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Kanakalata (by Pallikabi Nanda Kishore Bal), is a novel published in 1925 about social realism. A substantial part of this novel was actually published in serialized form in Utkal Sahitya in 1913 and was widely acclaimed by the readers.


The plot of the novel centres round two pairs of lovers: Dhananjay and Kanakalata whose love-at-first-sight culminates in marriage after overcoming the hurdle of dowry dispute, Rajendra and a child-widow named Uma whose passion and love for each other remain unfulfilled with Uma's death and Rajendra renouncing the world and turning into a sanyasi. The plot is in fact an indictment of the evils of dowry system in rural aristocratic society and the predicament of the child-widows who were condemned into a life of anguish and suffering.

The novelist's zeal for social reforms is clearly evident in the language and plot-structure of the novel. The novel also portrays a realistic image of the typical landscape and lifestyle of rural Orissa in the early decades of the twentieth century.[1]