New Delhi, March 30: How often have we hear the aphorism ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’. Humans have done amazing wonders by sheer strength of their will power and passion and India is a country of many such miracle men and women. One of them is Odiya poet Haldhar Nag- now Padma Shri Haldhar Nag- who has barely ever attended school, but five Phd scholar have written their theses on him! Also Read - Odisha Govt Reduces Tuition Fee in All Private Schools For 2020-21 Academic Session
According to a report in the Times of India, the 66-year old poet was awarded one of the highest civilian honours by President Pranab Mukherjee this year. Nag writes in the Kosli language and has penned 20 epics and numerous poems and he says that he remembers all of them. Now, the Sambalpur University is also coming up with a compilation of his writings. The book will be titled Haldhar Granthabali-2 and will also be a part of the University’s syllabus. Also Read: Aligarh Movie Review: Manoj Bajpayee is love, loneliness, poetry personified in Hansal Mehta’s masterpiece Also Read - Odisha Woman Pays Rs 50,000 to Contract Killers to Get Daughter Killed, Arrested
A close associate of the poet told TOI, “He remembers whatever he writes and has been reciting them. You just need to mention the name or subject. He never misses anything. Now he attends at least three to four programmes every day to recite his poems”. Speaking to TOI, Nag said, “It’s great to see the huge interest of young people in poems in Kosli. Everyone is a poet, but only a few have the art of giving them shape.” Even after becoming a decorated poet, Nag still likes to lead an austere life and can always be seen in a white dhoti and a vest, without any footwear. Also Read - Odisha Village Residents Take its Famous 'Pattachitra' Art to New Heights
Nag has achieved tremendous success in life, despite being born in a poor family and Ghens in Bargarh district of Odisha and studying in school only till class 3. Nag had dropped out of school, after his father had passed away at the age of 10. He started working as a dishwasher at a local sweet shop as his widowed mother could not earn enough for their family. But he never gave up hope and some years later, things started looking up for him. Also Read: Experts to probe death of Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda
Two years later, the village head took him as a cook in the high school, where he worked for 16 years. “But soon, a number of schools came up in the area. I approached a banker and got Rs 1,000 loan to start a small shop selling stationeries and eatables for school students,” Nag said. It was during this time that he wrote his first poem ‘Dhodo Bargachh’ (The Old Banyan Tree) in 1990 and it was published in the local magazine. He never looked back after that, as he got recognition and that in turn encouraged him to write more.
(Image Credits: pib.nic.in)