Manoj Das

(27 February 1934 - / Shankari, Balasore, Orissa / India)

Biography of Manoj Das

Manoj Das poet

Manoj Das (Oriya: ମନୋଜ ଦାସ) is an Indian award-winning author who writes in Oriya and English.

Manoj Das, a prolific author, is India's foremost short story writers. He writes both in Oriya and English, and is a Professor of English at the Sri Aurobindo International University, Pondicherry.

Manoj Das was born in a small coastal village named Shankari in Balasore district, Orissa State. Since 1963, he has been an ashramite at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. He is presently concentrating on writing novels.

Manoj Das is perhaps the foremost bilingual Oriya writer and a master of dramatic expression both in his English and Oriya short stories and novels. He says that, 'Characters follow the theme of a story, and the words are merely added by author to represent the thoughts of the character'. That is the precise reason why Das's characters in fiction are from so many varied backgrounds, and display many different dimensions of human nature. He is a philosopher, a thinker-writer whose works can be defined as a quest for finding the eternal truth in everyday situations.

Among the other important positions that Das has held are, Member, General Council, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi 1998-2002, and Author-consultant, Ministry of Education, Government of Singapore, 1983-85.

He edited a cultural magazine, The Heritage, published from Chennai in the 1980s. The magazine is no more in circulation.

He wrote columns on quest for finding eternal truth in common lives in India’s national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman.

Views

Das has been compared to Vishnu Sharma, in modern Oriya literature for his magnificent style and efficient use of words and for the fact that, he is one of the best story-tellers in India at present times.

The narration of story of Manoj Das is uncomparable to any Indian contemporary writers. The words will make you laughing / crying and readers forget that they are going through the books. The descriptions are such that you can see the cinema rather than just read. "Samudra Kulara Eka Grama" depicts the actual picture of a typical indian village which may not be possible to justify without Manoj Das.

Awards

Sahitya Akademi Award, 1972:
Orissa Sahitya Academy Award, 1965 and 1982;
Sarala Award, 1981;
Vishuba Award, 1986;
Sahitya Bharati Award, 1995;
Saraswathi Samman, 2000;
Padma Shri, 2001.
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, 2006

Manoj Das's Works:

Novels
Amruta Phala, 1996 (Saraswathi Samman);
Aakashra Isara, 1997;
Tandralokara Prahari, 2000;
Prabhanjana;
Godhulira Bagha;
Kanaka-Upatyaka ra Kahani;
Cyclones, 1987;
A Tiger at Twilight, 1991;
The Escapist, 2001.

Short Story
Sesa Basantara Chithi, 1966;
Manoj Dasanka Katha O Kahani, 1971;
Dhumabha Diganta O Anyana Kahani, 1971;
The Crocodile's Lady: A Collection of Stories, 1975;
Manojpanchabinsati, 1977;
The Submerged Valley and Other Stories, 1986;
Farewell to a Ghost: Short Stories and a Novelette, 1994;
Legend of the Golden Valley, 1996;
Samudra Kulara Ek Grama (Balya Smruti), 1996
Aaranyaka;
Bhinna Manisha O Anyana Kahani;
Abupurusha O Anyana Kahani;
Laxmi Ra Abhisar;
Abolkara Kahani;
Aranya Ullash
Selected Fiction
Chasing the Rainbow : growing up in an Indian village, 2004.

Travelogue
Kete Diganta (Part - I);
Kete Diganta (Part - II);
Antaranga Bharat (Part - I) (My Little India);
Antaranga Bharat (Part - II);
Duradurantara;
Adura Bidesh - 2004.

Poetry
Tuma Gaan O Anyanya Kabita, 1992.
Kabita Utkala.

History & Culture
Bharatara Aytihya: Sateka Prashnara Uttara,1999;
Manoj Das Paribesita Upakatha Satak (Tales Told by Mystics), 2002;
Mahakalara Prahelika O Anyana Jigyansa, 2006.

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