Manoj Das

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All features, stories and articles authored by: Manoj Das


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Ratha Yatra

Ratha Yatra

Excerpts from the book “Festivals of India” Published by National Book Trust, India. Festivals bring large numbers of people together in a spirit of joy or devotion, or both. But there is one festival that combines joy and devotion with physical rigour. This is the Car Festival of Lord Jagannath at Puri, in Orissa, popularly known as the Rath Yatra. On this occasion devotees join hands to pull the massive chariots of their deities over a three-kilometre distance....

A Verbal Trade

One evening, an old man was passing through a village. From the interior of a small house, he heard a sweet, melodious voice singing. He stood outside on the road till the song ended. Then he went near the house and looked inside. The singer was a small girl. He patted her affectionately and gave her a gold mohur. The girl’s father, Mohan, who was standing nearby, was delighted at the unexpected present. He snatched the gold mohur from his daughter’s hand....

Two Girls and a Lotus

On top of a three-hundred-foot hill was a quaint old temple. A hunched, old man performed puja here. Enshrined in the centre of the temple was a beautiful idol. Usha and Lalita, two good friends, enjoyed talking to the kindly temple priest and watching him adorn the beautiful idol with multicoloured flowers. Often in the morning, Usha and Lalita climbed the hill, dancing between the rhododendron bushes, jumping, singing and playing hide-and-seek. Woken from its slumber, a dovelet would coo sleepily, “Coo!...

The King and the Squirrel

Once upon a time, there was a king who was very proud of his matchless position. He was young, well-read and intelligent and none of the youths of his kingdom equaled him in strength or valour. Moreover, he was the richest man in the kingdom. One day, while strolling in his garden, he said to his wise, old minister, I am sure no one would ever dare to boast before me. I am glad that I am superior to everybody in every respect....

Gems of Indian Literature

Gems of Indian Literature

Excerpts from ‘Books Forever’ Written by Manoj Das Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi India’s literary past is indeed great. It’s a known fact that many of the parables of the Bible, the fables of Aesop of Greece, the folktales collected by the Grimm brothers of Germany and the tales retold by Hans Andersen of Denmark had their origin in India. We shall unravel together some of the gems of Indian literature like the Bhagavad Gita,The Upanishads, Vedas, Ramayana, and the Mahabharata in our subsequent articles....

The Mango Charm

The Mango Charm

A wandering youth once met Bholu, an illiterate villager, who knew how to perform a miracle. Everyday Bholu would go into the forest, stand under a mango tree and utter a charm. The tree would immediately become heavy with fruit. The next moment the mangoes would ripen and then they would fall to the ground. Bholu would collect them, eat some and distribute the rest among his neighbours who were poor. Keshav the youth fell at Bholu’s feet, even though the latter belonged to a lower caste, and begged him to teach him the charm....

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