The birth and development of the short story in Odia literature is a recent phenomenon. We could see and found some of the tremendous short stories ever in the evolution of Odia literature. Odia being one of the oldest language as well as its unique style of writing has plenty of folklores and prose works.
The credit for the development of short story rests with Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843-1918), who wrote some of the most outstanding works and developed the core concept for the beginning of some of the most outstanding works.
Fakir Mohan Senapati is popularly known as the father of Odia Novels and short stories. In the year of 1898, Fakir Mohan Senapati wrote and published ‘Rebati’ which is also popularly known as the first short story and is a huge hit among masses.
It is written in colloquial Odia languages, and it is the short story about the love between, Rebati and school teacher. This short story presents the beauty of love as well as the sadness and all of these the reader will confront while reading this short story.
In the first quarter of Twentieth Century, we do find significant developments in the writings such as the strong wish to showcase social reform from the society as well as the wish to showcase patriotism. The second case to showcase the patriotism about developing more and more literature in Odia languages so that rich heritage of this great languages should be shown and remembered.
Most of these writers during this time of a first quarter of the twentieth century belongs to English educated masses and they want to develop society and high light the number of social ills that are prevalent in this society. Most of these writers who predominantly present in this era showcase such themes in their writings so that the presence of social ills such as child marriages, cast systems, dowries, landlord systems should be highlighted properly.
The main motive of this is to show that people should be equally aware of it and slowly these menaces in the name of social ills should be eradicated completely from societies. In the next quarter of the twentieth century and prior to independence, the prevalent freedom movement and the rise of Marxisms influence some of the best writers and they produce some of the outstanding works.
Most of the writers who are inspired by Marxism during these times showcase the exploitation done by landlords to the farmers and workers. Bhagabati Charan Panigrahis Shikar (The Hunt) is one such example of a short story. The poor tribal finally chop off his landlord’s head and then reach the police station with it. In this story, the evils of landlords are highlighted and some of the Marxist theory of poor attacking the rich and yet the simplicity of that farmer is shown as he concedes that he has murdered the landlord.
In the next quarter of Twentieth century that is the post-independence era, we do see the eminence of growth of some of the outstanding writers and some of them in the later days able to win the prestigious Jnanpith awards. Some of the names in this era worth mentioning are, Gopinath Mohanty (1914-93), Surendra Mohanty (1920-92), Nityananda Mohapatra (b.1912), Rajkishore Roy (b.1914) and Raj Kishore Patnaik (b.1916-97).
Gopinath Mohanty (1914-93) wrote many novels of par excellence and then he also published so many outstanding short stories which makes him one of the most outstanding writer. He won the prestigious literary award of India JnanPith award for his novels. His languages in short stories are very poetic and most of his writings go deeper into thought processes of humans especially tribals and showcase some of the outstanding stories within short writings.
Some of his writings are influenced by the presence of Buddhist India and most of his writing goes into character’s thought processes. His characters are mostly the standing of psychological entities to present some of the most outstanding and wonderful short stories. They go on to show the decline of human values due to the rise of corruption, lack of employment.
These writers present the powerful backdrop and create some of the outstanding storytelling to people in Odia literature. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the short story evolution becomes absolutely tremendous.
Mohapatra Neelamani Sahoo stays within the traditions of Fakir Mohan Senapati but he also showcased some of the most outstanding humorous works with modernity and that makes him famous and great. In the short stories written by Kishori Charan Das, we see plenty of presence of life of higher middle classes and he finds many interesting observations within those stories.
Shantanu Acharya makes experiments in his stories with the presence of the mixture of social, economic and political situations and in that manner, his stories present some of the outstanding facets of life and the readers enjoyed the stories written by him.
The short stories written by Manoj Dass provides some of the outstanding creation of a complete mixture of realities with fantasies and thus showcased marvelous presentation of storytelling that makes footprints in the minds of people.
At present there are many writers such as Chandra Sekhar Rath, Satkadi Hota, Bibhuti Patnaik, Uma Shankar Mishra, Jagannath Prasad Das, Rabi Patnaik, Binapani Mohanty, Ramachandra Behera, Pratibha Ray, Yashodhara Mishra, Haraprasad Das, Jagadish Mohanty, Sarojini Sahu, Dash Benhur, Padmaj Pal, Hruahikesh Panda, Paresh Patnaik, Tarunkanti Mishra, Gaurahari Das and Susmita Bagchi wrote stories of modern incidents as most of them live in cities and metros and they are well educated and they see closely some of the difficult life and the incidents and they highlight those incidents with senses of humour and psychological mixtures.
Many of them continuously writing their stories in periodicals and some of them have been able to write and generate a vast number of short stories that people follow and some of the readers also able to identify with the fictitious characters included inside short stories.
After looking at the evolution and the development of Odial literature we do find that there is consistency of development all over and in these sequence of events we do see all those social ills such as child marriage, caste system, modern education, patriotism such as love for Odia language and slowly the domain of this short story moves to the realm of national scene such as writing based on independence of India, and then for some time writers are influenced from world phenomenon such as Marxism and then slowly the writers of post-independnce India wrote slowly about urbanisation, middle-class lives, issues and others through humourous angles.