The Rath of silence | india | Hindustan Times
  • Monday, May 28, 2018
  •   °C  
Today in New Delhi, India
May 28, 2018-Monday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

The Rath of silence

THIS MAN does not believe in words as much as he believes in silence. But, he is known for his words. Words can hardly express what feelings can, he says and talks the subtle. This is Chandrasekhar Rath, 77, who came to Lucknow at 18 and stayed for two years. He is the brightest star on contemporary literary horizon in Oriya language with one Kendriya Sahitya Akedemi Award, two Orrisa Sahitya Akedemi awards to his credit.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2006 00:53 IST

THIS MAN does not believe in words as much as he believes in silence. But, he is known for his words. Words can hardly express what feelings can, he says and talks the subtle. This is Chandrasekhar Rath, 77, who came to Lucknow at 18 and stayed for two years. He is the brightest star on contemporary literary horizon in Oriya language with one Kendriya Sahitya Akedemi Award, two Orrisa Sahitya Akedemi awards to his credit.

Those two years on the banks of the Gomti made him write a few verses as soon as he saw the rivers vestiges flowing as a thin stream of dirty water. The river used to dance with joy and so did we on its banks during those days. The river was river. And in just fifty years it’s gone, he wonders.

“I really love you… you should just know this as strongly as a fact. This relationship means the entire world to me. For me you can easily assume that the entire world is on one side and you alone are on one side.

And here goes his verses:

I miss a cadence

that softened the silence

of the winter night

to break into whispers

I miss the bashful lass

The dancing daughter of hills

Pouring love and benediction on barren banks

I miss you Gomti

The river that was

“This is just a fragment of what all I feel about the Gomti, these words are not enough to express what all I felt to see the condition of the river now from what it was,” he says.

Rath who will be felicitated by Lucknow Oriya Samaj on in Orissa Day celebrations on the eve of Orissa Day said: “Truth when put in words gets distorted. Only silence can express truth.”

How did Rath who used to think in English and is a professor in English chose Oriya to write his literary prose and poetry. “When I began writing, my obvious choice was English. I wrote a lot (all unpublished) in English, but once Mahapatra Nilmoni Sahu with whom I used to discuss as lot commented: ‘Rath, by writing in English don’t you think you are offering a pair of bangles to an Empress. English is already too rich. On the other hand look at you mother(Oriya), she has no ornaments.’ I understood what he meant, and I chose Oriya, my mother-tongue to express myself.”

He so far has nine collections of essays published, three novels and thirteen collections of short stories. His works have been translated in English and Hindi as well. In fact one of his novel ‘Yantrarudh’ when translated in English got him India’s Booker—the Hutch Crossword Award in 2004.

His two years in Lucknow can be seen in his novels and stories—sometimes his characters speak Hindi.