Bhubaneswar, April 27: Eminent Odia and English writer Manoj Das passed away on Tuesday in Puducherry creating a void in the literary scene in the country. He was 87.
He passed away while undergoing treatment at the Ashram Nursing Home for terminal cancer. Das, who was associated with Sri Aurobindo Ashram for several decades was hospitalised for nearly a year.
He breathed his last around 8:15 PM, said Ashram sources.
Das was one of the best storytellers of present times, who enchanted writers like Graham Greene to Ruskin Bond.
Das has conferred with the Padma Bhushan award last year for his contribution in the field of literature and education. He was earlier conferred with the Padma Shri in 2001.
Das was a unique bilingual writer whose stories both in Odia language and English, were equally loved and appreciated.
Born in 1934 in a small village in Balasore district in Odisha, Das’s first collection of poems was published when he was just 14.
He started writing in English in 1968 and some of his well-known works are A Tiger at Twilight, The Submerged Valley, The Bridge in the Moonlit Night, Cyclones, Mystery of the Missing Cap, Myths, Legends,Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India.
His best Odia works include ‘Tandralokara Prahari’, ‘Aakashra Isara’, ‘Amruta Phala’.
Das, though a native of Odisha, had made Puducherry his home for several decades.
His cremation is likely to take place on Wednesday with full State honour, observing the Covid protocols as Odisha Government requested the Puducherry Government for the same.
In his condolence message, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said, “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.”