Spark of Light

Spark of Light is a diverse collection of short stories by women writers from the Indian province of Odisha. Originally written in Odia and dating from the late nineteenth century to the present, these stories offer a multiplicity of voices—some sentimental and melodramatic, others rebellious and bold—and capture the predicament of characters who often live on the margins of society. From a spectrum of viewpoints, writing styles, and motifs, the stories included here provide examples of the great richness of Odishan literary culture.

In the often shadowy and grim world depicted in this collection, themes of class, poverty, violence, and family are developed. Together they form a critique of social mores and illuminate the difficult lives of the subaltern in Odisha society. The work of these authors contributes to an ongoing dialogue concerning the challenges, hardships, joys, and successes experienced by women around the world. In these provocative explorations of the short-story form, we discover the voices of these rarely heard women.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Title 4
Copyright 5
Contents 6
Acknowledgements 8
Introduction 10
The Mendicant 28
They Too Are Human 38
The Vigil 42
In Bondage 48
Ruins 52
Pata Dei 62
A Timeless Image 70
The Ring 78
Man of the Century 90
The Mystic Bird 96
The Lotus Man 106
A Fistful of Hope 114
Curfew 122
The Trap 130
A Writer’s Alter Ego 150
A Mother from Kalahandi 160
The Sound of Silence 172
The Worn-Out Bird 182
A Kerchief of Sky 190
Misery Knows No Bounds 196
Moonrise 206
Shadows of the Moon 214
Sin 222
Mother 242
Four Microstories 250
Droplets of Memories 254
About the Contributors 256