Home » Literature » An interview with Swagatika Swain winner of the 2021 Akshaya Chandra Ray Memorial Award for her Odia novel “Drohakala”

An interview with Swagatika Swain winner of the 2021 Akshaya Chandra Ray Memorial Award for her Odia novel “Drohakala”

 (The Pratibha Ray Foundation Trust has instituted the  First Akshaya Chandra Ray Memorial Award in memory of eminent engineer Late  Akshaya Chandra Ray, the founder of renowned publishing House Adya Prakashani, Bhubaneswar)

On behalf of Odisha News-Times, Ashok Palit interviewed Swagatika Swain to know about her  feelings   and journey in the field of  literature

Congratulations! You are the recipient of the “First Akshaya Chandra Ray Memorial Award” ( instituted by the Pratibha Ray Foundation Trust )for your Odia novel “Drohakala”. Tell us about this experience.

It is a life-changing experience, a glorifying milestone in my literary journey. When you get a recognition from the laureate of Indian literature, Gyanpitha awardee Dr. Pratibha Ray, it says the rest. Life has become pompous and my pen too.

When and how did you start writing?

From a very early age, I had an opportunity to read many storybooks.  Libraries of all the educational institutions, I have studied in were my favorite attractions. Besides I was blessed with a childhood of freedom at my “Mamu ghara” at Cuttack; unparalleled love, passionate care sans any restrictions and prohibitions, with an opportunity to navigate among nature and people. I guess these were the fundamental reasons shaping my writings later.

Which among your writings is your best creation and why?

Well, that is an irony, I would say. All the novels and stories I have written, I felt were the best only while they have been written and published. But later I rather feel they are not. So I think time has the best answer here. Let’s see what comes out of a prolonged readership over the coming years.

Which are the themes you focus on in your writings?

. Tales of the untold, about the soiled feet standing beyond the last doorstep. And of course about the serene nature and bliss all around.

What are your favorite passions outside of literature?

Singing.. . Spending hours in Starlite, trying songs recorded over there. And yes… listening to Jagjit Singh all the time alone.

What is the most important aspect of your award-winning novel “Drohakala” that you cherish?

In “DROHAKALA “ I have tried to carve the story of a girl, the unending grief she grapples with shake due to the shackles of tradition and the prevailing captive feudalism. It is the saga of her endeavor to protest against it. It reveals her simple belief in the public systems and administration for help and its failure. However, the important aspect of the novel I would cherish is the solitary,  fearless decision of the protagonist Shimuli taken at the climax.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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