26 Feb 2018

#341 From my uncle's ink

From my uncle’s ink
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Sometimes I get surprised by my act of framing sentences as per the need of the context.  Needless to say, this quality of writing which has evolved over the time for me, is a consequence of inheritance. Yes, I can proudly claim that I inherit the writing abilities from many of my family members from paternal and maternal side. The article written below is the testimony of each and every word written above. 

Here, I’m presenting a piece of non-fictional write-up based on the experience of my maternal uncle, Er.Debabrata Sarangi, who’s currently working as Assistant Executive Engineer in the department of urban development under Puri Municipality , Government of Odisha. This piece has originally written in Odia and it’s my humble attempt to translate the entire article in English by keeping intact the emotions and feelings associated with it.

The reason behind translating this piece is to make it accessible to non-Odia readers. When my uncle sent me this handwritten article in Whatsapp, I was so amazed by his writing style that I decided to translate it at that point of time itself.

Here it goes:

Greetings to my school
Image result for Puri Zilla School
Puri Zilla School , Image source:Google Images
Zilla School of Puri not only earned legend like Gopabandhu as student but also received five gems of Satya-ridden-age such as Acharya Harihar, Pandit Neelkantha, Godabarish and Kripasindhu. Madhusudan who is also regarded as Bhaktakavi has also been a product of this school. Once upon a time, Radhanatha Rao and Madhusudan Rao played the roles of teacher and student respectively. In next phase, Madhusudan Rao got appointed as third temporary teacher but before he could lend his contribution to this school, he got transferred to Cuttack and another Bengali man got appointed by then-Inspector Martin Sir to contribute.

In my childhood, while I was half paddling my father’s old cycle of Raleigh’s, I was attracted by two red coloured buildings of the city.  Out of those red coloured buildings, one was situated in front of the P.W.D office and the other one was that of Chandrasekhar College. My father always warned me not to paddle cycle alone in those areas which encompassed those red coloured buildings because one of those red coloured buildings was haunted whereas the other one was that of Zilla School , Puri. In reality, the so-called haunted house was that of telephone exchange and old Zilla School was held in the Puri college. From that day, the word Zilla School had subconsciously occupied my mind.   

After the completion of primary education in Police Line School, my father made my admission to Zilla School in the year 1976. I still remember how he indicated it to the factory of creating learned human beings. My father also enumerated the names of many students of that school who were renowned in different fields. I’m unable to recall all names that he said but all I can faintly remember are the names of Utkalamani, Acharya Harihar,Pandit Neelkantha, Godabarish, Kripasindhu,Kabibara,Proffesor Rajurao, then-chief secretary of the state Sudhanshu Bhushan Mishra; my heartfelt greetings to all of them.

This school was established in 1853 and was regarded as the best school of the state. Its location was close to railway station because of which it became the centre of attraction for common man as well as visitors. The school used to be officially made off during general election and its gigantic playground would turn out to be a place for conducting various activities associated with polling under the vast stretch of tent. We felt proud and happy by witnessing our school to be the host of such important activities. During Rath Yatra festival, the classrooms would turn out to be shelters for the police personnel who were assigned duties for smooth and peaceful conduct of activities. Seeing police personnel at a close proximity drove away feeling of aversion that once existed in our minds for them.

Many legends have spent their precious days of childhood in the premise of this school and teachers would always inspire the students to become administrators, professors, doctors and Engineers. My father was working as an Engineer in the department of government then and he had a wish that his son should at least be an Engineer. I started nurturing my endless dreams in the background of my teacher’s discipline, my father’s strictness and my mother’s selfless care. My mother had numerous expectations from me; she wanted her son to be an Engineer like his father and every person of Puri would respect him and would often say, “Like father like son”, his son would serve Lord Jagannatha by staying at Puri as his duty. No matter how much educated one becomes, how much renowned he grows to be, nothing can act as a greater fortune than serving his own homeland, Puri ,father took over the charges of water supply to construction of the road ; so would his son do, when he rode Raleigh cycle ,my son would ride car. Same thing happened. My mother’s dreams were converted to reality by me by the virtues that she implanted in me. It has been 1year and 8 months since my mother has left for heavenly abode, perhaps she saw ‘today’ as yesterday’s bright future.

I joined Puri Municipality as an Engineer in 1994. Wishes of my parents got fulfilled.  It was a government job and transferred posting was one of its parts. After working 12 years in Puri, I got promoted and transferred to Baripada , this saddened my mother. She, after wiping out her tears in her Saree, said, “The Jagannatha Temple of Baripada is also very old. The Ratha Yatra of that place is the second in our state. Lord Jagannatha has sent you there to implement your experience of Puri’s culture of working there.” I worked there successfully for 4 years and now have got transferred to Municipality of Bhubaneswar; the city of temples, capital of the state. My mother got overwhelmed by hearing this news (even when she didn’t understand the notion of Bhubaneswar being regarded as Smart City) because according to her, her son was on his path to success. I worked there for 3 years after which I got transferred to Puri again. This time, my mother’s happiness knew no bounds. She said cheerfully that the recent episode of transfer was the result of Lord Jagannath’s attraction.

She prayed God for her departure and sought his blessings for me. 8th Apr,2016 she left for a place never to return again. She returned back to the place from where she had emerged by leaving us many miles away. My father’s guidance and mother’s blessings became the sources of inspiration for me to serve my motherland. The happiness of helping friends, acquaintances and teachers is simply inexplicable. All these reasons sometimes compel me to think about the divine plan of Lord Jagannatha for providing me an opportunity to work for the betterment of the society as an Engineer.

The initiation of my journey certainly started with that legends-making-factory. Teachers like Ramachandra Panda, Brundaban Mishra, Debendra Mahapatra, Bholanath Dash, Bamana Charan Sahu, Harihara Samantarai, Prafulla Pattanaik, Sudhakar Mahapatra, Ramesh Chandra Mahapatra, Joginath Mohanty, Mrs. Shantilata Mohanty,Brajakishore Nayak,Prahalad Shatapathy, Jagannath Mishra and Dibakar Mishra used to get self satisfaction by manufacturing legends in that factory. Not only I but also my siblings and two nieces, in total 9 studied at Zilla School, Puri from class 6th to 11th. My niece, Sonali Mohapatra made us proud by securing 8th position in class 10th boards in state of Odisha. I doubt if number of members of a family as much as 9 in number have ever studied in same school! There’s not a single family in Puri who has not been acquainted with our identities. Someone or the other in every family has studied with any one of us. That legend-making-factory was certainly a unique one. Be it the teaching of language, yoga, drama or sport; every component of it was connected to each other through a chain of discipline. The success of this school has become possible because of the combined efforts of the makers; teachers and its stars; students. I feel proud to have got an opportunity to serve this divine place and the legend-making-factory.

Salutation to my Alma Mater!

Translated by
Swati Sarangi

23 Feb 2018

#340 Winner of Clean up cash contest at Indiblogger

11 Feb 2018

#339 The origin of my name

The origin of my name
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Nomenclature is an important aspect of one’s identity. In fact, it’s something that we carry with ourselves apart from transient materialistic possessions. Primarily, we are identified from the crowd by the names which we have been given and then follow our actions or deeds. It is like the labels of our existence. In Indian culture which has emerged from a joint family system, it becomes an act of showering blessings from different relatives who come up with so many suggestions to display their love and affection for the newborns. Everyone has a story behind their names and I too have a story which I’m going to describe below.

As already mentioned in my earlier posts that I’ve been blessed to have come to this world with my twin sister. It is apparent that we must be having similar sounding names, to some extent it is correct. Initially it was decided by my family members to bestow with us the names of 3 lettered name(as per Hindi or Odiya) as Ankita and Arpita but later my paternal uncle ( whom I address as Kaka) chose Swati and Sweta to go well with the surname whose initial too begins with the letter ‘S’. Similarly, our nicknames were made to settle with ‘Miki’ and ‘Niki’. Interestingly, I being the elder one among the two, carry both the names (Swati and Miki) in higher order of alphabetical arrangement as per English dictionary than my sister. This is the trick that I mostly provide to others when they get confused with our names. Apart of these two names that primarily reflect our identities, there have been several derivatives of our nick names according to different family members as tokens of love and affection. This is the best thing about being in a joint family. The mere recollection of these names being addressed always brings a smile in my face and drives away all negativities.

It’s the most common practice to ask for the meaning of someone’s name during introduction and I have faced such questions. It was the first time in class 5th when I was enquired about the meaning of my name and all I know was that it was the name of a star in Indian Astrology. Swati, Nakshatra, star, forms one of the important member of the Nakshatra system in Indian Astrology which comprises of 27 stars representing sectors along ecliptic. Some of the general characteristics of someone having Swati Nakshatra are: sweet, soft spoken, virtuous, compassionate, mild, quiet natured, controller of passion and desires, skill in trade, merciful and charitable.

I was never convinced with the answer I had in my mind regarding the meaning of my name as I always thought it to be a reflection of some other name. Thanks to Google for the guidance in searching for the meaning of my name(Thanks to one of my contacts in Quora who inspired me to write something on it , this is how it came out to be); that’s what I found in one of the pages of Wikipedia; this name can be broken into ‘Su’+ ‘ati’ meaning ‘Great Goer’ or very beneficent. I wonder if the meaning of my name what puts the thought of be a philanthropist in my life! It was also name of one of the wives of lord Sun in Hindu epics. This name has one of its parts from the Goddess of knowledge and art, Saraswati.

Swati, seems to be the most common name, during my school and college days. I could find a bunch a girls sharing same name. When the name is same, the next thing that sets apart a person form the other having the same name is the surname.  My surname always seemed to be unique from the rest of my friends for having stayed away from my home state for several years.

Names give us identities that set us apart from others. Ever wondered when you share similar names and surname with someone else, what will be the criteria to decide the difference? The answer is our Karma; deeds.

Concluding this article with the following lines;
Am I the name that I carry
Or the deeds that I must worry?
Is this the appearance what defines me
Or I am a part of someone’s memory?
A question that baffles me always
Regarding my identity
Before retiring for the day
I keep questioning to myself
Who actually am I?

Swati Sarangi

#338 3rd interview in Kalaage

8 Feb 2018

#337 Pad and Period

Pad and Period

Every month a girl bears the agony of
A headache, nausea and stomach cramp
It is none other than menstruation,
To deal with it requires a lot of patience.

Release of hormone from pituitary gland
No fertilization of egg results in breakdown
Uterus lining; beginning of periods
Observed at the age of 12-15 years.

Usually, this cycle lasts for a week
Backed by severe abdominal pain and bloating
With the commencement of blood discharge
Then call for the urgent need of pads.

Pads of different brands come to rescue
Providing wide range of sizes and comfort
Preventing leakage from the side wall
To bestow girls a chance to be unstoppable.

The tale doesn’t end here
As a girl is susceptible to PMS as well
Which occurs prior to few days of period
With mood swings, depression, and fatigue.

Period is no more a taboo
And to be a girl isn’t a sin
Where she plays a multiple roles
From   sister, mother to caretaker
Society needs to empathize
With this situation of every girl
To take care of sanitary hygiene.

Need for awareness of sanitary hygiene
Pads should be within reach of every girl of this country
To cope up with the monthly cycle
Let no girl suffer this problem at all.

Sweta Sarangi


2 Feb 2018

#336 Modern harbinger of peace: A jinn in disguise

Modern harbinger of peace: A Jinn in disguise
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Can the feeling of being quiet
Enchant anyone at a point of time?
The answer turns out in affirmation
For me the day I found
An advertisement of modern
Harbinger of peace and a jinn in disguise

Whenever I longed for a
Sense of peace
I put on those modern devices
With the tracks of meditation on
Never ever I felt the rhythm so divine
Driving away the fatigue of all day’s long
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Introducing QuietComfort35 ; the name
The designers gave it fondly
Which it proudly carries
What’s its identity?
A Wireless headphone(II) it is
From the stores of Bose

Whether you pick the
Black or the silver one
You’ll never get disappointed
By its quality, I guarantee
The embrace of solace has
Never been so comforting

Enumerating some features it has
Setting it apart from its counterparts
In the market of fierce competition
When designed with utmost caution
With superb noise cancelling ability
Enriching your listening experience
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An insight to its design
Embodied with Alcantara cushions
For rendering comfort all day long
The light cushioned ear cups
 Acting as pillows to
The natural receptors of yours

This will be your perfect companion
A Jinn in disguise to take your orders
Embedded with the facility of Bluetooth
And built-in Google assistant
Playing songs, receiving texts and getting
 Answers without glancing at your phones

To evoke the Jinn it possesses, all you
Need to do is to press the action button
Below the well equipped ear cups
And the jinn is ready to take action
This has simple lent another dimension
To portability of music you like
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The factors contributing to its longevity
Can not be ignored so easily
Impact resistant materials, glass filled nylon
And corrosion resistant stainless steel
Add glory to its uniquely engineered structure
That you can ever afford to miss.

With Twenty hours of battery life
You can enjoy your entire playlist
Without any interruption and a quick
Charge for minutes fifteen for another
Thirty minutes for your service
An app from Bose for your support

Hear or be heard even when it’s windy
Or the noise starts surrounding
Enjoy its consistent performance
At any level of volume you choose
Try talking through the studded
Bluetooth pairings.

A synonym to luxury for the world of
Symphony and never to forget
It as an intelligent investment for lifetime
A modern harbinger of peace, I would call it.
Related image
 © Swati Sarangi

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