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‘Mangale Aila Usha’ – A Tribute to Gangadhar Meher

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“Mangale Aila Usha Bikacha Rajiba Drisha Janaki Darshana Trisha Hrudaye Bahi
Karapallebenihara Mukta dhari Upahara Satinka basa bahara Prangane Rahi
Kala kantha Kanthe Kahila
Darashana Dia Sati Rati Pahila”

Can one believe this stanza in Odiya language, which is quiet tough even for the learned professors of Odia literature, was written by an individual, who was merely educated up to class V? It is unbelievable but true. This beautiful stanza from the epic ‘Tapaswini’ was created by none other than the legendary Odia nature poet Gangadhar Meher.

I prefer here not to provide the translation of the stanza since I fear that I may miss to offer the exact meaning of the same and that is why leaving it for the readers. If you want to taste juice of this precious piece of work, ask some learned professor of Odia language and he may explain you the exact meaning.

Nature poet Gangadhar Meher was born on 9th August 1862 in a waver family at Barpali, a small town of western Odisha on the National High way 201, which presently comes under Bargarh District. By occupation he was a Judicial Moharir (Accountant). The great author’s birth place is revered as an auspicious place by poets, authors and lovers of Odiya literature.

Talking to ‘The News Insight’, Mahendra Kumar Meher, Coordinator Gangadhar Meher Web-site &Working Chairman Gangadhar Meher Pratisthan said, “Nature poet Gangadhar Meher genius is reflected in his poems Tapaswini, Pranayaballari, Indumati, etc. Translation of his works into English, Sanskrit, Hindi and other languages, has earned him the title of a revolutionary Indian poet.”

“He was adored by the masses both for his literary works as well as his simplistic lifestyle. The poet is undoubtedly one of the pioneers of modern Odia literature. The Odia language, Literature and Culture has been enriched to a great extent by his efforts”, he also said.

Gangadhar Meher’s major works are – Tapaswini, Rasa-Ratnakara, Balaram-dev, Pranaya Ballari, Kichaka Badha, Indumati (First Published work), Ayodhya Drusya, Padmini (Last work). Meher created works of literature that have no parallel in lieu of imagination, clarity and originality.

Epithet as ‘Swabhaba Kavi’, Gangadhar Meher reigned the Odia literature arena in the 19th century. His poem Bhakti (The Devotion) bears eloquent testimony of religious outlook. He was essentially a poet of intuition and equally enjoyed a penetrating insight.

The legendary poet finished his worldly life on 4th April 1924 but is still immortal in the hearts of his huge number of fans. It is a unanimous saying by all the top poets of Odia language that the place of Gangadhar Meher can never be replaced.

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