PRATIBHA RAY


M.Ed,Ph.D



Pritibha Ray is one of the most famous writers in Orissa today. She has been writing Novels and Short stories actively for the past 25 years. Born on 21st, January 1943, at Alabol, a village in the Balikuda area of Cuttack district, Orissa state, she was inspired by her poet father, Late Parashuram Das who gave up a lucrative job in a reputed company, TISCO and joined the freedom movement. Later he worked for the spread of education and eradication of social evils in that area. Mother, Late Manorama Devi, was a traditional ideal housewife.

She mostly attributes the boldness, the revolt and humanism in her literature to the impact of Vaishnavism, her family religion, on her mind. The search for a "social order based on equality,love,peace and integration", continues, since the novelist and short story writer first weilded her pen at the age of nine. "Love and let live" is her motto. "I am a humanist" she says, "men and women have been created differently for the healthy functioning of society. The specialities women have been endowed with should be nurtured further. As a human being however women is equal to man".

Pratibha's father's ambition was to see her as a doctor. But from her very childhood, Pratibha nurtured a dream to become a poet. After taking admission in S.C.B Medical College, Cuttack she changed her mind and without informing her parents took admission in Ravenshaw College, Cuttack in the B.Sc. Course with Botany Honours. Her study discontinued after graduation, when she married Akshaya Chandra Ray, an Engineer. When her daughter Adyasha and two sons Anwesh and Ayaskant arrived in three consecutive years, she forgot all about being a writer in bringing them up. At the end of five years she wondered whether she would be able to resume her writing and post-graduate studies. But the support she received from her husband and inspiration from her parents helped her to pursue writing and post-graduate studies.

She has been teaching in various Government Colleges in Orissa since the last twenty years. She has guided doctoral research and has published many research articles. She is a life member and executive member of a number of learned societies. She is also a member of Central Board of Film Certification. She has travelled extensively in India and abroad to participate in various literary seminars. She has won a number of National and State level awards for her writing. She has participated in a number of Radio and Television programmes. Apart from creative writing, she has written many research articles on Education and Psychology.

Presently she is a Reader in Education Department in the premier college of Orissa, Ravenshaw College at Cuttack.

Her thrust being on "psycho-analysis", Pratibha grapples with issues of contemporary relevance, oppressive surroundings and over powering tension of modern life, corruption and degeneration of values in every sphere, a growing hedonism and the alienation of the individual in a complex modern society. Her novel Aranya (The Forest, 1975) shocked middle class sensitivity, anticipating artificial inseminated babies before it became a reality. Sumudra Ra Swara (The Voice of the Ocean, 1980) a novel based on the age of automation, Gene industry with the invention of a mind scanning device "brainvision" which drives civilisation to a perilous brink, caused an instant stir among readers.

Pratibha's fascination for the historic past finds full expression in her novel Shilapadma (Stonelotus, 1983) a profoundly moving work on the legends associated with the famous Sun Temple at Konark. Rambling in the reams of mythology, Pratibha brings to life Draupadi, the enigmatic heroine of Mahabharata, in her successful novel Yajnaseni (1985), which won the Moorti Devi Award. Her research on the lifestyle and behaviour of Bondo highlanders took her to the remote district of Koraput in Orissa. An intimate study of the Bondo life finds expression in "Bhagabanara Desh" (Land of the God, 1993) a collection of short stories and her most recent novel "Aadibhoomi" (The Original Land, 1993). This classic work is a meticulously researched fictional reconstruction of the life of the primitive Bondo tribe. She has also written a lot of short stories for children.


AWARDS AND HONOURS

  1. Award by Ministry of Education and Social Welfare, Government of India for a short novel on neoliterates, 1977.
  2. Best film story award by Government of Orissa, Culture Department for the film "Aparichita" based on her story with the same title , 1980.
  3. Orissa Sahitya Academy Award for her novel "Shilapadma", 1985.
  4. Jhankara Award for the best short story writing from Prajatantra Prachar Samitee , 1989.
  5. Sarla Award for her novel "Yagnaseni", 1989.
  6. Saptarshi Award for best story writing of the year by Sambalpur University , 1989.
  7. Moorti Devi Award by Bharatiya Jnanpith, New Delhi for the novel "Yagnaseni" , 1991.
  8. Katha Prize for the best story writing, Delhi 1994.
  9. Bisuva Award for life time literary achievement, awarded by Prajatantra Prachar Samitee, 1995.
  10. Felicitated by Bharatiya Jnanpith on the their Golden Jubilee Celebration for her contribution to Indian literature, 1995.

A SELECTED BIBIOGRAPHY

  1. ORIYA NOVELS
  2. TRAVELOGUE
  3. SHORT STORIES
  4. HINDI
  5. ENGLISH
  6. ASSAMESE
  7. MARATHI
  8. MALYALAM

About 250 short stories have been published in different noted Oriya literary Jourbals during the past 25 years, some of which have been published in different Indian Languages such as Bengali,Hindi,Assamese,Telgu,Kannad, Gujrati,Punjabi,Tanil,Konkani and Marathi in various magazines and also in reputed English journals.


ADDRESS

"AAKHYAEEKA"
TULSIPUR, CUTTACK - 753008.
ORISSA, INDIA.
PHONE : (671) 600488

Source :Anwesh Ray (son)[paragp@singnet.com.sg]
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