Translating the Self : Bilingual Authorship (A Study through Manoj Das) by Dr. Subhendu Mund

(A Study through Manoj Das)
Dr. Subhendu Mund

Bilingualism (Or multilingualism) is an interesting linguistic phenomenon involving societal, political, economic and many other conditions. The phenomenon itself is not new; but studies in bilingualism have generated considerable academic curiosity in the recent times. It has attracted the student of literature as a complex creative process which needs extra-linguistic treatment in view of translational dimensions. A bilingual author has to cope with to recreate the pre-determined text vis-a-vis readership and responses.

Literary bilingualism (Read multilingualism) is bound to be more refined and intricate an exercise than the ordinary one. Every modern individual is a bilingual. That is why the neurolinguists, psycholinguists and sociological linguists find it an interesting area of study. Literary bilingualism, though a more complex phenomenon, has not so far received the scholastic attention it deserves.

Bilingual authorship is not a very rare phenomenon in the history of literature. It existed, in varying degrees in Indian as well as world languages. In the Indian context, it presents considerably unique characteristics owing to the multi-linguistic (And geopolitical) conditions of the country. While India has had a number of well-developed languages with distinct literary identities of their own, it has also nurtured, down the ages, some languages which enjoyed more privileged positions than the others. As a result, there never was, nor there is now, any one language/literature which could truly be called pan-Indian. The pre-eminence-religious, political or economic- acquired by Prakrit, Sanskrit, Persian, Urdu or English in different periods of history seems to have been decisive in the language choice of the authors for creative writing. Similarly, at the regional levels, some Indian languages enjoyed superiority over their neighbouring/sister languages for specific periods of time. In the Middle Ages, when Persian was yet to percolate into the Indian psyche, and Sanskrit was waning in its influence owing to the disintegration of the pre-dominant Brahminic hegemony the regional languages began their life of literature. As Sanskrit still continued to be the language associated with Hindu religion and rituals, it still commanded reverence, and poets writing in Indian languages had to prove themselves in respect of the Debabhasa, the language of Gods. One may draw a parallel in a similar situation in the Elizabethan Age when Latin enjoyed a position of reverence. That explains why many major Indian language poets were bilinguals. Atibadi Jagannath Das (1555-1591) the most popular poet in Oriya literature, also wrote in Sanskrit Brajanath Badjena (1730-1800) who belonged to a principality under the Madras dominion wrote in Oriya as well as in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Hindustani, Marathi, Bengali and Telugu.

The practice of bilingual creative activity remained more or less localised till the emergence of English as the master language, the language of power and also the medium of expression for a pan-Indian concept of nationess. It not only respected the bhasa based sub nationalist eagerness of self-assertion, but also a pan-Indian cohesiveness and cultural identity.

In the colonial era multilingualism was quite a popular practice in writers Bankimchandra Chattopaddhyaya (1838-94), Ramesh Chunder Dutt (18-1909), Toru Dutt (1856-77) (who wrote both in English and French,Aziz-ud-din Ahmed, B.R.Rajam Iyer (1827-96) and many others wrote both in English and their respective mother tongues. Bankimchandra wrote his first novel in English (Rajmohan’s wife, 1864), but later switched over to his mother tongue Bangla.He even persuaded Ramesh Chunder Dutt and other younger contemporaries to write in Bangla instead of English, especially their creative writing.

The choice of language for a creative may not always indicate his/her creative abilities. The decision to write in a language other than one’s own might come from reasons far from creative. It is interesting to note that a creative writer may write in a language which would bring in satisfaction which may not be purely creative. Writers of the regional languages sometimes wrote in other Indian languages also. Radhanath Roy (1848-1908), the father of modern Oriya poetry, was a Bengali by birth. He first wrote in Bengali, his mother tongue, but subsequently switched over to Oriya. Though he continued writing in Bengali, he is chiefly known as a major Oriya poet. Gopinath Mohanty, the well known Oriya novelist thinks that “His Bengali poems have a natural ease, spontaneity and freshness which one somehow misses in his more sophisticated, laboured and refined Oriya poems” (30).

Bilingual authorship continues to be attractive to writers even now. There are many poets and writers who seem to be comfortably using more than one language, and quite a few among them are well known names. A.K.Ramanujan, Manoj Das, Kamala Das, Parthasarathy, Dilip Chitre and Jayanta Mahapatra are among those who have written in English as well as in their mother tongues. It is interesting to note that Jayanta Mahagatra, after writing in English for about two decades, and earning well-deserved fame as a poet, came back to Oriya, his mother tongue. Personally known that the reversal in his poetic medium has been motivated by a irrepressible urge for self-expression in a language he grew up with an overwhelming passion to be recognized where one belongs. In his preface to Bali(1993) his first anthology of Oriya poems, his feelings are clearly spelt out, “Just because I have been writing in English till today can I regard myself as non-Oriya ? And whatever I have written in English, and also read in poetry-reading sessions outside Orissa and in foreign countries, I have never been able to hide the basic thing that I was born in Orissa. In whatever language I write, this Orissa is my ocean, my sky. Always, every moment I remember that I have come from there” (Translation mine).

There seems to prevail a definite pattern in the choice of languages in bilingual authorship. It may be inferred that one of the languages a bilingual author uses is invariably the mother tongue, or the language of his/her emotional association. The other language is normally a language of power, which the author has acquired. The author selects it with a conscious motive, and in all probability, the language- shift is not the result of creative urge alone. In other words, one of the languages is a natural choice, in which the creative writers express themselves with “spontaneity and ease” and without any premeditated design of any kind of gain or goal. So, the notion that some writers can use two or more languages with equal ease or felicity for creative writing may be a misnomer. In reality, he is translating, not others, but his/her own self.

I must hasten to submit that this paper does not intend to pronounce a definitive statement, nor does it aim at theorising. These may be working hypotheses, or at the best, premises to build up an argument. In order to understand the complex process involved in bilingual authorship, we can take a specimen and examine the strategies involved in bilingual authorship.

I have selected Manoj Das for my study owing to the simple reason that he is basically an Oriya writer and I can conveniently handle his work. Moreover, most of us are acquainted with his English fiction. Unlike Jayanta Mahapatra, Das was already well-known as a powerful writer and poet before stepping into the realm of English. He is now regarded as the greatest living writer of Oriya short story. However, it is my impression that he normally evades questions on his bilingual status.

In his interview to P.Raja in Literature Alive, he reveals that sometimes a story would come to him in one language, sometimes in the other; but “he does not translate either way, preferring to try a fresh treatment of a theme if the language is different”( Qtd. in Samal,162). Sarbeswar Samal, in his published dissertation Manoj Das, A Critical Study informs that while “formulating a story” Manoj Das thinks in “the language of silence”, and he allows the experience or inspiration to become a feeling in him a process that goes on in silence but when he sits down to write he writes in Oriya if he promises a story to an Oriya publisher and in English if he promises the same to an English magazine” (162).

This leads us to two points of interest, “the language of silence”, which may as well be described as the process of creativity. Psycholinguists suggest that the process of thinking or creativity normally takes place in the mother tongue of a persons or sometimes in the acquired language, if one has better proficiency owing to some socio-linguistic situation. In the case of Manoj Das, “the language of silence” could be explained as a dormant form of Oriya which would normally come to his creative psyche at the formative stage of a potential theme/subject/story.

The second premises steams out of this hypothesis. Almost all the stories of Das are available in both English and Oriya versions unlike Jayant Mahapatra, who has carefully avoided translating himself into Oriya, or vice versa. When Das recreates his story in the other language, does it not involve a translational process? Is there a split in the so-called poetic persona, some kind of janus like creativity? What are the psychodynamics employed to authenticate the output so as to appear fresh and original? As Das is originally an Oriya, it is likely that the creative process functions in Oriya, which is his first language, even though he might plan to write the story first in English. When a story is first conceived and written in English, and subsequently written in Oriya, it must involve a very complex psycholinguistic and creative process of translation. There is also a possibility that, being many times removed from the source of creative conception, the output may be reduced to a mere mechanical endeavour, bereft of the original intensity of creative writing.

All these speculations and hypotheses may be set at rest, at least to a considerable extent, if a specimen from Das’s works is taken for close study. As he uses the same material for both the languages, I have picked up a story at random. “Lulurva Parvatare Eka Dwiprahara” is a fairly poplular story of Manoj Das, which is available in English as “Man Who Lifted The Mountain”. It may be necessary to know that the Oriya story was the first one to be written in the late 1960s. The English one is included in Crocodile’s Lady (1971). I present the English story along with a faithful English rendering of the Oriya done by me. Needless to say, I have tried my best to retain the semantic, syntactic, tonic and narrative devices used by Das to evoke his typical style of oral story-telling, and to effect magic realism.

A comparative study of “Man Who Lifted The Mountain” written by him and “An Afternoon at the Luvurva Mountain”, my translation of the Oriya story is sure to bring out interesting innovations used by Das to adjust the narrative in accordance with the target readers in a particular language.

The following points which demonstrate the code-switching of the author, may be useful in our reading of the texts :

1. The stories in the two versions have two different titles. As the Oriya readers were already acquainted with the Lulurva stories Das could achieve an instant association by just mentioning ‘Lulurva’ in the caption. The title in the EV (English version) is more exciting, evoking magic realism through its unusual, supernatural kind of suggestion. The focus, is no more on the mountain, it shifts to ‘Man’- not the or a Man; simply ‘Man’.

2. The protagonist has a name in the OS (Oriya story), but he is ‘Thieffou’ in the EV there by becoming more metaphorical than real. Such a device may have been motivated by the anticipation of a more elite reader-ship in English.

3. Although the plot and the story remain almost the same, the narrative techniques seem to be different in the two texts, in the first paragraph itself, one may notice that the mountain’s personification is stronger in the EV. The physical descriptions of the landscape is toned down in the EV. Similarly, the fact that the narrator and his friends “had driven through a long and arid terrain “ is not mentioned in the OS.

4. There are many such departures in the EV which may not have been accidental, unintentional or unpremeditated. For example, “the known past” in the OS becomes “five thousand years” in the EV. The princess in the OS is almost faceless whereas she enjoys more attention in the EV. The burlesque between the king and his prime minister on the former’s urge for crying is a significant departure. For that matter, the prime minister appears in the EV only.

5. The departures in small details seem to be a strategy in the EV. The EV is designed to be allegorical, whereas the OS is modelled after traditional oral story-telling. For example, the Lulurva is simpiy ‘the Mountain’ in the EV; but in the OS it is personified as ‘Parvata Purusha’, sort of demi-god of fairy tales.

6. The character of the king in the OS is more humanised than in the EV. In the EV he appears more stupid and funny. On the other hand, the almost anonymous, small-time thief Dambarudhar of the OS enjoys more sympathetic attention of the author in the EV. “Although he had once had a sweet, gentlemanly name, nobody cared to remember that and he was called by the folks, scornfully but not without some affection “Thieffou” (142). The transformation of the faceless hunchback thief into a round character in the EV may be because the author wanted greater effect through a contrast between the thief’s earlier state with his nemesis. Similarly, the Yogi Maharaj, who had no need of any authorial introduction in the OS is made into an exotic holy man, “a wandering mendicant”. The EV elaborates, “He kept a roll of tiger skin under his arm which had many virtues including the power to transport him, occasionally, to far away spots in space” (140). Obviously, this shift in the EV indicates the author’s conscious attempt to approximate the non-Indian reader’s anticipation of an orientalist notion of the fictional holy man of India.

7. One can notice in the EV a strategy of archaicisation to effect a spatio-temporal distancing in narrotology in order to justify the fictional atmosphere of the story. Besides, the EV employs a number of rhetorical devices to effect a grand style of story-telling. In the OS these strategies are not entirely absent, but they do not, somehow, become obvious. The Oriya readers, who have been used to and who seem to adore the somewhat affected style of Das, perhaps find these devices as something unique to the author, and not uncomplimentary to the subject he negotiates.

8. Notwithstanding the strategic innovations, the EV seems to retain the original story line. The EV does not show any thematic or any other departure in the story. Even the way the story begins, develops and ends are almost the same. The use of the word “ascetically” in the opening paragraph in the EV to describe “the mountain” sets the atmosphere which is further established by “what about before five thousand years” ? (139). In the OS it is “beyond the known past, more vague, but in the tradition of oral story-telling/folklores”.

There are many more departures in the EV which a reader can easily identify. These small differences, to my mind, add up to make much difference. They are instrumental in building up a distinct individuality in each version of the text. In appears to me that the author deliberately superimposes an artificial sophistication in the EV to read just his text for a supposedly elite English readership.

As a reader of the Oriya text, I have the feeling that it has greater “spontaneity and ease” than its English rendering. This feeling is substantiated by the author’s laboured attempts at interpreting culture situations in the EV for the benefit of his target readers. For example, when Dambaru asks the king to accept burial under the mountain, in the OS he simply says, “By marrying your only child I shall become your heir”, but in the EV, the author goes for an explanation, “Since you have no son, I will naturally be crowned as the king after you”.

Thus, a close study of the two texts reveals complex translational devices used by Manoj Das in recreating the same text in another language. While it confirms his admission that he does not translate either way, it also presents significant clues to his code-switching in the process of recreating the same story in two different languages.

Work Cited:

Mahapatro Jayanta ‘Preface’ Bali, Cuttack Vidyapuri, 1993,Oriya.

Mohanty, Gopinath ,Radhanath Ray 1978, New Delhi, Sahitya Akademi 1998.

Samal Sarbeswar Manoj Das, A Critical Study Curtack: Kitab Mahal 1999.

Spolsky Bernard. ‘Bilingualism’ .

Manoj Das
( Transalted by Subhendu Mund)

The sun was just over our heads when we reached the foot of the Lulurva Mountain. Lulurva is a unique mountain. It lives a lonely life in a dense forest, ostracised from the range of mountains not very far away.

Extensive grassland outside the forest. My eyes had scalded in the fierce sun. They were beginning to shut with the cool, shadowy touch of the green forests. As soon as we had finished eating, I reclined against the body of the mountain and slept.

My three friends, two geologists and an archeologist, were then discussing in great enthusiasm, “A matter of great surprise, isn’t it ? According to principles of geology, Lulurva should have been at least half a mile away from this place. Such an exiled state of the mountain is very strange”.

“There has been no geographical upheaval in the known past that it should have receded like this.”

“But beyond the known past ?”, I had semiconsciously asked this much. But I don’t know what my friends had answered. I was being overpowered by a mountain of sleep. Many many years ago once upon a time-

There was a king. He had a delicate, golden daughter, his only child. As a result, a large part of his life was with his daughter.

On the sunrise, she would mount a horse and ride miles on the foot of the Lulurva which was situated behind the palace. The town’s people would be delightfully entertained to see the sight. The sun would seem to somehow escape from her by going higher.

One day the sun rose. But the girl did not. She just turned to one side when the sun had risen high enough.

The girl remained bed-ridden like that-day after day. No food, no sleep, no speech. Having her examined by at least a hundred vaidyas the king realised, there was no remedy to the disease. There were some among those, who, fearing that their knowledge would slip away, had never laughed, some others had prepared medicines from such rare things as the whiskers or the nails of a tiger who had devoured at least three adult human beings; or the milk of the lioness who had given birth to her cubs during a solar eclipse.

The king was perhaps not able to cry because he was a king, but seeing his face the inmates of the palace, the common people, even the lawyers could not help crying.

One day there came to the kingdom a Yogi from some far off land. Having learnt of the misery of the king he sat down in meditation for one fortnight. Then he said, “King, my son, I know what to do to cure your daughter. But alas! That thing is there yet it is not there”.

The king said, “Sir, this wretched fellow is as stupid as bear in philosophy. Please explain what you mean by “it’s there yet it is not there”.

The Yogi Maharaj said, “There is a kind of soil under this bulky mountain, right at the centre. Your daughter will get well if that earth is anointed on her body. But who will uproot the mountain?

The king heaved a sigh in desperation; while hopefully again he despatched heralds in all directions except the adha and the urddhwa of the ten digas.

While the king’s herald was returning after shouting the proclamation of the king on the other side of mountain, a poor, middle aged thief named Dambaru heard it. Dambaru lived in a small hut opposite to the palace, and close to the mountain on its unpopulated side. That night, in the first hours what he had tried to steal from the royal orchard thinking to be jackfruit was in fact a big hornets’ nest.Bearing the evidence of his escapade all over his body, thief Dambaru considered himself unfortunate and was crying. He stopped crying to hear the proclamation and without his knowledge, tried to push the mountain with his hunchback.

He suddenly felt as if the stones and rocks of the mountain were quaking, as if roars of laughter were coming from inside the mountain. A frightened Dambaru, in order to feel reassured by the sound of his own voice, said aloud, “Nobody is actually laughing”.

But in some unknown, subtle part of his ear, a grave, but compassionate voice rang, “I am the spirit of the mountain laughing. Why were you pushing me “?

Dambaru marvelled at it, but the voice sounded so divine that there was nothing to be frightened. He said, “forgive me, O Parvata-Purusha ! This idiot pushed you on the influence of the proclamation made by the messenger that anyone who could uproot you would get a reward of one lakh gold coins”.

“You are in the habit of stealing things from here and there and hiding them in the bushes on me. Many times the policemen come and keep scratching me. So embarassing. Will you give up stealing if you get on, lakh gold coins?”, asked Parvata-Purusha.

“I steal because I am needy. Why should I steal any more if I get one lakh gold coins ?”, Dambaru said.

“I want an answer from your heart. Not a logical answer. Not everybody who is needy takes to stealing. There is the basic nature. Are you willing to change your nature just as much so you won’t wish to steal anymore?”

“I’m willing. Believe me!”

“Once you get your one lakh gold coins, you won’t kill the birds who take shelter on my body?”

“Never, believe me!”

“You have been living beneath my body for many years. Having beaten by the policemen so many times you have shed your tears on me. However, I don’t trust your nature. But now great pity has quickened in me for you, especially on seeing the miserable hornet-stung face of yours. So, listen. Tomorrow at sunset I shall make myself as light as a jasmine flower for an hour. You can lift me then and place me at some distance. Let the princess and others be benefited by the earth lying under me since eternity”, said Parvata Purusha.

“A crore pranams to you, O Parvata-Purusha”. Dambaru said.

Dambaru could not sleep the entire night. He laughed and cried, and danced in happiness till the dawn.

He went to the palace before sunrise and despite vehement objections from the guards, aroused the king by shouting aloud, and announced what miraculous act he would accomplish before the sun-set that day.

The king knew Dambaru. Had it been some other time or some other matter, he would have straight sent him to the impale. Bui as such he was prepared to take refuge with any madcap or imposter to get his daughter cured. Secondly, the horrifying shape Dambaru’s face had acquired from the stinging of the hornets had suddenly aroused his faith on his miraculous powers.

Very soon the people of the town heard of the unexpected boasting made by Dambaru. Hearing this, everyone was stupefied. Those sensible citizens, who could have laughed, restrained themselves in consideration of the helplessness of the king.

There was no other instance of an exciting day like that one in the history of the country. Soon after noon, all men, women and children of the town started gathering at the foot of the Lulurva Mountain. A stream of humanity was soon flowing from village far and near Dambaru, garlanded, and in all silk arrived with the king, queen, ministers and courtiers just before the sunset. The ailing princes, sleeping in an ornate palanquin, were also carried to the spot.

The sun was gradually disappearing. Dambaru slowly proceeded towards the mountain. Looking at the forest of people once, at the sky-high mountain he somehow managed to keep himself from swooning without anyone’s knowledge. The echoes of the grave voice of paravata-purusa in his memory somehow restored his confidence. He went ahead to place his hands on the body of the mountain in an attempt to uproot it.

The silence at that time-the sound of a spider spinning gossamer could have been heard.

But in his attempt to uproot the mountain, Dambaru’s legs slipped and fell down. The band age of silence over the mouths of people was heard as partially ripping. In humiliation and fear, when Dambaru charged at the mountain to bang his head, the whole of the mountain came on his head and finger tips like a toy balloon.

A cacophony of mixed sounds of fear, surprise and joy was heard from the stupefied multitude. Then the earth and heaven shook in the sound of clapping and “Victory to Dambarudhara, the Hero” when Dambru carried the mountain on his two hands over his heard.

Dambaru himself was no less stupefied, but gradually his stupefaction turned into joy. First a smile was seen on his lips, then it became broader, and finally a roaring, loud ringing laughter. The sound, echoing higher and higher, seemed to be ridiculing the power of gods in the heaven.

With such laughter, Dambaru eventually progressed through the grassland to place the mountain somewhere else. The people followed him.

All of a sudden, the mountain slightly trembled and titled towards a section of the multitude. Dambaru retrieved the balance soon enough, but that fraction of the crowd was terrified for a twinkle of the eye. Especially the way the fat, Honourable Minister for Income Tax started running helter-skelter, amused Dambaru greatly.

Ruplal, an important businessman of the town was one among those whose attentions were attracted by such a conduct of the Income Tax Minister. It was suddenly seen that the lawyer of Ruplal rushed under the mountain, whispered something into the ear of Dambaru, and tied something at the end of his robe before scurrying out.

Dambaru thought seriously for a moment and said to the king, “O King! Any way I have to lower the mountain at some place.

While placing the mountain at some place, what is the hamr if something constructive were also done? Now, what I say is, ask the Income Tax Minister to move to that side. That Minister has created many obstructions in the progress of this country. By receiving bribes from dishonest traders he has become fat. He has harassed the honest ones very much. I want to place the mountain on him.”

The people were shocked to silence. The king appeared confused. After a while he said, “If the minister has done anything unjust, I give you my assurance, he will be tried”.

“I have already tried him. What more will you do ? Do what I say! Or else I shall throw this mountain on our palace. Understand? Now I am the most powerful man in the world. Do you understand?”

The king sucked his sailva, then said, “Yes!”

In no time the fat Income Tax Minister was made to stand on the place assigned to him by Dambaru.

About to burst into a roaring laughter, Dambaru abruptly stopped. A new idea was germinating in his mind. Ruplal had given him a hundred gold coins with a request to bury the minister under the mountain. Ruplal had amassed great wealth. He was childless. Why shouldn’t Dambaru get all his wealth? He could also be buried along with the minister. But before that he demanded that Ruplal should publicly declare him as his adopted son (Dharmaputra). A terrified Ruplal was obliged to do so.

Thenceforth he ordered Ruplal to stand beside the minister. When the crowd, frightened by Dambaruis behaviour, began to beat a retreat. Dambaru Dam shouted hoarsely, “If any one leaves this place I shall smash this mountain on the king”. All of them then stood petrified; and the sobbing businessman Ruplal had to go and stand beside the minister.

In due course, on Dambaru’s demand the policemen who had beaten him earlier, the police chief, the Pundit who had pointed at Dambaru while explaining the children the meaning of the “wretched” in the cat-sali and some others had to go and stand beside the minister and Ruplal.

Roaring in laughter, now Dambaru came out with a novel proposal, “King! Your daughter will be saved from death by my prowess and kindness. Is it not fair on your part to accept me as your son-in-law? Give word! Otherwise I shall give you a burial along with the queen and the princess under this mountain. Think and tell me, am I not a suitable groom” ?

A suppressed sobbing was heard from the inmates of the palace surrounding the princess. They were silenced by Dambaru’s growling. The king agreed to make him his son-in-law.

This time the rings of laughter surpassed the earlier ones. While shaking the mountain he proposed something more novel, “King! By marrying your only child I shall become your heir. But if you are left to yourself, who knows how long you will continue to live. Your daughter gets well, you get a suitable son-in-law. I hope you also go and stand there. I shall pay allowances to the dowager queen”.

This time the weeping of the people did not stop in spite of the fierce threatening of Dambaru. Blinded in anger, Dambaru said to the king, “You are going to that side, or you want me to put the mountain on the queen and the princess “?

The king gave a pitiful look at the queen and the daughter and walked toward the death-end.

Dambaru laughed. The laughter became more and more fierce.

Suddenly the laughter stopped. The crowd saw in eyes wide with surprise that Dambaru’s face was becoming distorted in pain. The mountain was slowly lowering. Dambaru was getting crushed under it even while he was trying to hoist the mountain. Then a hideous mortifying cry of anguish echoed against the mountain and mingled in the sky. The Luvurva mountain touched the surface of the earth and became still.

The hour promised by Parvata-Purusha was over.

The people remained awestruk for a few minutes before encircling the king the queen and the princess and dancing in joy. It was only when the tide of joy abated a” little towards midnight, it transpired that there was no trace of the Income Tax Minister, trader Ruplal, and his lawyer. Some people had seen them running towards Dambaru while the mountain was pressing down. Some said that Ruplal and his lawyer had done so to retrieve the hundred gold coins which the latter had tied on his robe. The Income Tax Minister had run in close pursuit because he thought that they were slipping away. According to some others, the three of them had rushed to drag him out from under the mountain so that they could later impale him and give him a painful death.

When I woke up from my sleep, and raised my head from the body of the mountain, I felt as if the unheard voice which had infiltrated into my subconscious to narrate the story, was slowly receding into the inside of the mountain.

My friends were still at their discussion, “Such a position of the mountain is undoubtedly, a geological exception”.

When they saw me open my eyes they handed me a cup of tea and said, “Well, our writer friend, we brought you with us to listen to your stories. Instead, you went to sleep”.

“Want to hear a story “? I said.

[Translation of “Lulurva Parvatare Eka Dwiprahara” Manoj Dasanka Katha O Kahani , Friends Publishers, Cuttack.]

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.