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Manoj Das Biography: Birthday, Early Life, Career, Awards, Personal Life, Death Anniversary

Manoj Das: A Literary Luminary

Manoj Das (27 February 1934 – 27 April 2021) remains an enduring figure in Indian literature, celebrated for his captivating storytelling prowess in both Odia and English. Renowned for his insightful narratives and profound contributions to literature and education, Das garnered numerous accolades throughout his illustrious career.

Early Life and Education

Born in the quaint coastal village of Balasore in Odisha, Manoj Das displayed a penchant for writing from a young age. His literary journey commenced with the publication of his first work, a book of poetry titled “Satavdira Artanada,” at the tender age of fifteen. Despite facing adversity, Das pursued his passion for literature while actively engaging in student politics during his college years. His early influences included literary stalwarts like Fakir Mohan Senapati, Vyasa, and Valmiki.

After completing his graduation from Samanta Chandra Shekhar College, Puri, Das furthered his studies in English literature, obtaining a post-graduate degree from Ravenshaw College. Following a brief stint as a lecturer at Christ College, Cuttack, he embarked on a transformative journey, joining the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry in 1963, where he continued to impart knowledge in English literature and Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy.

Literary Contributions and Recognition

Das’s literary oeuvre spans across novels, short stories, poetry, travelogues, and insightful commentaries on history and culture. His storytelling prowess, characterized by a seamless blend of realism and mysticism, earned him comparisons to literary luminaries like R.K. Narayan. Notable works such as “The Crocodile’s Lady,” “The Submerged Valley and Other Stories,” and “Chasing the Rainbow: Growing Up in an Indian Village” have captivated readers both nationally and internationally.

Throughout his career, Das received an array of prestigious awards and honors, including the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2020, recognizing his profound contributions to literature and education. He was also honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship, the highest literary recognition in India, further cementing his legacy as a literary luminary.

Editorial and Columnist Endeavors

Aside from his creative pursuits, Das also made significant contributions as an editor and columnist. He helmed the cultural magazine “The Heritage” and contributed insightful columns to esteemed publications such as The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, and The Statesman. His columns delved into the quest for eternal truths embedded within everyday life, reflecting his profound insights into human existence.

Legacy and Influence

Manoj Das’s legacy extends far beyond his literary accomplishments. His evocative narratives continue to resonate with readers, captivating audiences with their timeless charm and enduring relevance. As a revered figure in Indian literature, Das’s works serve as a testament to the power of storytelling in illuminating the human experience and bridging cultural divides.

In the words of acclaimed author Graham Greene, “Manoj Das’s stories will certainly take a place on my shelves beside the stories of Narayan.” Through his unparalleled storytelling prowess and unwavering commitment to literary excellence, Das has left an indelible mark on the world of literature, inspiring generations of writers and readers alike.

As we reflect on Manoj Das’s remarkable life and legacy, we honor his contributions to literature and education, ensuring that his storytelling legacy continues to enrich and inspire future generations.

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