Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Issue 02 : July 2016

In Memorium


Sankarsan Parida: A Messenger of Peace and Brotherhood  


 

But what happens to human beings

made in His image?

Man goes against man

nation against nation;

hatred and violence reign supreme

I aspire to find the way

and pray to God

inculcate contentment and peace

in the human brain

so as to purge him of

all the negative things

that stigmatize his path

and to strew it

with love, fellow-feeling and non-violence. (Segregation 14)

 

Sankarsan Parida (1953-2016), an Indian poet in English with six poetry collections, namely, The Golden Bird (1990), Segregation (1996), The Next Valley Beyond the Stars (2002), Behind the Tapestry (2008), The Estranged Periphery (2012) and An Elegy and Other Poems (2015) breathed his last on 16 May 2016 due to severe brain injury. Parida was born on 25 September 1953 at Sandhapalli, a village in the District of Kendrapara, Odisha. Late Kanduri Charan Parida was his father and Supari Parida was his mother. He postgraduated from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. He left two sons—Mr Bishwa Bhushan Parida and Mr Shanti Bhushan Parida and two daughters—Monalisa Parida and Lipsa Parida. He dedicated his last poetry collection An Elegy and Other Poems to his wife Late Pravabhati. He taught English in various Degree Colleges of the State for more than thirty five years. He received “Replica” Anniversary 2002 Award in Indo-English Poetry, Kendrapara Sahitya Sansad Award in 2005 for translation, “Sahayogi”, Cuttack Award for contribution to Odia and English Literature in 2008 and International Michael Madhusudan Academy, Kolkatta Award in 2008. After retirement, he was preparing an anthology of Orissan poets in English. It was to be published from Prakash Book Depot, Bareilly. But, Death took him away before the completion of the project. 

 


 

S. Parida appears to be socially conscious and, so, does his best to make the reader aware but, sometimes, fails to give a forceful stroke to the walls of his heart for the feelings to let out. Being a poet of the masses, he talks of the things which can promote the cultural values. His poems mostly reflect the contemporary scenario dotted with the present day evil. He is much bruised to see the evils and, so, reflects over them like a moralist. The moralistic tone gets upper hand over the imaginative vigour and symbolic modes. In brief, he succeeds in transporting the reader to the native land, from the native land to the evils that India suffers from and, in a moralistic tone, offers solutions in terms of cultural values and traditions.

 

Sudhir K. Arora

Poet & Critic


 

Parida is a rising poet. He has established himself as a poet in Odisha and in India as well. But, he also has his limitations. Some of his poems lack poetic fervour. He does not take care to maintain rhythm in some of his poems as they read like extended poetical prose pieces. In spite of such weaknesses Sri Parida’s poems are quite interesting and provide pleasure to its readers.”

 

Premananda Panda

Poet & Critic

 


Four Poems of Sankarsan Parida


 

1. The Car Festival

 

The Car Festival

of Sri Jagannath, Lord of the Universe...

The Lord comes down His Diamond Throne

to embrace the whole mankind

and purge them of their earthly sins.

Everyone

irrespective of caste, creed, community

finds the Grand Road of Puri

the holiest and the safest place

for the finest stream of human race

flows from Saradhabali to Swargadwar

with the mystic touch

of love, fellow feeling, compassion,

non-violence, pleasure and peace.

The Car moves,

Lord Jagannath perceives

His devotees from all the world over. (from Segregation )

 

2. And I Am Startled

 

Several times

I have glanced

at death’s sad and stubborn face

while walking on the sea beach,

the waves touching my majestic steps;

in some grassy fields

where I begin to understand

the man and the sky

in a bare loneliness

of late hours of pensive days.

 

And I am startled

to see him in every face,

in the twitter of birds,

laughter of sweet little children

in all our day-to-day acts

in the world of all senses and sequences.

Yet I venture

to challenge his drastic quests

imprudent breaks

and muster courage

to march ahead

without grumble, without craze

in the ways He leads me

and the ways He lays. (From The Golden Bird)

 

3. Sense of Meum

 

A tottering old man in tatters,

weak, infirm but sagacious

is puzzled at the pathetic conditions

prevailing all around

and often praises the colonial domination.

By the grace of the Supremely compassionate

he is bestowed with a convincing conviction

that all negative things of life—

violence, terrorism, successionism, communalism

and the abuse of trust everywhere

cause all sorts of turbulence.

The old consensus is shattered

and the momentum of the freedom movement

has petered out

and we never ruminate over the values

envisaged in the age old scriptures

to derive proper ideals.

We leave our cultural heritage

and run after pseudo honour, fame

and the sense of meum;

he vehemently admonishes

to cultivate divine virtues

like performance of sacrifices,

charity and penance

and work ceaselessly

with distinctive features

for the good of all. (From Behind the Tapestry)

 

4. My Town

 

This is my town

with din and bustle, glamour and glory;

I like it very much

though at times I am baffled to see

the streets dotted with debris

and dumped with building materials

and partially encroached

by capable citizens.

People assemble in the temple premises

in twos and threes

to have darshan of the Lord

and blessings for prosperity;

they contribute liberally

what they can

for the development of the historical shrine

while Nagina and Radhika, Pandu and Bipasa

move from door to door for alms

and take shelter at uncertain places—

hospital corridors, school verandahs

and public rest sheds.

The town bristles with life

notwithstanding the burdens

of diseases and death

while mornings and evenings

pass on in busy schedules,

lofty assumptions and assessments. (From Behind the Tapestry)

 


 

I, Sudhir K. Arora, with the team of Creation and Criticism pay my sincere tribute to this messenger of peace and brotherhood. May his soul rest in peace!