Dr. Mayadhar Mansingh

Born :- 13-Nov-1905
Died :- 11-Oct-1973
Place of Birth :- Nandala, Puri

Dr. Mayadhar Mansingh was a prolific writer of different genres in Odia literature, with romantic poems being his forte. Although a man of English language and literature, his contribution to Odia literature can be termed as great.

Better known as a Poet of Love or ‘Pranayee Kavi’, Dr. Mansingh was born in Nandala village in Krushnaprasad Tahasil of Puri district, Odisha. He had three sons and his second son, Lalit Mansingh, was a diplomat and Foreign Secretary to the Government of India.

Dr. Mansingh's literary contributions include essays, poetic plays and long narrative poems. His poems of the first stage are profusely interspersed with romantic metaphors and metaphors bordering on eroticism. Some of his notable works include ‘Dhupa’, ‘Hemapushpa’, ‘Hemashasya’, ‘Jiban Chitaa’, ‘Krusha’, ‘Swaraajya Aashrama’,‘Maati Vaanee’, ‘Baapu Tarpana’, ‘Sindhu o Bindu’, ‘Akhyata’, ‘Sedinara Kabitaa’, ‘Shubha Drusti’, ‘Nikwana’, ‘Upekhitaa’, ‘Kamalaayana’, ‘Pujarini’ ‘Jemaa’, ‘Saadhaba Jhia’, ‘Mo Bou’ and ‘Konarka’ in the section of Poetry. He has authored more than fifty books in various sections of literature such as Poetry, Essay, Criticism, Novel, long narrative poems, Travelogue and Translation etc. He also wrote books like ‘The Saga of the Land of Jagannatha’ (English) which portrays vividly the ancient history of Odisha. He wrote books in Odia like ‘Mahatabani’, ‘Geeta Mahatmya’ and ‘Sarbajanina Geeta’. He has written the ‘History of Oriya Literature’ in English published by the Kendra Sahitya Akademi. He also authored several research articles on the History of Odisha. Mansingh has translated Shakespeare's Hamlet and Othello into Odia.

Dr. Mansingh has opened a new chapter in Odia literature. He speaks the naked, earthly and the chaste love of man and woman, which is hardly spoken of by any other poet of Odia literature or any other Indian poet. He also laments human misery in his later poems. He opted his own style, own theme and own flavour in his own way. He wished to bring social reforms through literature. He dreamt of an ideal society free from slavery and exploitation just as P.B. Shelly. In the poem ‘Nidrita Bhagabana’ (The Sleeping God) the poet laments human sorrows and sufferings and thinks of the great purity and vastness of the human soul.

The Mansingh of Dhoopa was metamorphosed in his later works. While in his poem ‘Dharabatarana’ he wishes to come back to this earth again and again to meet his love, he gradually shifts to being more realistic. Especially in ‘Maatibaanee’ (Voice of the Soil), ‘Jiban Chitaa’ (The Pyre of Life) and ‘Krusha’ (The Crucifix) he sounds realistic and serious for mankind. The poem ‘Rangoon Chithi’ brings out the pathos and sufferings of the poor.

Mansingh was a poet who followed neither the trend nor the social setting, or demand of literature of the time. He made his own innings in his own style. In fact till today he is regarded as a trend setter. He wrote romantic poetry in his taste and later this not only became his style but also his identity. He is seen as a mystic piper of poetry and a realistic artist at the same time.

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