Place of Birth:
He was born in Sainkul, a remote village in the district of Kendujhar of Odisha, India as the third child to Durga Charan Chakra and Sukanti Lata Chakra, in a family of the royal clan migrated from Rajasthan and settled under the direct assistance of the then king of the princely state of Keonjhar of Odisha, Maharaja Govind Bhanja, during the Sixties of 15th Century while India was yet to become a British Colony.
About His Family Background:
His father was a very talented student of the district in his childhood, and topped the ranks in every class all through his Educational life. Keonjhar during the pre-independence era was a very underdeveloped, tribal district lacking in many aspects. There were only three High Schools in the district, one per each Sub-division. He was educated in one of the schools in spite of the poor economic back ground and succeeded graduating from it. It was during these days of sufferings that he vowed to work for the upliftment his people. In spite of many lucrative high salaried jobs available to him, he joined the department of Education, a job that had no promises, no financial progress, and had the least reimbursement. Some of his class mates joined other high salaried jobs and later on became millionaires, while he remained a poor ideal teacher working in the far remote tribal dominated places which were known as malarial belts.
He never forgot the difficulties he faced in educating himself. Later on he made him unsettled by resigning from his Government Teacher’s job and started founding Schools in his native area, against the will of the land lords. Gradually he gained people’s support for the great cause. There were two M.E. Schools, a High School which flourished to become one of the best in the State later on.
He emerged as one of the most loved, popular, highly regarded as the Friend, Philosopher and Guide for almost all the students of the locality.
He taught the Mother tongue Odia, Sanskrit, English and Mathematics as and when required by the school. Being a great scholar and an expert in Yoga, he motivated the whole society towards a socio-cultural integrity.
He was a great Essayist, Poet, Story writer, Dramatist, and Musician. He directed a dozen Dramas, melo-dramas and Plays. Many of his Novels, Poetry collections, Dramas although read and enjoyed by the people around, remained unpublished.
He was a voracious reader too, to facilitate this he had started a library at home as well as in different villages nearby. Much of his salary was spent on books purchased either for Libraries or for poor, needy and meritorious students.
He gave free coaching for a period of over 25 years for all the students of the school. His home was a Centre of attraction for all-it was a temple of knowledge, a stadium for the Yogic inspirations and a tiny University.
And within two decades of the establishment of the School, a college could be founded, that in the present day serves the educational need of about few thousand students.
His Father's Inspirations on the Poet:
Right from the early days of childhood, his children were greatly impressed by the reformist activities and Yogic attitude of their father. Mastery over languages and grammar, discussions at home with learned people across the state on topics from religion and philosophy to literatures and epics modified the young minds at home to a great extent. All of his four brothers were the best students in each class. They were all interested in books of any theme. They were motivated to listen to the Radio on a regular basis. Epics, Tales from different countries, Classical and folk songs from Radio, Plays and film songs were the hobbies naturally built up in all of them.
Early Interests of the Poet:
Unlike his eldest Journalist brother, writing for eminent English dailies of the country and his elder brother working as a German Professor in an Indo-German Collaborative project for popularization of German language in Asian Countries, the poet Subhas was interested in Natural Sciences and Mathematics and learning Music more than anything.
He used to go for swimming, climbing trees and the hills in the suburb, gazing stars in the sky at night with his self-made telescope, observing life and activities of birds and insects under his self-made Microscope, making a note of the studies and a diary of the events around. He was a lover of nature and natural landscapes. His mother Sukanti Lata, a housewife, impressed and trained him as a lover of cleanliness, symmetry, integrity, communal harmony and love for the neighborhoods and the environment.
Singing songs, Playing Banjo, Reading books, Playing football or Hockey were the early interests. Gradually Mathematics, Books and Music took over all other hobbies.
In the early days of his father toiled hard to back the rising financial deficits. Rising prices, Growing children and low salary were the hurdles that squeezed his social life. He took extra low paid tuitions to sustain the increasing need of the family, but failed.
Subhas had to undertake tuitions at a very early college going phase of his life to sustain himself. His increasing craze for studying Physics and Mathematics knew no bounds. Some lecturers of his college were very sensitive towards him who arranged him some high paying tuitions, so that he could save two hours a day and complete his education there as one of the high scoring students.
During this period he came in contact with a few eminent scholars of the state as either his classmates, hostel mates or college mates. Two of the great professors in English, Braja Mohan Mishra and Jayanta Mohapatra impressed him a lot and invoked a literary interest in him.
His eldest brother Shyamhari edited a wall magazine “The Horizon” which helped build a literary forum within his heart. The Other elder brother Dusmanta was no less a talented orator and poet in the native language Odia. He edited the wall magazine and the college magazine Purabi. His poems in Odia also inspired him to write. But he was not able to write anything other than composing a few rhyming lyrics. However his first successful poem was a translation of the Poem “The Blind Boy” by “C.Cibber”. Whatever he tried to write, be it good or ordinary he always shared it first with his inspiring father who never saw anything wrong in it, and there was always a hint to improve.
Early Literary Activities:
The life at Bhubaneswar gave him access to the State Library where he studied as many as 3000 books on varied interests-Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Physics, English literature, Odia literature and a lot more.
He was during this time exposed to a literary group of young poets of the state, Saturday’s Creative Evenings.
Some of those great personalities were Bhabesh Sahoo, Saroj Jena, Tuhinansu Rath, Kabir Sethy, Basant Kumar Biswal, Susant Sahoo, Santosh Pattanayak, Saradendu Mishra, Deepak Mishra, Dr. Dilip Nayak, Dr Ramakant Rath, Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo and Dr Chitta Ranjan Das who were the eye-openers for him.
The study of the evolution of poetry through ages was somehow complete during this period and he got a glimpse of world literature.
He was decided to run a life of migrations instead of a constant job. To have a clear experience of the vast socio-geographical diversities of the country, he started travelling through different parts of the country, periodic earning and periodic spending was all that he did those days.
He worked as a secondary school teacher and as a Mathematics or Physics lecturer in different places across the country. It helped him breathe the real air and smell the deep human emotions and their variations at varying coordinates of Time or Space.
(To be continued)