Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Art by- Udayan Sarathi Behera
Whenever I look back at my past, a strange thought often seeds in my mind, that apart from my biological birth I am born several births in this life. I have been living several lives in one single life and the most interesting thing is that all of my lives lived as yet are completely distinct and important their special way. Among the unique lives I have lived as yet, the one, my association with "Ama Odisha" community is most fabulous and educative. At the time when I joined AmaOdisha community approximately five years ago, Orkut used to be the heartthrob of most of the social networking fans(facebook has replaced in recent years the status quo ante). At that period I was not only new for the community, but also I was completely new to the applications and uses of computer. When I didn't know even typing properly in word files, dared instead to throw myself directly into the ocean of internet accrediting to my hyperactive attitude, how interesting! Accidentally I came across Aama Odisha community where a special thread about imaginary real-estate business in Bangalore titled "Land for sale in Bangalore" attracted me. While reading and enjoying the business conversations of the fanciful buyers and sellers, I decided to join the group and have some conversation with the Odia speaking people in the group though it would be completely an adventurous and strange thing at that time for a shy housewife like me.
When the kind moderators approved my request, I showed my real gesture(not shy rather fierce)[lol] by questioning and complaining about their activities in the group, and that they are not satisfying the introduction that they have put in the front page of the group. There was a cold war and a bit altercation between my imposed opinions and opinions of the moderators; as a result I unjoined myself from the group. And that very night alone one of the four kind moderators requested me to rejoin them. It made me feel nice and a bit confident that despite of my bad temper and adamancy I would be welcomed by people. I started a thread there, titled as "Odia Sahityakara" though Sahitya and me were miles apart from each other, I don't know why I did start that thread. What I typed then, and what others did type, I don't remember now but certainly I do remember loads of acceptance and affection of the members. I felt as if I was back to my spinster days, being surrounded by many young people among whom I was the big sister and leader. Actually this type of attitude is quite natural in me because since my childhood I have been enjoying the royal status of being elder sister (Nani) of my brother and his friends and a team of cousins and their friends and also many young kids of that time at Duttatota where I was staying with my grandparents during my college days. When so many young Odia people from different parts of India and outside India started calling me Nani at one social networking place, I felt myself a very fortune being. This made me quite happy and motivated. Gradually healthy discussions and funny threads got activated in the group by the members and I participated almost in every thread excepting a few. Then I realised that the most important task in my daily routine was to visit AO group and read or write posts. Whenever Tulun's Baba (Bhaina of AO kids) asked me about my activities the day long, my answer would be that I was gossiping with AO people.
Once I saw a thread by a boy named Srikanta Giri, who used to write couplets relating to love, separations, sorrows etc... There I read a poem titled "puruna diary" I can't remember who wrote the poem. But those poems prompted me to write something. I initiated with a poem "Aloo"- 'Potato' which was just to convey that if I would ever have to write a poem I would write something strange and that people would laugh. (later the Aloo concept prompted me to write a story). But that was not at all a poem. But after that posting once in a strange mid night "Kabita- a poetic ghost" disturbed me very much. It made me visualize my past marching in front of me one by one like a real parade of memories. And I wrote my first poem "Samaya" while tears falling off continuously from my eyes. Even today when I read the poem feel like crying. It's not that my poem was fantastic and very emotional, but because disgustedly each and every word of the poem wore my inexplicable conversation with time, a very intent feeling which might not be read or felt by others, but I lose myself every time I reread it. It takes me to the divine moment of "self viewing" in the mirror of time, of which Samaya poem was just a witness. And Aama Odisha kabita thread was the only listener and compassionate fellow to embrace my soulful manifestation. How can I ever forget the acceptance and appreciations of AO people that have presented me my today, how can I ever forget the rapturous moment of 'Samaya' of crying and laughing at one go! Besides Srikanta many other experimental poets and first timer poets like me joined the thread subsequently. I really loved Amruta Ankita Pradhan's poems. Nil Dwivedy had a forceful style of writing. I learnt the concept of abstractism from him. Aroopjyoti Tripathy's humour poems were my choicest of the writings in the thread. I appreciate wit and a sense of humour though I always lack it in me. I tried time and again to imitate others' sense of humour especially Amit's and every time I tried, looked ridiculous, I really am lacking these wonderful qualities. But Aama Odisha kids assured and encouraged that I can also develop those special qualities in me and I am holding that wishes in my heart forever. The Kabita thread got deleted accidentally so a new recovery thread was made at it's place in which Manish, Prakash, Anukampa, Ankita mohanty, Anjan and many others contributed profusely. They all encouraged one another. But due to more involvement in Ama Odisha E- magazine I was not able to write much. Manish Rout is that wonderful boy who has been writing all his English poems in AO Kabita thread from the very time when the place was crowded until now when rarely anyone visits there. I salute your spirit Manish. May you and your poetry prosper like a Baisakh's green rice field. Besides AO Kabita thread one very important thread titled Bhagabata Tungi was started but it was left uncompleted. My AO friends, sincerely I am apologizing for the same. I feel my knowledge, my understanding and devotion is not sufficient to complete the task. If you can, please pray for me that Lord Krishn. will give me more devotion and wisdom to make me fit for the auspicious task.
Ama Odisha E - magazine is a wonderful gift that I can ever get in my life. I was thoroughly surprised when Rajani suggested my name for editorship and all others supported. Leading a group of excited young chaps I initiated the first edition of the magazine. With a great spirit I endeavored framing and writing for the magazine. Most of the spirited members contributed their writings, pictures to the magazine. At the publication of first edition a strong feeling of happiness entrapped all; the happiness of bondage, of unity, of togetherness and a rapturous feeling of success. I can't ever forget that joy. We all began dreaming high of the magazine. Simultaneously I was made aware about my own shortcomings that as an editor I should take care of. Rajani Ranjan Ratha, one of the members of the earlier editorial team helped me rectifying my spelling errors in Odia. I then learnt following Odia dictionary regularly and it became as if craze to write perfectly in Odia without making any spelling error. Literally speaking, AO e-magazine was not a position,status,consignment, or job for me, it was my entrance into a practical training by which I got chance to know literature and language and to open up and expand myself towards the path of knowledge. I never had such affinity towards my own language and culture earlier. AO people compelled me to explore that persona in me. I am ever thankful to Rajani for being my first guide and mentor.
It was not a magazine, rather was a craze, a whelm of doing something great being united. Many people came forward to help for the magazine. I can't remember how many sleepless nights we all had during publishing of magazine. We became so much careful and attentive gradually that used to check-recheck-re-re-check for correction of mistakes, typos and even placement of images, size of fonts etc as if we were not going to publish a magazine, it was but another Konark or Tajmahal, that I have written in one of my editorials. Once it was very late at night when I was in preparation for the publishing of the second edition of the magazine when Amit, Rajani and few others were present on chat for the same work. When asked, why they are not going to sleep, Amit replied since I was there working they would also work and won't sleep. These words are worth thousand victories for me which I store in my heart even now. I have never seen such team spirit and joy in my life.
The first edition and second edition of the magazine were worked with Odiphon font, but I was in search of a better font. Meanwhile a boy of AO group Sandeep Sahoo introduced me with Aprant software with which rest of the magazines were prepared. That was a landmark step. Aprant is really a very supportive font. Now a days it's widely used by the Odia people working on PC or network. And gradually looks wise and quality wise our magazine began to improve and also it became popular among bilingual readers. But as the quality improved, the work also went on increasing. It went on getting voluminous due to my mistake. And it was mere difficult to publish it every month keeping in view other responsibilities. All the active members of the magazines besides me were professionals and busy persons in their respective lives, but yet they were contributing and doing as much as they could. Heartily I thank them all and my regards for them will be fresh ever after. Ten big pillars of our togetherness, of our happiness and success are standing firm. It's not a small thing. When I will be very old, when my body and mind will be broken, they won't support me anymore, I would look at these pillars and would try to stand firm and will try to convince that you all are by my side.
When I am no more alive for 'AO group', ask me, was that me alive for the place or people? Obviously it's people and not the place. I was among a group of magnanimous and talented people who appreciated, loved, cared for and encouraged me. I have never given them anything and also I am not able to give anything, even I am not able to keep regular contacts properly. But I can't stop myself from sending my good wishes and regards to all. KrBhaina, Surajit, Amit, Prasanna, Subrat, Nil, Rajani, Udayan, Priyadarshini, Mugdha, Sonali, Bhakti, Charu, Dev, Aroop, Durga, Gopi, Vivu, Shushee, Ankita........... and all others whose names I have not written due to space, time and memory constraints I remember you all, love you all and appreciate you all. I pray for your beautiful future, I pray for everything that life can give you. May you be happy always and prosper in each and every facet of life. May you ever hold the love for our motherland and may our Odisha feel proud of you one day.
I am no more alive for you and it's a nice thing I got a natural death to start a completely new life in my life. I would not come again to show my fierce gesture as I did while entering and have been disturbing you as yet, rest assured... Lol . Be happy and if possible hold a tiny place in your memory for a levied person like me....