Posts Tagged ‘Rourkela’

Dear Friends,

last evening, I made a post on social media on how I feel returning from Bhubaneshwar/Odisha after attending the SOA Literary Festival.

I am thankful to The Samikhsya and Kedar Mishra for carrying my yesterday’s post on my experience. Odisha continues to shower its love upon me. Grateful!

Bahut Bahut Dhonyobaad!

Please read more here …

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Meeting my parents’ saviour

   Posted by: aman    in Punjab

Dear Friends,

On February 1st evening, I was gratified upon gifting my new book PANJAB to Mr Aurobinda Behera, retd Chief Secretary, Odisha.

When Roll of Honour released at my friend Sujit Mahapatra’s Bakul library in Bhubaneshwar in 2012, Mr Behera had walked up to me to ask if my parents had lived in Rourkela. Then he told me, in 1984, he was ADM Rourkela. At noon on 31st October, upon noticing vulgar graffiti and sloganeering, he had decided to shift the Sikhs to the Gurdwara. Police vehicles were deployed for the task. Hundreds of families were evacuated.

That is how my parents and thousands of Sikhs were saved. I do not wish such circumstances on anyone. But by simply following protocol, by doing the right thing, doing what a civil servant would do, Mr Behera became my hero. In the past few years Mr Behera has called me from time to time asking me about the progress of PANJAB.

I am forever obliged. Salute!

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On Rourkela for Solitude Atlas

   Posted by: aman    in Other

The Solitude Atlas is the current publication project of Akademie Schloss Solitude, which will be published in 2015 on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. The 143 participating authors, all former or current fellows at the Akademie since 1990, were invited to hand in a subjective text about the cities they are living in. I extended the definition a bit to etch in words a connection between the town I was born in and Germany – a realization which hit me strongly in the recent days.

A big thanks to Srikant Kuanar who allowed me the use of his gorgeous panoramic picture of the Rourkela Steel Plant. This piece posits a historical way of looking at identities that goes beyond the narrow ways in which we are sometimes forced to define them in recent days.

See here

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Rourkela invites me …

   Posted by: aman    in Sepia Leaves

Yesterday, I suddenly got emails and calls from Bombay and New York because Bobby Sharma from Bangalore found my book at Crossword and posted the link on an internet group. The friends who contacted me belong to An internet group on Rourkela. Wow. So nice to see us bond, its been active since 2002, almost when I started writing Sepia Leaves!

Here is my response:

Hi all,
thank you for inviting me here.

I did not study in REC and I did not do my Class X or XII in Rourkela. Still, I was born in Indira Gandhi Hospital and I walked the sector roads and got bird droppings on my shoulders in Rourkela One. I saw movies in Konark and Apsara and ate rasogullas in Ambagan and cholle bhature at Renu Menu. I once even sneaked into the plant lying under a seat in an ambulance. Dr Bose, the secretary to the CMO was our neighbour.

For personal reasons which Bains uncle’s son Harrit mentions I had to keep returning to Rourkela but it stays in my heart. I learnt Oriya in its streets, Hindi in its markets, Punjabi at home, and English in its schools.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine who works in PR asked me to find a Rourkela group and announce my book. I was tied up and am very glad you found me out. Today I was a bit surprised at Capt Raj’s mail, then Lalit called (Happy Birthday!), then Anand (I think) called from New York. Thanks Bobby for putting me up here. Yes, I owed it to all of you to tell you about the book earlier, apologies for not doing that. Sepia Leaves has a lot of Rourkela in it, it is a Rourkela story. Hope you like it; please let me know if you do not. I will keep reading news about you here, and participate when I can.

One of the reviews:

PS: For propriety reasons I have changed some names and some minor details. Hope you do not mind the changes. I hope I have been able to capture the spirit of the city. Please respond if you wish to exchange views, and do let me know when you plan a get together in Delhi or Bangalore.

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