There were several bids in Indian English Literature to portray the legendary characters of the epics discretely to bring in detail the peculiar qualities of the character and to give it a new meaning in the authors’ own perspective. We must say that many such attempts were successful, yet often summoned stringent criticism that they were nothing but works on specific characters painted well with the imagination of the author. The epical characters represents profound philosophical knowledge of the ancient India and any attempts otherwise would do injustice to the very philosophy of India and its understanding for the common man.
SITA by Dr. Nandini Sahu must be one among such endeavors to portray a character, yet it has be rather described as a challenge for a writer to have an attempt on her because Sita perhaps is the most wonderful woman character in the epic and is the summation of all woman characters in the epics. Sita represents woman of the past and that of the present India and the every minute description of her should bring about the micro-qualities of a woman with reference to its cotemporary relevance. This is a work of exceptional merit for the very theme handled here and by crafting it so the Poetess has secured a permanent place in the field of literature.
Dr. Nandini Sahu’s preoccupation with poetry began very early in life, and today she is a major voice in contemporary Indian English poetry. A double gold medalist in English literature, she was award winner at the All India Poetry Contest, has been honoured with the Shiksha Ratna Puraskar and has to her credit the coveted Bouddha Creative Writers’ Award. A doctorate in English literature, she worked under the tutelage of eminent poet and academic, Late Prof. Niranjan Mohanty from Visva Bharati.
Nandini’s creative output has been widely published in India, U.S.A, U.K., Africa and Pakistan. Her published volumes of poetry include The Other Voice; The Silence; Silver Poems on My Lips, Sukamaa and Other Poems, and most recently an edited anthology of women poets titled Suvarnarekha. Presently, she is an Associate Professor of English at the School of Humanities, Indira Gandhi National Open University [IGNOU], New Delhi, where she has designed academic programmes on Folklore and Culture Studies, Children’s Literature and American Literature. Broadly, her research interests pan across Indian Literature, New Literatures, Folklore and Culture Studies, American Literature, Children’s Literature and Critical Theory.
As a serious academic, Dr. Sahu has presented papers on various subjects in India and abroad. She has authored/edited volumes/books like Recollection as Redemption; Post-Modernist Delegation to English Language Teaching; The Post Colonial Space: Writing the Self and the Nation; Folklore and the Alternative Modernities (in 2 Vols), all titles that cumulatively bring out the range of her oeuvre! She is Chief Editor/Founder Editor of Interdisciplinary Journal of Literature and Language (IJLL) and Panorama Literaria(PL), both being bi-annual peer-reviewed journals in English.
Sita (A Poem)is Nandini’smaiden foray into the long narrative genre; her subject takes off from our epic traditions and takes the discourse much further. The poet-thinker-ecofeminist in her feels that this magnum opus has always been shaping itself in her subconscious, the writing act of what promises to be a whole new take on the Indian epic has come about when she is convinced that her thoughts have readily found utterance. Sita is, in no way, a retelling of The Ramayana. It is penned rather as a poetic memoir of the heroine of the epic, Sita, told in the first person narrative. It carries the convictions of Nandini the person and is the result of an organic fusion of her truly roving mind.
No doubt this is a book that the whole world should cherish!