Bidyut Prabha Devi : The best Odia female poets of pre-modern period and one of the finest of Odia writers #OdiaNari #Odia #Odisha #Eminent

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Bidyut Prabha Devi : The best Odia female poets of  pre-modern period and one of the finest of Odia writers #OdiaNari #Odia #Odisha #Eminent

                     Bidyut Prabha Devi (1926-1977) is considered one of the best Odia female poets of the pre-modern period and one of the finest of Odia  writers.

Childhood of    Bidyut Prabha Devi :- 

Bidyut Prabha Devi  profile , Bidyut Prabha Devi  wiki , Bidyut Prabha Devi  image    

 Bidyut Prabha Devi Born in Natra village of Cuttack District , she taught herself grammar, vocabulary, poetic idiom and diction. Later she studied at the Ravenshaw Girls’ School till class nine.

Inspired by her father’s colleague, Krushna Chandra Kar and other mentors such as Radha Mohan Gadnayak and Mayadhar Mansingh, Bidyut Prabha began to write poetry from 1940 onward. She taught herself Bengali and English. With her elder sister Basanti,she published her first collectionSabita (1944) which was followed by several others. In 1949, Bidyut Prabha married Panchanan Mohanty who was very supportive of her writing

Bidyut Prabha Devi’s Award Career :- 

She began to write children’s poetry after she became a mother in 1952 and received much acclaim for her work. In 1955 she received an award for children’s literature from the Govt of India. In 1962, her poetry collection Sanchayana won the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award. (1926-77) Has written poetry that won the Sahitya Akademin Award and other recognition from the Central Government and Government of Odisha. She excelled, most of all, in depicting the rural landscape and ethos of Orissa and expressed a powerful humanism that distinctly makes her an outstanding pre-modern figure in Oriya Literature.

Bidyut Prabha had an untimely death in 1977. Her collected works were later published by Friends’ Publishers, Cuttack.  (src :- )

Bidyut Prabha Devi’s poem :- 


The grinding is half done.
Where are you,
eldest daughter-in-law?
Unmindful of chores
that lie piled up
until nightfall!

“Am I a bonded labourer?
Am I to be sold daily
only for this house?
Work, work and more work!
From morning till night!
Tell me,
is there nothing else
to life?”

Is the life of a woman
meant only for childbirth?
Only for drudgery and fuel?
There is no joy
in holding a pen,
and no pleasure
in its abandonment.

Writing is the greatest
elixir of all.
Whoever has savoured it,
can she escape its lure?
never mind the pitfalls
on the way.

Our life a constant turmoil.
The soul, consumed for ever
with disease and death.
How can there be in all this,
time for poetry?

Today, it’s the son’s health.
And tomorrow, it’s
The daughter’s stomach ailment!
Can there be
amidst all this,
the meeting of pen and ink?

Writing, I know
cannot fetch me
food or clothing.
Nothing in it
to interest the family.
It remains
despite this
my pleasure, my cynosure!

Let people say what they like.
I shall go on flowing.
Like the mighty,
I shall cross
whatever comes my way
with a smile
for ever on my lips.

Writing is the balm
for all my pain.
It’s the glory of my sorrow.
Writing is rain-soaked woods.
It’s the music of cloud bursts
during the month of Shravana!

I wish I could speak of
the joy that gathers in my heart.
Like a flame
in the mouth of storm,
my poetry
A luminous lamp!

(Translation: Sachidananda Mohanty (First published in Kavya Bharati, 1997 and scr :- )

Read this book for …  Lost Tradition : Early Women’s Writing In Orissa

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