Eminent bi-lingual writer Manoj Das no more

Eminent Odia litterateur Manoj Das passed away at a nursing home in Puducherry on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Eminent Odia and English litterateur Manoj Das expired at a nursing home of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry on Tuesday night. He was 87.

According to Ashram sources, Mr. Das was hospitalised in the Ashram nursing home for terminal cancer and age-related ailments. He passed away at around 8.15 p.m. The last rites will be held at Karuvadikuppam at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Mr. Das’ wife Pratijna predeceased him in 2018.

Mr. Das was associated with the Ashram since he arrived to Puducherry in 1963. Many of his works were written in Puducherry during his stay in Puducherry.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2020 for his contribution to Odia and English literature. Mr. Das was the recipient of several awards including the Mystic Kalinga Literary Award in 2020 and the Padma Shri in 2001.

According to Prof. P. Raja, a bi-lingual writer from Puducherry who has done his Ph.D thesis on Manoj Das’s short stories, “It is a big loss not only to the Ashram but also the Indo-Anglian literary world. It cannot be compensated.”

Mr. Das was one of the country’s foremost bi-lingual writers. He started writing in English only after his arrival to Puducherry.

He started writing stories for children and adults and later branched out to various fields including travelogues, short stories, novels and novelets.

Mr. Raja said that Mr. Das also wrote about the famous Odia writers in English introducing them to the English readers. Mr. Das has more than 1,000 works in both Odia and English.

Some of his notable works are ‘ The Escapist’, ‘A Tiger at Twilight', 'The submerged Valley and Other Stories', 'The Bridge in the moonlit Night', 'Cyclones', 'Mystery of the Missing Cap', 'Myths', 'Legends', 'Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India'.

Mr. Das’s fans had also formed Manoj Das Fans Club operating from Odissa. The club has his fans as members from all over the world.

In his condolence message, Odissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “Deeply saddened to know about the passing away of legendary litterateur #ManojDas.”

“Shri Das has left an indelible mark in the field of literature with his vast variety of immortal works and left a void which can never be filled.”

“The demise of the literary doyen is an irreparable loss to the world of Odia and English literature. My thoughts and prayers with the bereaved family members, readers and followers.”

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 5:43:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/eminent-bi-lingual-writer-manoj-das-no-more/article34428460.ece

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