The Tales of Mystics, Manoj Das
Book Review

tales told by mystics, Manoj Das

Book: tales told by mystics

Author: Manoj Das

Publication: Sahitya Akademi

Pages: 298

Price: Click the link 

 

Introduction:

Very recently, we lost Manoj Das on 27th April 2021. Being a bilingual author, Manoj Das proves his ambidextrous potency in both English and Odia. Born in Balasore, Odisha, 1934, British India, Manoj Das is an indisputable name in the arena of short stories.

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Tales Told by Mystics is a collection of one hundred stories transmitted from the generation of mystics and reshaped by Manoj Das, the great Indian English writer in whose pen words dances with fluency and humour.

“I bow to the great Masters, the original tellers of these stories, in gratitude.”

And we bow to him for his cognitive endeavour to gather all the scattered gems to create the dome of light.

  • The very first story, Four Travellers and a Stranger imbue a message where ‘one’s own state of mind or quality of consciousness’ reflects in his attitudes to the other.  That’s why when the thief saw an old man lying against a banyan tree he takes him as a thief, the spy takes him as a spy and the drunkard finds him as another debauchery. Finally, the fourth traveller, endowed with a mystic insight finds in him a Yogi, in a state of trance.

  • In the story, The Song at DawnGod’s mercy and message infiltrate Seth Kamaladas (who was unable to walk due to illness) through the mesmerizing song of a poor cobbler. The benevolent music enables him to walk.

  • Two Ways to Learn a Hymn exalts the significance of learning a mantra, not in verbatim but in heart with its real significance guarded by discipline, dedication.

  • The Last Brahmin projects a blatant picture of inevitable doom triggered by greed and vanity.

  • God in Smiles and in Tears exudes a bipolar vision of God’s grace by Princess Meerabai that she gains from two different situations.

  • Saran, an incorrigible stupid boy in Riddle of the Brahman learns the meaning and significance of the phrase, “Aham Brahmosmi!” with his unflinching dedication.

  • But I like the story of Hair-Oil ForThe Bald most where Mahim loses all his luxuriant hair in between the clashes of his two wives.

Every story, in a miraculous miniature, widens the spectrum of human cognition with greater meaning and significance.

Style and design:

Manoj Das with his impeachable proficiency in concocting beautiful stories, designs every tale in a compendious elegance, injecting the globules of knowledge and missives of God in them.  An aureole of wit and humour casts the tapestry of each story. The narration is pithy without unnecessary detail that appeals to the readers’ impressive conscience easily.

 Again, the precision of thought, embedded at the end of each story as a sum up, adds to the piquancy of interest.

Alvina’s verdict

 Mystics are an integral part of Indian culture and indigenous heritage. And the author with a simple yet enriched language portraits all the stories with a profound delicacy.

I will not only recommend the book,  but I must entreat everyone to buy and read this book as the most valuable gem of your bookshelf. Every story, laced with a different distinct message, is a rewarding and delightful journey to go through. The language, lucid yet mesmerizing, is accessible for all, the adults and kids.

The stories are a great source of teaching morality and values in children.

 

Comments

Mandira Samanta
11 May 2021 at 9:54 am

I am fascinated by the story line.



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