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Remembering a Mystic

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More than a decade has passed in the meantime.Sanjay and many other young Odia friends have reminded me several times to write the piece that I once thought of . But every time I thought of writing it ,something or the other stopped me,I don't know,why...

I read Manoj Das for the first time when I was in Class 8,almost 45 years back. Sesha Basantara Chithi was in our course.I went to see him for the first time when I was in college,40 years back ...he was to deliver a talk at Sri Aurobindo Dham ,Puri.I was afraid,couldn’t utter a word.

Since then,I have read Manoj Das extensively,met him on uncountable occasions,conducted a number of events involving him.

I had a great interest to write a feature on Manoj Das.In fact,after the overwhelming response to my feature article on Devdas Chhotray two decades ago ,the editor,Ame Odia Sanjay Bhatt wanted me to write the second piece in the series on Manoj Das.The magazine faced an ill fate and the idea to write a feature on Manoj Das remained only inside my heart as many of my dreams have abruptly ended throughout my life.My uncle used to say,you have many beginnings and very few ends...

More than a decade has passed in the meantime.Sanjay and many other young Odia friends have reminded me several times to write the piece that I once thought of . But every time I thought of writing it ,something or the other stopped me,I don't know,why...

Of late I have come to a conviction that it is better to write on the characters created by Manoj Das than writing on him ,for Manoj Das belongs to the great Indian tradition of mysticism and storytelling....better to follow than describe..Yes,there is no author of his standing in Odia for the last 60 years,and in the contemporary Indian English,there are very few authors comparable to him.Undoubtedly,he is the only Classic author in the Contemporary Indian Literature..

I was on a stroll with my dog at Shillong five years ago while on morning walk and met somebody,very identical to Manoj Das in his look.I went near and was about to wish him,and then found ,he is not Manoj Das. May be the look was there,but not the smile that I have always enjoyed whenever,wherever I have met him.Last time when I met Manoj Das after returning to Delhi,he suggested that I should write a book containing my experiences in the form of travelogues or memoirs.

Alas,that has also met the same fate as my dream of writing on Manoj Das has been...and now he is no more,has mystically disappeared from the material world !

Now, trying to write as Manoj Das suggested.

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