Bhubaneswar: The Non-Resident Odias of United Arab Emirates (UAE) paid rich tributes to eminent Odia and English litterateur Manoj Das, who passed away in Pondicherry April 27.
Expatriate group Global Odias for Odisha’s Development (GOOD) organised a meeting in this regard in Dubai recently.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting was a symbolic affair and it was organised with strict adherence to the social distancing norms, sources said.
A lamp was lit in front of the eminent writer’s photograph and floral tributes were also paid to the departed soul. The attendees spoke about Das’ life and his literary accomplishments. A special book reading session was also organised during the event.
Among others, Capt. Soumyaranjan Patnaik, president of a shipping company, Priyadarshee Panigrahi, general manager of a consumer goods company, Rajesh Tripathy, general manager of a leading global business school and Prashant Meher, poet-writer and IT professional were present at the meeting.
The speakers eulogized Das’ contribution to Odia and English literature. Das was a person who single handedly raised the profile of Odia language and literature. People will always remember the eminent writer’s down-to-earth demeanour and his magnetic personality, they opined.
“Das was a towering personality in Odia literature. It is very important to remember him. That is why we organised the event to pay homage to the famous writer amid the pandemic,” said Patnaik.
Paying tribute to Das, Panigrahi said, “Das was probably the most admired author in Odia and a significant writer in English too. Great writers like Graham Greene and Ruskin Bond had praised Das’ literary works.’
A specially-composed poem in the memory of Das was recited at the event. The poem, composed by Meher, talked about Das’ departure and his immortal legacy, sources added.