Sunday, September 16, 2012

Odisha: Memories Recollected

When I thought to pen down something for the Kalinga Samaj e-magazine, I was puzzled while selecting a topic, because many years have passed, I would have written anything in odia. Then I  remembered about my school days and my odia lessons. I just could not just control myself to stop laughing for number of incidents relating to my subject odia in my school days- our odia teacher, the handwritings, the essay competitions, the odia idioms, story writing assignments, punishments, examinations days, daddy’s practise sessions and lots more. Childhood days are amazing in classroom, but a little tough for an English medium student in the odia class. With time, the love for the mother tongue grows, the tough subject seems a treasure to the heart and life.
No one in this world, who are born and brought up in Odisha, would have forgotten the childhood day’s lullaby sang by their mother. Every night before we sleep, we hear “aa janha mamun sarada shashi; mo kahnu hatha re padhe tu khasi; mo khanu tate kariba gela; khaibaku daba labani sara; khaiki tu hoibu khusi” from our mother. Sometimes we ask our mother to sing for us, “dho re baiya dho jeun kiari re gahala mandia sei kiyari re so” or “aa aa re bai chadhei; to maa jaichi gai charei; gahira bila ru aniba bela; kole basei kariba gela” to be little more pampered and loved by her. Even though, we are taught various rhymes, like twinkle twinkle little star, humpty dumpy sat on a wall, pussy pussy little cat, one two three buckle my shoe in our schools, we are taught by our mother our favourite odia rhyme “chaka chaka bhaunri mamu ghara chanuri, mamu mate marile main mate dhaile, dhudha bhata kholile, suna pila muhin re, mo parai kehi nahi re”
During examination days, life was like a tug of war for me. Remembering each and every odia lessons was like trial and horror with lots of errors. The percentage of errors was more than the percentage of words in one page of my copy. No class would have gone when I would not have been caned for spelling mistakes. Copy was full of red ink marks than my sentences in odia written by pencil.  But for one reason I loved the odia class was stories. I loved to listen them in the class, even though literary ornamental words went out of my head. During the day before exam, mom would read the stories for me, and I would write my exam. This was the odia exam preparation strategy.
We had an option to choose between hindi or odia from 8th standard. I was very much interested to take hindi as a subjects. But my parents suggested choosing odia, being a mother tongue. That time, I was so much worried if I could even pass the exam. But not only I passed the exam, but came with good marks. Well, I think from that time only I had got some kind of affinity for the subject. I remember, for an essay competition, I practised the same essay for month, every day “Adarsha Chatra Jevana” I won first prize in it. It was really a shocking surprise for me. Thanks to my mother, as she made me a point to love the subject.
I liked the odia idioms very much may be because sentence may be something but meaning different. That time i had memorised all the odia idioms and its meaning, not only for exam but out of interest. Our morning prayer was in English but in home the sandya prathana was in odia taught by mother, the famous one- “ahe dayamay biswa bihari, ghena dayabahi mora guhari”. She taught us each and every line of the song of which i could remember my favourite lines like “mora kamaku karao sarasa, mora mukhe dia chira harasa” or “sata kahibaku kian daribi, sata kahi pache male maribi”or “mote atiki sikhaa sain hai, mora dhana jana loda nahin hai”. How much it is really practised by us is yet to click, but yes, this is how culture and tradition and good values are taught in every single home in Odisha. I love Odisha being the land of culture. I therefore feel, people of Odisha have a kind heart than the other side of the country.
Recollecting how grand maa used to sit and read the odia barnobodha. Don’t remember the exact lines, little blur memories with few lines that are “Aaita ama rosei ghara, eeithi maa besara bate, pariba kate, jai ragade, saga kharade”. It was something related to family, family values, family members. Well written lines, even if life is dominated by domino pizzas or Italian pasatas, charmed by Chinese chowmeins, but what caught to our eye is homemade desi tadka of the odia foods even our Lord Jaganath takes 56 varieties of food then how we can’t be food crazies for odia dishes. Be it the authentic flavours like dalma, badi chura, baigana poda, chungdi poi curry, dahi pakhala or exotic varieties of sweets like chena poda, aarisha pitha, manda pitha so much and so more.
The story behind Konark temple was one my favourite chapter. I don’t remember the exact class in which I have read, and what the chapter name was, but I remember the story and its main characters -the king Langula Narasimha Dev and the chief architect Bishnu Maharana’s 12 year old son Dharmapada, who sacrificed his life for saving the life of twelve thousand craftsmen. The history behind each and every historical monument taught us something. This story must have grown many children to respect their parents and to have brave heart.
Our odia lessons were not limited inside the four walls of our class but pyramid of picnics spots. Being Odisha the centre and heart of culture, it has many places like Puri Jananath temple, Ram Chandi, Konark temple, Lingaraj temple, Dhauli, chillika lake, bhitarakanika national park. All thses makes me feel proud with its historical significance and beauty of nature.  I am proud to born in a state where we had poets like Upendra Bhanja, Sarala Dasa; have sand artist like Sudarshan Pattnaik; have dancer like Krishna Mohan Reddy (Prince Dance Group); had freedom fighter like Veer Surendra Sai, Rama Devi, Sarala Devi, Gopabandhu Das, Madhusudan Das and many more. I am proud that I am a Kalinga Basi. All the memories recollected in mind within few minutes and felt the love for oriya and odisha.

Two small poems i will dedicate to our mother land as below: 

Odisha, Kalinga or Utkal
By whatever name one may call
Inside each Odia love for mother land will always grow
Honour and respect they will continuously show
For the land of temples, cultures, traditions
For the land with Infinite hopes and visions
Let us unite and march together
And prove those who say our state is poor
Let some part of our life be devoted to our mother land
Then among all, in the top we will stand

Odisha mati ra ame Santana
Rahi thau maa pakhare mana
Odisha kahi munda tekibi munhi
Jou dese pache thaye mun  jai


The life goes on between "with(s) and without(s)"

       A friend of mine once said "If there would have been no bad things in life, then we would not have enjoyed the good things in life, since we would not differentiate between good and bad", so true.   The sweetness of honey can be enjoyed if we have tasted the bitterness of neem, the days of success can be satisfactory if days of hard work is remembered, the importance of love can be felt if gone through days of hatredness, the happy days becomes more pleasure if you felt the painful days of sorrow.
      Who in this world does not want a 'life with WITH(s)'. I mean a life with family, with friends, with love, with success, with good health, with wealth and with happiness. But can this happen always. Will our life be fun, if there is only one face of life? Just imagine earth with either day or either night. How it would be. There is beauty in each phase of things. If the day has its own brightness, then the night has also its own calmness, quietness and charm. Even a doctor makes the newly born baby cry for first time, to confirm the baby is healthy. It is well known that the mother's love and affection is above all and not even god can go ahead of it. This love is created only because a mother carries the baby in her womb tolerating the pain and brings the creation on earth. So, life will be dull and boring if passed through just one side of the coin.
     A person gets sad when someone important, leaves the person alone after being a significant part of life. This might be painful part of life as if days and nights make no difference. Life seems empty. And sometimes without even saying what we are sad for, we forget our pain, by just talking with some persons. Some magical persons with whom we have no expectations, no dreams, no attachment and not even we they are close friends. The magic is we stop to cry and forget we were crying few moments back. Thanks to such people in life.
Sometimes we see the grass being green in everyone's life except ourselves, we grumble at life. But have we ever retrospected the past, the things we desired for, the things we did and the things we really have in our present. Sometimes luck may delay to bestow us what we deserve, but hold on, it will surely return your share. If not, then why to worry if something is not yours.  
Sometimes life goes without good friends and well wishers. Sometimes people surprise you with their actions and behaviours that hurt you, and present you what may not even think of. Is it really worthy to ruin the days with thoughts of mean incidents of such people? So why can’t we think of the good people in your life, who understand you, care for you, and have been with you always. In fact we should always see the positive side of things. Then it would be easy to move on with life.
          Sometimes we complain God, we become sad, we rebuke our destiny, for what we HAVE NOT(S) in our life. We think how our life will go WITHOUT(s) it. But we look back to few pages of our own life history, we will see many chapters of life where life has been miserable that time and now when we look to them, they seemed a small problem rather than a big crisis of life. We rise and fall, we learn and then we move on. This way life goes on. If someone goes from our life, then life brings another someone in our life. This way we balance our happiness and sorrow and the life goes on and goes on.  Then, when it comes to the present days, why we forget that, we have been able to recover from the bad days of life in past. The same ugly days of life will soon turn beautiful again.
       If you have lost your beloved, see you may have some persons who love you. If you lose one year of your career, see the person losing more than one year just because he left exam to save his father life, If you have no higher degree with you, just see who didn't have luck to have basic schooling, if one is a big scientist , see you are no less good singer, painter, writer. See the positive things in life. If you don’t have something in life, just don't cry over spilled milk, rather join every block to build the stair to reach at the place where you really want to go. One more thing, sometimes there would something if life that you love to do and these are things that makes you happy and forget your sorrow. Some people will criticize about it. Don't listen them, they have no right to steal your dreams. Do not even allow them to steal your dreams. If you like something, just go for it.
    Why to shed tears then, as the lovely lines from the song madhon in lamha movie "Kyon dil ko dukhana bevajah, Phir aansoon bahaana ik dafaa". The life goes on between "with(s) and without(s)" We have to live in it. Then, why not to welcome each and everything with open hands and cherish each moment of life.

About Leepsa...writer by chance but write by choice

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Chandler, Arizona, India
N. M. Leepsa is a young writer, teacher researcher, painter. She was born in 1985 in Bhubaneswar, India’s eastern state of Odisha. Her parents Nabaghan Jena(Father ) and Madhabika Jena(Mother) raised her with utmost care to give her higher education and support her achieve whatever academic credentials. She did her schooling at the Children’s Centre of Integral Education, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She attended Ramadevi Women’s College (B.Com), Utkal University (M.Com);Ravenshaw University (M.Phil) for her college studies. After this, she was inspired to pursue her PhD from Vinod Gupta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Completing her studies, she joined as faculty of finance in LMT School of Management, Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab and then worked at School of Management, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha. She is currently pursuing her professional courses at Grand Canyon University, USA. She can be reached at • Email:, • Facebook Page: • Blog:

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