“Kejani Kahinki” is a remarkable Odia novel written by Birendra Mohanty and published in 1989. Renowned for his insightful storytelling, Mohanty takes readers on a gripping journey through the social realities of rural Odisha. This novel delves deep into the struggles, emotions, and aspirations of the common people, unraveling the complexities of societal norms and exposing the harsh truths that lie beneath.
“Kejani Kahinki,” translated as “Don’t You Know Who Am I,” is set in a fictional village called Kejani. It revolves around the life of Rama Chandra Nayak, a lower-middle-class man who dreams of leading a comfortable life for himself and his family. The narrative highlights the challenges faced by Rama Chandra as he navigates through the maze of societal expectations, traditional customs, and the oppressive caste system.
- Caste Discrimination: The novel skillfully explores the prevalent caste system in rural Odisha. It illuminates the profound impact of caste on individuals’ lives, portraying the discrimination faced by lower-caste people and their struggle for recognition and respect.
- Women Empowerment: “Kejani Kahinki” also sheds light on the empowerment of women. It features strong female characters who challenge societal norms, fight for their rights, and inspire change. The book sensitively addresses gender inequality and the importance of women’s voices in shaping society.
- Rural Poverty: The novel captures the harsh reality of poverty and its lasting effects on individuals and their communities. It reflects the struggles faced by the marginalized sections of society, raising awareness about the urgent need for socio-economic development and inclusive growth.
- Cultural Traditions: Birendra Mohanty masterfully blends myth and folklore into the narrative, providing a rich cultural backdrop. He explores the tension between tradition and modernity, questioning the relevance of age-old customs in the face of social progress.
- Human Emotions: The author’s deep understanding of human emotions is displayed throughout the novel. Love, jealousy, anger, and betrayal are intricately woven into the lives of the characters, creating a realistic depiction of human relationships and the complexities they entail.
“Kejani Kahinki” is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that adeptly portrays the social realities of rural Odisha. Birendra Mohanty’s vivid storytelling and nuanced characterization make this book a must-read for those seeking a deeper understanding of societal issues and the human condition. Published in 1989, this timeless masterpiece continues to resonate with readers, reminding us of the importance of empathy and social change.
|Kejani Kahinki /ବିଚିତ୍ରବର୍ଣ୍ଣା
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