Open main menu

Manoj Das (born 1934) is an award-winning Indian author who writes in Odia and English. In 2000, Manoj Das was awarded with Saraswati Samman. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2001,[1] the fourth highest Civilian Award in India for his contribution in the field of Literature & Education. Kendra Sahitya Akademi has bestowed its highest award (also India's highest literary award) i.e Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship.[2]

Manoj Das
Manoj Das Odia Author.jpg
Native name
ମନୋଜ ଦାସ
Born (1934-02-27) 27 February 1934 (age 85)
Sankhari, Balasore, Odisha, India
OccupationWriter, columnist, editor, professor, philosopher, and student leader
Alma materSamanta Chandra Shekhar College, Puri
Ravenshaw College
GenreFiction, mythology, biography
Notable worksCyclones
A Tiger at Twilight
Mystery of the Missing Cap
Myths, Legends, Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India
Notable awardsPadma Shri
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
Saraswati Samman
SpousePratijna Devi


In 1971, his research in the archives of London and Edinburgh brought to light some of the little-known facts of India's freedom struggle in the first decade of the twentieth century led by Sri Aurobindo for which he received the first Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata).

His deeper quest led him to mysticism and he has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1963 where he currently teaches English Literature and the Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International University.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Manoj Das was born in the small coastal village of Shankari in the Balasore district of Orissa. His father , Madhusudan Das [4]worked under British Govt. He had started writing early. His first work a book of poetry in odia , Satavdira Artanada published 1949 when he was in highschool . He launched a literary magazine, Diganta in 1950. He graduated high school in 1951. His first collection of short stories Samudrara Kshudha (Hungry sea) that year. He was influenced by left wing ideology in college . He was active in student politics while studying BA in Cuttack College . He was a youth leader with radical views in his college days,and spent a year in jail for his revolutionary activities.In 1959 he was an delegate to the Afro-Asian students' conference at Bandung, Indonesia.He did not complete his degree in Cuttack . He ultimately finished his graduation from Samanta Chandra Shekhar College, Puri in 1955 . During his college ,he kept on writing and he published a novel Jeebanara Swada , a collection of short stories Vishakanyar Kahani and a collection of poems Padadhawani . After graduating with a degree in English literature , he got a post graduate degree in English literature from Ravenshaw college. After a short stint as a lecturer in Christ College (Cuttack) , he joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Puducherry.[5]Since 1963, he has been professor of English Literature at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry.[6]

He cites Fakir Mohan Senapati, Vyasa, and Valmiki as early influences.[7]

As Editor and ColumnistEdit

He edited a cultural magazine, The Heritage, published from Chennai in the 1985-1989.[8] The magazine is no more in circulation.[9]

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.[10][11]

Creative writing and story-tellingEdit

Manoj Das is perhaps the foremost bilingual Odia writer and a master of dramatic expression both in his English and Odia short stories and novels. Das has been compared to Vishnu Sharma, in modern Odia literature for his magnificent style[12][13] and efficient use of words[citation needed] and for the fact that, he is one of the best story-tellers in India at present times.[14][15] Over the years many research scholars have done their doctoral thesis on the works of Manoj Das, P. Raja being the first scholar to do so.

National and International PositionsEdit

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 was the leader of the Indian delegation of writers to China (1999).


Selected worksEdit


  • The Escapist, 2001[25]
  • Tandralokara Prahari, 2000
  • Aakashra Isara, 1997
  • Amruta Phala, 1996 (Saraswati Samman)
  • A Tiger at Twilight, 1991
  • Bulldozers and Fables and Fantasies for Adults, (1990)
  • Cyclones, 1987
  • Prabhanjana
  • Godhulira Bagha
  • Kanaka-Upatyakara Kahani
  • amruta phala

Short Story Collections

  • Upakatha Sataka
  • Abu Purusha
  • 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
  • Manoj-pancha-bimsati, 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 Eka Grama (Balya Smruti), 1996
  • Aranyaka; (adapted to Aranyaka, 1994)
  • Bhinna Manisha O Anyana Kahani
  • Abupurusha O Anyana Kahani
  • Lakshmira Abhisara
  • Abolakara Kahani
  • Aranya Ullasha
  • Selected Fiction,[26]
  • Chasing the Rainbow : growing up in an Indian village, 2004


  • Kete Diganta (Part I)
  • Kete Diganta (Part -II)
  • Antaranga Bharata (Part I) (My Little India)
  • Antaranga Bharata (Part II)
  • Dura-durantara
  • Adura Bidesh – 2004


  • Tuma Gaan O Anyanya Kabita, 1992
  • Kabita Utkala

History & Culture

  • Bharatara Aitihya: Shateka Prashnara Uttara,1999
  • Manoj Das Paribesita Upakatha Shataka (Tales Told by Mystics), 2002
  • Mahakalara Prahelika O Anyana Jijnansa, 2006
  • Jibana Jijnasa o Smaraika Stabaka
  • Prajna Pradeepika


Graham Greene once said, I have read the stories of Manoj Das with great pleasure. He will certainly take a place on my shelves besides the stories of Narayan. I imagine Odisha is far from Malgudi, but there is the same quality in his stories with perhaps an added mystery.[27]


  1. ^ Padma Shri Awards
  2. ^ "Akademi Awards". Sahitya Akademi. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Famous eminent persons poets freedom fighters of Orissa". 2012. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2012. he has been teaching English at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education there ever since
  4. ^ Padhi, S.C. (2007). Historians and historiography: twentieth-century Orissa. Sundeep Prakashan. p. 10. ISBN 978-81-7574-177-5. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  5. ^ Benson, E.; Conolly, L.W. (2004). Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English. Taylor & Francis. p. 338. ISBN 978-1-134-46848-5. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Manoj Das – Odia Writer: The South Asian Literary Recordings Project (Library of Congress New Delhi Office)". 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. He is settled as an ashramite of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry since 1963
  7. ^ Kumar, Ramendra (2012). "Tete-A-Tete with A Wizard of the Words by Ramendra Kumar". Retrieved 17 July 2012. Senapati, undoubtedly, was a consciously felt influence
  8. ^ Raja, P. (1993). Many Worlds of Manoj Das. New world literature series. B.R. Publishing Corporation. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-7018-761-5. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  9. ^ "The Heritage Story"
  10. ^ "Manoj Das". 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. He wrote columns in India's national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman.
  11. ^ Mohapatra, Gargee (2010). "Manoj Das is born for literature". Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  12. ^ narrate a story without losing the Indian charm and ethos Mohapatra, Tusar N. (26 January 2007) "Manoj Das Chasing the Rainbow" Aurora Mirabilis
  13. ^ blends realism and fantasy in the most artistic way Mishra, Ganeswar "The Short Story" Government of Odisha website Archived 9 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ He could be the best storyteller after R. K Narayan,' Narang said. Mohapatra, Tusar N. (26 January 2007) "Manoj Das Chasing the Rainbow" Aurora Mirabilis
  15. ^ a group of powerful story writers has emerged ... This group includes ... Manoj Das Mishra, Ganeswar "The Short Story" Government of Odisha website Archived 9 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "K.K. Birla Foundation". 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2012. Year : 2000 Recipient : Shri Manoj Das Name of Book : Amruta Phala (Oriya : Novel)
  17. ^
  18. ^ "The Hindu : Other States / Orissa News : Highest literary honour for Manoj Das". 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2012. Mr. Das was at his humble best when he received the country's highest literary honour – Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
  19. ^ "..:: SAHITYA : Fellows and Honorary Fellows ::." 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 2006: Sri Manoj Das (1934)
  20. ^ "Atibadi Jagannath Das Award for 4- Orissa- IBNLive". 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2013. The luminaries are Manoj Das
  21. ^ "NTR literary award for Oriya writer – The Hindu". 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013. Oriya writer Manoj Das has been selected for the NTR National Literary Award for 2013.
  22. ^ Dominique, Bosco (18 September 2013). "Writer Manoj Das selected for Amrita Keerti Puraskar instituted by Mata Amritanandamayi Math". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. ^ "Amritakeerti Puraskar for litterateur Manoj Das | Business Standard". 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. Manoj Das, a towering figure of English and Oriya literature, will be conferred with the 2013 Amritakeerti Puraskar
  24. ^ "Manoj Das conferred with Vedvyas Samman Puraskar". Odisha Sun Times. Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ Das, M. (2013). The Escapist. Ocean Books. ISBN 978-81-8430-175-5. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Foerever Fresh : A Book Review". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  27. ^ "The Hindu : Thinking through silence". 2001. Retrieved 16 July 2012. Graham Greene, who happened to read his short stories during the last phase of his life, wrote, Manoj Das's stories 'will certainly take a place on my shelves beside the stories of Narayan. I imagine Odisha is far from Malgudi, but there is the same quality in his stories, with perhaps an added mystery.'


External linksEdit