This blog post is about my grandfather (maternal), Pandit Hrushikesh Dash, who is an author and poet in Odia and Hindi language. He also writes in English and Bengali sometimes.

Unfortunately there is no record of his writings online as he used to market his books offline which did not sell much later. And he did not have much scope and facilities offline in earlier times. But he has published some wonderful books in our regional language. He stays in a small village named Barpali in Odisha.

As a child, I used to see him sitting on a chair with his diary and busy writing poems and translations. This image of baba keeps coming to my mind till today. He is my all-time inspiration, and the idea of writing stories and poems initially occurred to me because of him. But I was only nine years old then and hence, I couldn’t muster courage to start writing my own poems. I used to observe him quietly when he would be busy writing pieces on life, nation and religion.

Whenever I would visit my village during summer holidays and Durga puja, I  would go and sit next to him and wait patiently till he finished writing his poems. After writing he would read his poetry loud and explain me it’s meaning. My brain was too young to process the depth of his writings in those times. But I would still pester him  with a bunch of questions swirling inside my little head. And he would answer to each of them with extreme patience. This was so much fun. Thinking of those days really makes me nostalgic today.

He is 85 now and still writes. Poetry has always solaced him and kept him alive, especially during these few months. Some days he reads his new poems to me on phone calls and we discuss it for a long time. On other days we discuss about books of poets and authors we have read so far. I also read my poems to him sometimes and he never shies away to give constructive feedbacks on them. Our mutual love for literature has deepened our bond much more than before.

This short poem is a tribute to those lovely evenings of my childhood days when I used to sit near baba on our verandah or sometimes in our drawing room, and enjoy listening to his beautiful poems.

It is one of those fine evenings

When baba is busy writing his poems

On his old blue round desk

Which has fragilised with time

But doesn’t break anytime

I sit next to his favorite chair

And stare and stare at what he writes

Verses on God, nation and truth

His ink keeps flowing onto

The paper, when it’s finally done

He reads to me his favorite one

The one he thinks is the best among

Them; he smiles as he starts the poem

Imbuing a melody to it’s rhyme

And it has something beautiful to tell

Always, the rhymes in his beautiful tales

He laughs and laughs after reading them

After seeing a curve on my lips

He knows, it was worth writing them

My praises encourage him once more

And he continues writing once again

Thank you note:-

I thank you all from the core of my heart for appreciating my writings. It really encourages me to keep writing more and more. Unfortunately, I am not a paid member in this website right now. So I am not able to view your lovely comments and take part in comments and discussions. I will avail the membership soon and will reply to each one of you. I read many beautiful blog posts and poems by authors here, but I fail to comment on their posts. I will do it very soon. Every one is so amazing here and I really feel great to be a part of this beautiful community. This is indeed a place of growth and transformation. I truly feel at home here. Thank you so much everyone.

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Chitrotpala Chaitali Dash

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