I? Who Am I? by Sujata Mohapatra

   Odia poem by Sujata Mohapatra

   Translated by Isha Bharadwaj

Am I the gleaming smooth stone

Polished by the crushing waterfall

Emerging from the conflicting tall peaks of Deomali?

Or the that skyscraping, penetrating tree in the

Dense forest of Koraput,

Whose ultimate goal is to just for once, touch the sky!

Who am I? What am I?

I am the childhood spent in,

The cuddling caring waves of Indravati

And the roaring thunder energy of Nagabali

The childhood spent hoping from one river bank to other.

Those murky forest trees,

The cascading waterfalls and 

The tall mighty mountains

They are my acquaintance,

My lifelines.

With a pen from the upright Saargi tree

With the ink of flowers of flaxseed 

Along the hushed gentle shores caressing the river bed

That, right there, I write my autobiography, my poetry.

To me,

Love is the simple fragrance in the forest breeze

To me,

Pride and morale is the fire that burns and burns.

Me, my personality, my confidence

Religion, love, my self-respect

It seeps from this soil and it ends in this soil.

Kandha, Paraja and Desia

They define my existence, my society.

I am the law of the land,

I am the order of the land.

I am what I call, the Constitution of my land.

I reside in the sweet luxury of Mahula

In the unique tradition of Geet-Kudia

I am a simple ordinary person

Risen from the soil of my land.

I am candid.

I am serene.

I am assertive.

I am,  yet, un-tamed and individualistic.

(Dedicated to that Koraput, chorabali by Sujata Mohapatra)

Author’s Bio


Sujata Mohapatra is an emerging influential poet and author of the modern Odia Literature. With her soul-stirring poems and quick-witted stories, she can easily awe the audience. Debipakhya, Sutakhiare Samparka and Chorabali are three of her published book of poetry collection, and she plans to swoon the readers soon with an upcoming Novel and collection of some of her terrific short-stories. She is a voice for the indigenous odia language and its rich culture. You can reach out to her at mitakiran@gmail.com

Translator’s Bio


Isha Bharadwaj is a poet akin to English Literature. For her, poetry is all but a form of emotion that renders the voice of the society. True to her thoughts, her poems speak for themselves impelling the world to be a better place. Her originals have been published in various national and international magazines. Currently, for her love for Odia Literature and with an aim to present its richness to the world, she is working on translating odia poems into English. You can reach out to her at ishabharadwaj08@gmail.com

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