RSP Executive’s book on Jagannath Culture before Nabakalebar

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebar festival, a new book by an award winning author has come out with unique tales which portray Jagannath culture as a way of life with contemporaty relevance and not merely a religious belief.

The first copy of the book “Tales of Lord Jagannath”, written by Ramendra Kumar, popularly known by Ramen, was presented by the writer to Odisha’s Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda on the ‘Odia New Year’ yesterday.

?It is heartening that the book has been published before Nabakalebar. I am sure the book will be very popular because of its content as well as contemporary relevance,? the Minister said.

According to Ramen, Jagannath Culture is not merely a religious belief; it is a way of life. The tales associated with Lord Jagannath form a fascinating treasure trove of myth, legend, folklore and history.

Though these stories have been around for generations, mostly in oral form, they were yet to find a place in any anthology in English, especially for children. This book seeks to fill the gap, said Ramen, who over the last decade has been doing research on Jagannath Consciousness and has presented papers on the theme both in India and abroad.

The book is an engrossing anthology of tales filled with magic and mystery, dedication and devotion, courage and conviction, faith and freedom.

Each story has been written in a reader-friendly style and in language that would appeal to the young and the young at heart. Subtly interwoven in each of these stories is a value which is relevant even today, said Ramen, who is working as Chief of Communications, Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP).

At the end of the book is a section for parents and teachers that would help them introduce the young reader to the philosophy and ethos intrinsic to the Jagannath Culture, said the award winning author for children, who has 27 books to his name.

The anthology thus aims to enthral as well as elevate by offering the children timeless tales with contemporary sensibility.

Ramen’s work has been translated into several Indian and foreign languages and showcased in many text books and anthologies across the globe. The writer is a much sought after inspirational speaker and storyteller for children.

The writer had the rare honour of presenting a paper at the 31st International Board on Books for Young People World Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In his paper titled “Here and Now – An Indian Paradigm,” Ramen drew upon the Jagannath Consciousness and explained how its values and ideals can be skilfully synergised with the modern day concerns.