Many of intellectuals in Odisha, I have marked, make comments on me without having proper study on my stuff.
Few years ago, one of students from Shantiniketan was preparing her M.Phil project paper on me. The external came from other University told her in an informal talk during her viva that in most of my writings, he finds, I show an affinity to my father in contrary to mother. That student told me in later period about this remark while continuing her PhD research on me. I got stunned at such remarks of a Professor of any University. How could he tell such things? Certainly he would never read any of my stories or novels seriously.
It’s no doubt that I was very much closed to my father and though during my birth, he was expecting a male child and later he wanted to grow me up as a boy, but I could feel, he loved all his five daughters and I was lucky enough to get a privilege attention on me. He never barred me to enjoy my freedom and also insisted me to write, to read and to prosperous. He provided me the highest education, allowed me to attend Law classes in those days, where very less number of girl students were getting admission in that course. And more over, though I have two brothers younger to me, father treated me as his business assistant and taught me how to keep book keeping journals of business in traditional form. I was assisting my father in his business accounting and was cashier for his treasury locker till I left my home for higher studies after graduation.
My mother was a much disciplined woman and she was always trying to keep her daughters in restriction. She wanted her daughters to make skilled in house hold work. She was an ever irritated and vociferous woman in comparison to my father who was grave and blathered less. My mother always had a complaining attitude towards my father, which I never liked. I felt shaky when mother was shouting at my father and that was making a curiosity among our neighbours. To tackle such a woman, at that time I though, was a tough task for my father.
But when I started writing few of my stories based on nostalgia in 90’s, I found in most of cases the distress, agony, melancholies of my mother gripped my author’s self. I can realize how my mother was oppressed by my father. I could feel, though my father was very generous to his daughters but he was a male chauvinist for his wife. My father never gave proper attention to his wife, rather throughout his young age he considered her as a wage less home maker. He bought gold ornaments for my mother but never allowed her to wear those jewelries. He was so dominating that what would be the menu for dinner and lunch should be fixed by him. It is needless to say that father’s favourite menus were the most unfavourite dishes for us. Sometimes he ordered the dishes to be prepared for lunch and super over phone, and when my mother cooked all, he skipped the idea of sharing dine with us as he had a party to attend out side. This made my mother furious. In my girl hood days I couldn’t understand why my mother was getting irritated, but my author self could identify the agony of a lonely depressed and oppressed feminine soul. In old age both father and mother suffered from cataract, but father preferred his cataract operation and ruled out such for my mother.
There were very complex psyches in my parents’ minds, which I could realize. Though my father spent money for his daughters’ study and education, but he was always burdened with their marriages and his perception was that nothing like a more achievement for a girl than to get married to a suitable established person. And though my mother always trained us how to become a good house maker, but it was her extreme intention that her daughters would establish them selves socially and financially. That was why she forced my father to spend money on our study and education.
While writing my stories, my mother entered in to the characters of the story and I could feel if any one in this world who taught me what feminism is, that was my mother. She is my first guru to teach what gender in equality was. In various stories like ‘End of the Fascination’, ‘Time to fly’, ‘Threshold’ and ‘Conjugal Vignette’, I have tried to paint the pain, anguish, agony and sorrows of her. These stories are either anthologized in my books or on my blog and my Fb friends can search for these stories if they wish.