Education is not called that which is confined to the pages of books, education itself is a bottomless ocean, which is not possible to be bound in boundaries. There is no school bigger than ours to reveal the knowledge that is within us. Our story today is about a person who is an ocean of knowledge in himself, who did not get school education, but he revealed the innate knowledge hidden in him through his writing. You will remember that in the year 2016, former President Pranab Mukherjee was honoring the country’s best talents with Padma Shri at the country’s highest civilian honor ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Haldhar Nag, who has proved that knowledge is not only in books but is inborn. He gave rise to a different definition of knowledge.
Oriya poet Haladhar Nag is a person from whom no one can stop himself from taking inspiration. Haldhar Nag is a Kausali language poet. Many poems and 20 epics have been written by him so far. Not only has he written this much, but he remembers every single letter he has written and now a compilation of his writings ‘Haldhar Granthavali-2’ has been made part of the syllabus at Sambalpur University. The genius of poet Haladhar is not a sign of bookish knowledge. You will be surprised to know that poet Haladhar Nag belongs to a poor family and due to financial problems he had to quit his studies in the third grade itself. But today, five researchers have completed their PhD.
Born in a very poor family in Ghans village in Bardgarh district of Odisha. At the age of only 10, the burden of responsibilities fell on the shoulders of the little Haladhar as the father rose from his head and due to which he could not study further after the third grade. At a young age, Haldhar started washing dishes at a local sweets shop. But after two years a gentleman from his village took him to high school but he did not study in school but started working as a kitchen and served in kitchens or schools for 16 years.
Haladhar Nag states that “With time, more and more schools started coming up in our region. Then I met a banker. I opened a small shop taking a loan of 1000 rupees from them, in which food items were available, attached to the children’s school. “
This was the period when Haladhar Nag encountered his talent and composed his first poem ‘Dhado Bargach’ (The Old Banyan Tree) in 1990 and sent his poem for publication in a local magazine. Along with this, he also sent his four other poems. All of Haldhar’s poems were also published which greatly encouraged him and his poems were highly appreciated by the people.
“It was a great honor for me and this incident encouraged me to write more. I started reciting my poems in the villages around me and I got positive response from people. “
The theme of Haladhar’s poems, known as the folk poet Ratna in Odisha, are based on nature, society, mythology and religion. They want to end the malpractices in society with their authorship and create a cultured society. The main language of his compositions is Kausali. Nag says that “It is good to see that the youth is deeply interested in poems written in Kausali language.” Haladhar believes that poetry must have real-life connection and a social message in it. Another feature of him is that he remembers everything he writes. The listener only needs to tell them the name and subject of the poem. He participates in three to four programs throughout the day and recites his poems.
The saying of simple life, high thought is made only for Haldhar Nag. Haldhar, who believes in simplicity, has not worn any footwear till date, a white dhoti and a vest are his identity. He is a man who has discovered, understood and carved out his talent for himself. We salute Padmashree Haldhar Nag who has told the younger generation today that talent is not an affront to any lack or bond. The need is to believe in his talent, to develop it.