Writer of Odia thrillers dies at 85

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By NAMITA PANDA
  • Published 27.05.14
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Bhubaneswar, May 26: Odia author Kanduri Charan Das, who was immensely popular for his detective and thriller novels, died today morning at his home in Calcutta. He was 85 and suffered from heart problems.

Das had no competition when it came to the genre of mystery and thrillers in Odia literature. He wrote over 50 novels in this segment, but he was matchlessly versatile for he also wrote fiction in other genres. Some of his famous books include Gaon Maati and Kuanri Kanya.

“His detective books not only had a lot of mystery elements, but also had detailed analysis of psychology that made his works immensely enjoyable,” said Das’ close friend and famous author Bibhuti Patnaik. “He was much more popular than me,” said Patnaik, whose popularity is only growing since decades.

Das, who won over readers right from his first book Dhuli ra Dharani, was a well-known name across Odia households and any family with education were dedicated readers of the author. But Das’ contribution to literature was beyond his writing. Despite being employed in Calcutta, the author, who was born in Khadianta village near Pattamundai in Kendrapara district on December 12, 1929, was deeply attached and devoted to Odia language.

He looked after the famous Odia magazine Asanta Kali published from Calcutta, along with other Odia authors such as Jagannath Das Mohapatra who were also based in the City of Joy.

“I knew him since 1954 when I used to contribute for the magazine as a budding author. He gave a chance to many new comers and encouraged fresh talent in Odia writing,” reminisced Patnaik. Together, along with Nandini Satpathy, Das and Patnaik also brought out a magazine Kalana. When that got closed after Satpathy moved to Delhi for her political career, Das began a series of pocket books Rajashri pocket books to ensure that Odia readers can afford reading at a low price.

His pocket books published a series of over 100 novels of many authors who are big names today. Das’ wife Kalpana Kumari Debi is a Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awardee, while daughter Sabarni Das is also associated with writing for and editing magazines in Calcutta.

Das had earned respect of many in the literary fraternity. “He was one of the illustrious sons of the soil of Kendrapada,” said author and former president of Odisha Sahitya Akademi, Ramachandra Behera.