An Anthology of short stories Translated from Odiya- A Review

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Book Name:  
    Kanhu & Other Stories        
                :       Saroj Mishra(Translator)   
      Platinum Press
Genre                      :       Fiction(Anthology)
Number of Pages:      
Publishing Date:        2015
Binding:       Paperback
                  :       9789383562800

Rating: 4.5

authors are all well-known writers, some of them winners of the Kendriya
Sahitya Akademi awards and others honored with several state-level awards. The
stories in this anthology reflect the rich and divergent cultural heritage of
Odisha and the current thinking in Odiya society varying from a focus on the
plight of the underprivileged to the struggles of different sections of society
in dealing with moral dilemmas. The stories have been selected carefully to
promote the Odiya language, with its colorful idiom, heritage, and social ambiance of Odisha, to a wider audience so that the readers can learn
about its rich literature and the glorious history of Odisha.


Kanhu & other stories
is an anthology of 10 stories written by Award-winning authors. The book is
translated from Odiya by Saroj Mishra. The review of the ten stories follows

     1.     Kanhu- by Gaura Hari Das

is the story of a sixteen-year-old boy who was assigned the job of supervising house construction. He considers the home as his own and loves each brick
used to build it. Encouraged by his master, he plays the role of a manager.
After the construction, he goes back to his native place to bring his mother to
the new house but what awaits him is an unexpected fate.
story travels through the intricacies of Kanhu’s love, loyalty, dreams, and
passion. He is the representative of those innocent youth who toils to serve
their masters to get nothing but negligence in return.

     2.     Mystery of the Closed iron
chest.- by Sahadev Sahoo

This is
a story about old Sudarshan and his mysterious iron chest. Tagged as a miser,
Sudarshan himself is a mystery to his family. The mystery of the chest unveils
after his demise.
story is about Sudarshan’s lonely life and how he found solace in his
forlornness. The author tells us not to be judgemental about anyone, through this

     3.     Last Opportunity- by Bipin Bihari

book is a story of an encounter between Amareesh- a police officer and an old man,
at the venue of the famous chariot festival. The old man came to the festival to
meet his wife after five years. The old man lives with his elder son and his
wife with his younger son. The story reminds us that one day; we will also shed
the grandeur and security of youth. The old man is the embodiment of a mass of
overlooked people in their old age.

     4.     Inauguration of Electric
Crematorium- by Paresh Kumar Patnaik

This is
a story of the travail Municipal Executive Office Alek and his Assistant Guru in
obtaining a dead body for the inauguration of the Electric Crematorium. An
interesting satirical drama that portrays the futility of human lives. The
conditions cited by the minister regarding the dead body and the dead body with the
goggles tickle the funny bones as well as pulls the pain string. The story is
a comedy ride as well as a tragic reality show.

     5.     The Wound- by Ramachandra Behera

The wound is the story of Jagu, his wife Hema, and the children whom they adopted. Well,
not legally but they live in Jagu’s house and he looks after them like his own
kids. Jagu’s life takes a U-Turn when two journalists-Tushar and Prakash- visit
him and report his life. The story unveils the persona of hypocrisy; how people
try to take advantage of Jagu’s benevolence for their benefit.

     6.     Mission Heart- by Saroj Mishra

This is
the story of Prakash Nanda, an unemployed person, who was dragged into the
Marital and extra-marital intricacies, by the inescapable and alluring job
offer. He is assigned a job by Sanjukta Dash to entice a girl named Swathy, who
was in an alleged relationship with her husband. As th story proceeds, Prakash
becomes an inevitable part of the lives of Sanjukta, Prasant Kumar Dash, and
Swathy. The story portrays the fragility of relations in modern times.

     7.     Gagan Majhi and his kin- by
Bibhuti Patnaik

story is about the battle of Dalit anit-displacement against a mega steel
plant. Majhi was silenced by a few conspirators but they fail to lead a
peaceful life. Author wails for the empowerment of the exploited.

     8.     Drowning- but Shyama Prasad

is a psychological thriller? That is how I would interpret it. The confusing
and illusive journey of the protagonist through the death of Ipsita and Ramesh.

     9.     Travel and Shoes- by Sri Prasad

story is a lighthearted tale depicting a conversation inside Pondicherry-
Bhubaneshwar Superfast, between the travel mates.

     10.  Goal Keeper- by Barendra Krishna Dhal

This is
the story of Janmejoy, who is a government employee trying to meet the ends. He
is also a football player who is loyal to his club. P.K.Chowdhary, the owner of
their rival club approaches him with an exciting offer in return for match-fixing. On the one hand sister’s wedding and shortage of money. On the other hand,
Self-respect, and professional ethics. Which one does he chooses is interesting
to read? The author reinforces the importance of upholding our values.


It will
take me more than one post to explain the highlights of the book. Each story
has a strong plot and fantastic character craft. The stories are mirrors of
the present scenario in society. From bribery to dowry, conspiracy to
jealousy, and self-respect to honesty: The authors depicted how the present society
cultural heritage and living standards of the society I mirrored well. The book
teaches us the meaning of the proverb ‘Experience is the best teacher since
the authors have proved what experience really means.
“What if
the corpse does not meet the criteria laid down by the minister?”

Mishra has shown justice to the stories and he succeeded in portraying the
essence of Odiya society.

“The work
is over, they are not needed anymore”
book is a part of the Platinum Classics collection. I would like to take this
opportunity to appreciate Leadstartcorp in their sincere effort to bring other
language books into English so that readers get to know the real meaning of
cultural heritage.
“You have
upheld your pride and morality instead of your desperate need for money”
There were a few typos.
The number of typos is negligible but since the stories are all perfect, the
typos stood out like a sore thumb.

One Liner
An anthology of stories with the fragrance of Odisha Soil
Avail the book from AMAZONother online websites & Leadstart
Reviewed for the publisher (Platinum Press)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy
from the Author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a
positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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