THUS SPOKE PRASANTA (31)
MISSING BAKUL BOUDI
I am extremely happy that revolutionary poet Shri Rabi Singh has been selected for Atibadi Jagannth Das Samman, the most prestigious literary award by the Odisha Sahitya Akademi.Though Rabi babu who happens to be a contemporary of poet Brajanath Rath deserved such recognisation much earlier, now all of us can appreciate saying, "better late than never".
Shri Singh will get a cash award of Rs 1 lakh along with a citation.
I am very much excited that Rabi Bbau's name has been selected during tenure of poet Harihar Mishra ( my dearest Hari Bhaina) as the President of the Akademi. Hari bhaina was a longtime fan of Rabi Babu since his young days ( while a student of S.C.S. College, Puri in 1958 ),
Rabi Babu who was a leftist from the begining was also close to my father and his Communist friends since his struggling days. I had lots of love and apprecuation for his poems, stories and other writings. My eldest brother-in-law late Kanhu Charan Patnaik who was also a freedom-fighter, ideal teacher and promoter of detective literarature was also very close to Rabi Babu. During my Ravenshaw College days in 1960 and with my close association with unbeatable humorius writer FATURANANDA ji Rabi Babu was a regular visitor to DAGARO Press located in Pithapur . Poets and writers like Dr Jenamani Narendra Kumr, Murari Mohan Jena, were also part of our circle, in which I was the youngest member.
I still recall the letter head of Rabi babu with his sketch and type-set " Rabi Singh, Poet and Journalist, Editor Chhata ?.
"Chhata" was a critical magazine in the pattern of "NIANKHUNTA" edited by Godavarish Mohapatra, in which Rabi babu was not sparing any one.
Rabi Babu was jailed several times because of his critical political and social stand. Worst was the time of Indira Gandhi's Natoanal Emergency. On some occasion I had met his most loving and devoted wife Bakul Boudi along with Sriikanta Panda, who was the Editor of ASANTAKALI in which Rabi Bbau;s regular biographical feature Nisang Padatika was appearing.
Earlier Shri Rabi Singh had got the prestigious Sahitya Bharati Samman-2014 for his distinguished contributions to Odia literature in the forms of poetry and short story compilations by the Gangadhar Rath Foundation .The trust is giving away the award every year to renowned persons in the field of Odia literature and it carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, a filigree memento of Sun Temple of Konark and a citation. The Samman was conferred on Rabi Singh by former Supreme Court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat at a function in Cuttack.
Though all of us who know the great revolutionary poet Rabi Singh are extremely happy for the grand recognisation to Rabi Babu Bakul Baoudi, the lady who had shared his love and suffering till her last might have been the happiest person on the earth if she would have been alive.