Politics of today’s world holds no beauty, no essence: Devdas Chhotray


Bhubaneswar: Eminent poet and former vice-chancellor of Ravenshaw University, Devdas Chhotray on Monday said that politics of today’s world holds no beauty and no essence.

“My father was a political person, but I am mentally devoid of politics. Even I have held elections three times but have never voted,” he said while speaking at 3rd KLF corner of Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF).

Expressing his views on Ravenshaw University, Chhotray said Ravenshaw is his experience. He said that his book “Chumbaka” is dedicated to the sundial placed in the quadrangle lawn of Ravenshaw.

“People say that an individual grows in enlightenment if he walks in the air of Ravenshaw. When I served as a Vice-Chancellor, I tried to open up the squeezed environment of Ravenshaw,” he added.

Speaking over the essence of urbanesentation in his poems he said that he didn’t realise it ever that he is an urban poet.

“Cuttack is the place to which I relate and where I live. If you call Cuttack an urban place, it is rather an urbanised village because Britishers paved this place first in Odisha. Cuttack is the place from where I have gathered all my urbanity and probably you see it reflected in Literature. I too write rural pieces like “Gotie Saree”. It’s up to the readers who have divided into categories. Well, the rural essence in my poems and lyrics I have got from my mother. In the lyrics of “Teeniti Jhia”, you could see the rural essence in between the shadow of urbanity. However, the song is equally mine and of Akshaya Mohanty,” said Chhotray.

This apart, he spoke over the significance of his name, during his first interview for Indian Administrative Services (IAS), the interviewer asked him about democracy.

Meanwhile, a bus passes by blowing the horn sharply. That sound caused the Doppler effect which distracted me from his question and I answered him “I completely agree with you”. One thing he learnt from the incident that if you could agree with things in life, many things will get easier to deal with. My horoscopic name was “Durgacharan” but my father chose to change the name.

He liked the name Devdas but my mother didn’t like it. Well, that was a perception regarding the character of Devdas that he was not a positive character. But somehow my father trucked her saying “naming our son Durgacharan will make him a devotee of one goddess but naming him Devdas will make him a slave of every god of the universe. The tragic part of this name is Devdas is fine until Romance continues and files and trash of government services don’t strangle you. We all think and are conscious about death, but the character of Devdas rushes in the crave to die.

“Nothing is more important in my life than coffee and books. And as I live in Cuttack, I am very much acquainted with corners ( Laughs). Oxford Bookstore has organised such a sweet and beautiful Corner in collaboration with Kalinga Literary Festival,” said Chhotray.

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