Twenty five stories handpicked here by the author are from a wide range of choice. Every story has a grip of its own, some of them very moving like 'Father Samuel', Silent prayer for Runi' or 'The dream peddler' and yet others loaded with pathos like 'Museum ', The bird of passage. 'A subtler form of love oozes out of stories like ' At midnight today' or ' The woman with a hunchback'. In fact any story can be chosen for a treat.
Chandrasekhar Rath (b. 1929) a front-liner among Indian authors writing in Oriya, is a painter, a sculptor, an athelete and a poet to lend his stories the benefits of a rich artistic sensibility in their rare depth, dimension and diverse pictures of life. He has thirteen collections of short stories, twelve collections of creative essays, three novels and two books of poems. Ashok k Mohanty (b. 1951) is a critic and translator. He is the professor of Finance in the Department of Business Administration in Berhampur University.
This is the first collection of short stories translated by me which is going to see the light of the day. I consider myself privileged that the author of these stories him-self placed so much confidence in me. Prof. Chandraskekhar Rath took the trouble of going through the manuscript and making valuable suggestions. There were times when he flew into a rage because I had digressed a bit from the text. At other times, he fell over himself to complement me. All throughout, there was a love-hate relationship between the author and the translator as long as the project was in progress. Several times I threw up my hands in despair and thought of chucking the whole thing. Every time, Prof. Rath pulled me back from the brink. I am grateful to him in more ways than one.
The characters in the stories turned out to be members of an extended family for me during the period when I was engaged in the translation work. In some measure, many of the characters still pop up now and then. There was a note of regret along with a sigh of relief when the assignment came to an end. I would not mind going through the same experience yet again.
It would be foolhardy on my part to make any comments about the stories or pick my favourites from out of the twenty five. A translator's job is always difficult because of the fact that he has to be faithful to the text and yet translated version must sound as if it had been rendered originally. I will feel amply rewarded if the reader does not stop every so often to wonder what it is all about.
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