Books

The write word

Anjuman Ara  

A familiar face in Oriya literary circles, Anjuman Ara heads the Department of Hindi at the Rama Devi Women's College in Bhubaneswar. While Urdu has been her mother tongue and Hindi her area of study and specialisation, her heart has always been with Oriya language and literature. A writer, translator, literary editor and anchor of literary programmes on television, she has been a multi-faceted personality.

Born and brought up in Cuttack, she did her Master's from Ravenshaw College and doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University. “My father loved languages and I imbibed that attitude from him. Though an eminent hockey player of his times, he used to take keen interest in several languages. Since I used to top the class in Hindi, my teachers and parents encouraged me to study Hindi further. I even loved Sanskrit,” says the writer who was honoured by the Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan for her contribution to Hindi literature.

“Being born and brought up in Orissa, I am an Oriya. I remember, the very first alphabet that my mother had taught me was the first Oriya alphabet. I also had my schooling in Oriya medium. It was my mother who was very fond of Oriya literature and Oriya newspapers. So with both the parents taking lot of interest in language and literature besides being quite broad-minded regarding their daughter's upbringing as a daughter of the soil, I was naturally drawn into writing in Oriya,” adds Anjuman who has been felicitated by a number of literary organisations for her contribution to Oriya literature.

Late legendary poets Mahadevi Varma (Hindi) and Kuntala Kumari Sabat (Oriya) have been her most favourite writers on whom she did her doctoral research. “Both had strikingly similar personal lives that were reflected in their writings. Both longed for the love of a man in their lives till the end but did not get it and both were patriotic too,” observes Anjuman who has also done extensive research into the writings of Jnanapith awardee Oriya writer Gopinath Mohanty.

Quite fond of the writings of eminent writers Kedar Nath Singh and Naresh Saxena in Hindi and Ramakant Rath, Debraj Lenka, Prativa Ray and Jagadish Mohanty in Oriya, she has been consistently translating from Hindi to Oriya and vice versa. She has also dabbled in editing of a number of literary magazines in Hindi and Oriya. Similarly, having her exposure to different cultural and religious traditions, her anchoring of various literary and cultural programmes on small screen have been quite engaging.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:34:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/The-write-word/article16302342.ece

Next Story