loss to Jimuta, her partner in life and profession; and to her daughter Rutuparna, and to her son, Amrut; and to her in-law and natural relatives. But to me, and to many others like me, a personal loss, that can never be encompassed in words.
Mother Orissa, over physical extinction of such an object of your pride, wherefrom shall I have the necessary words to console you?