THIS compilation of short stories written by the recipient of the Odisha Sahitya Akademi award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for young playwrights, explores the terrain of rural Odisha and the complex nature of the people living on the margins of society.
Describing the lives of the different characters drawn from various walks of life, the stories deal with life’s exigencies, moral dilemmas, crises and how to cope with the complex task of survival as also the shifting and complex relationships between parents and children in a world growing increasingly harsh, unstable and acquisitive. Parents betray their children and children break the hearts of their parents. Lovers abandon their loved ones in a desperate bid to move higher up the social ladder. The countryside gives way to the city and innocence gets replaced by painful experiences. It is almost as if the stories dramatise a fall from the virtual paradise of childhood into a world of disenchantment, betrayal and evasion. Characters are often seen reminiscing about the past or dreaming about the future as the present seems too unpleasant to face.
Such are the short stories and most of them leave a lasting impact on the mind. They are a sensitive portrayal of the fragility of relationships, the struggle for survival in an exploitative world and the hardships, melancholy and dilemmas of life which are common to all of mankind.
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