History, Storytelling and Jayanta Mohapatra’s Relationship
Keywords:Storytelling, Jayanta Mohapatra, Relationship
The narrative of the poem “Relationship” revolves around such a singular historical
event – the Kalinga War [the war where King Ashoka conquered the territory of then
Odisha leading to one of the bloodiest wars in Indian history] – which defines the
collective memory of Odia culture and history of which Jayanta Mahapatra is a part of.
Mahapatra establishes a spatial uncertainty in the poem through which he explores the
trauma inflicted by an uneasy relation to history. The paper will seek to explore the
embodied living connection between the author and the historical events he narrates in
the poem. Through post-memory and narrative theories, the paper will investigate this
particular memory of catastrophe and storytelling as a means of preservation while
simultaneously becoming an act of traumatic recall. Finally, it will look into the idea of
individual identity and traumatic generational past.