Reflections that inspire ingenious Reactions

Whenever requested for an essay from any editor, Manoj Das hastens to excuse himself saying that he was never an academic or a scholar. It is well-nigh impossible for him to write anything for purely academic purpose.

One may dispute his claim to a non-academic or non-scholastic status, but his statement holds good in the sense that none of his writings under the general category of essays is an exercise for purely intellectual purpose like those constituting the greater part of the world of theses. Broadly his essays fall into three categories:

Surprisingly, though he had never cared to compile his columns in English, the columns he contributed to journals in Odia, though strictly topical, today comprise two volumes of his collected works and they are immensely popular. That shows how an event or occasion that was evanescent, received a treatment in his hand that brought it a flavour of timelessness to it.

He was the first speaker to deliver the UNESCO lecture under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, at National Museum Auditorium in New Delhi; he was the first speaker to deliver the Sri Aurobindo Memorial Oration, launched by the NCERT at the Calcutta University; he delivered Sahitya Akademi’s Samvatsar lecture and the Dalailama Foundation lecture – both in New Delhi. Needless to say, such lectures were all in English. But we are afraid, all of them have not been published in any collection of his, though some of them have been printed in journals or institutional anthologies. In Oriya he was the Chief Guest at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Orissa Sahitya Akademi, Inaugural Speaker at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the All India Radio, Cuttack, Chief Guest the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the Doordarshan at Bhubaneswar, so on and so forth. While some of his addresses on these occasions are published, most are not. The problem is, he always speaks ex tempore; he does not read out any written speech.

What strikes the readers of his essays is the undertone of lively philosophy that runs through all his essays and belles-letters. They are never obtrusive, never pronouncedly philosophical, yet deeply touching to our reflective faculty. That is their charm.

"Chirantana Gita:Gitara Pattabhumi Sedina O Aaji" A Talk by Shri Manoj Das

About Manoj Das

For thousands of men, women and children of the past two or three generations, Manoj Das has been the very synonym of light and delight, whose writings in Odia and English inspire in his countless readers faith in the purpose of life and also open up concealed horizons of confidence and compassion in humanity a dire need today.