Paka Kambala, Pota Chhata…, Veejayant Kumar Dash, Installation and Performance, 2018.

The title is part of a phrase which has come from Abolokara Kahani. Abolokara, is a fictional character used in Odia Literature. Abolokara is the servant of a learned person (Saanta, the Master) who has a habit of questioning. Sometimes, he also blackmails his master to return home alone if master doesn’t answer and this is the time when the master says “PakaKambala Pota Chhata, SunaAbolokaraKahuchi Katha” (Hey dear Abolakara! spread the blanket on the ground, and cover it with the umbrella. Come here and I will tell you stories).

      While I was going through the trail, seeing these Pandits sitting near the banks of Bindusagar, I felt as if the Pandits are the Saantas (Masters) and the people who have come to them are all Abolokaras. Secondly, I think every settlement starts with the spreading of a blanket and covering it with the umbrella, then stories start flowing and Old Town is no different. Third there seems to be the present political situation of master and servant but without any questioning.