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He is considered to be one of the most iconic writers of modern Bengali literature and also one of the most prominent writers in the Post-Tagore era. He was posthumously awarded the Rabindra Puraskar in , the most prestigious literary award in West Bengal , for his novel Ichhamati.
The Bandyopadhyay family originated in the Panitar village near Basirhat , located in the North 24 Parganas district of modern-day West Bengal. Bandyopadhyay's great-grandfather, who was an Ayurvedic physician, eventually settled in Barakpur village, near Gopalnagar , Banagram now Bangaon , North 24 Parganas. His father, Mahananda Bandyopadhyay, was a Sanskrit scholar and story-teller by profession.
Bandyopadhyay was the eldest of the five children of Mahananda and his wife Mrinalini. Bandyopadhyay studied at Bongaon High School , one of the oldest institutions in British India , and was considered as a talented student.
Following a first division placement in the Entrance and Intermediate Arts examinations, Bandyopadhyay completed his undergraduate degree in economics, history, and sanskrit at the Surendranath College then Ripon College in Kolkata.
He was admitted to the master's degree MA and Law classes, but could not afford to enroll for the postgraduate course at the University of Calcutta , and joined as a teacher in a school in Jangipara , Hooghly. Bandyopadhyay worked in a variety of jobs to support both himself and his family before becoming a writer. His first job was as a teacher, but he also served as a travelling publicist for Goraksini Sabha , and later as a secretary for Khelatchandra Ghosh , a role that included the management of his Bhagalpur estate.
He became involved with Khelatchandra, a prominent name in music and charity, while tutoring his family. He also taught at the Khelatchandra Memorial School. He started working as a teacher in the Gopalnagar School, which he continued alongside his literary work, until his death. He wrote and published Pather Panchali w hile staying at Ghatshila , a town in Jharkhand. Bandyopadhyay's works are largely set in rural Bengal, with characters from that area. In , Bandyopadhyay's first published short story, "Upekshita" appeared in Prabasi , at the time one of Bengal's leading literary magazines.
However, he did not receive any critical attention until , when his first novel Pather Panchali also known in English as Song of the Little Road was published initially as a serial, then as a book in Pather Panchali brought Bandyopadhyay to prominence in Bengali literature, and the novel and its sequel Aparajito , were subsequently translated into numerous languages.
Ichhamati reflects and documents a period of caste stratified culture, the life of rural society along the banks of the Ichamati River , in undivided Bengal. The novel captures indigo planters, plantation life, and caste society in Bengal during the early 20th century, in vivid detail. Relationships are sensitively portrayed in the narrative, with the author exploring the subtle nuances contained therein. Readers have praised the detailed descriptions of nature and the unselfconscious, but poetic portrayal of the flora and fauna on the banks of the Ichamati River.
Ichamati has also been described as a deeply spiritual piece of writing, with Advaita Vedanta holding particular relevance to the contained dialogue. Bandyopadhyay wrote 16 novels, and over two hundred short stories. His style as a Bengali novelist has often been compared to Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
Pather Panchali is considered Bandyopadhyay's masterpiece, and is included in the ICSE syllabus for students choosing to study Bengali. Author Humayun Azad opined, that the novel form of Pather Panchali is superior to its cinematic rendition. Azad's view is not necessarily a commonly held one in the West, as the Apu Trilogy is considered among the finest films in the history of cinema. The unavailability of a complete English translation of the novel creates difficulty in comparing the two separate works for the English-speaking audience the available translation by T.
Clark and Tarapada Mukherji is a truncated version. However, in the Bengali-speaking world, the stature of the novel is uncontested. Amit Chaudhuri has translated a few excerpts from the novel for inclusion in the anthology, The Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature. In his introduction to these excerpts, Chaudhuri wrote, "Unique for its tenderness and poetry Pather Panchali rejects both nineteenth-century realism and social realism the social milieu described in it would have logically lent itself to the latter for an inquiry into perception and memory.
Martin Seymour-Smith , in his Guide to Modern World Literature , describes Bandyopadhyay he uses the form Banerji as "perhaps the best of all modern Indian novelists", going on to write that, "probably nothing in twentieth-century Indian literature, in prose or poetry, comes to the level of Pather Panchali ".
Bandyopadhyay spent his early days in abject poverty, and subsequently he supported his family financially, though the extent of his support is unknown. He had a stout build and walked miles in the woods every day, usually taking his notebook for the purpose of writing whilst surrounded by the wilderness.
His first wife Gouri Devi died of cholera , a year after their marriage. Her death and Bandopadhyay's consequent loneliness led to a theme of tragedy that became a recurrent motif in his early writings. At the age of 46, he married Rama Chattopadhyay. Their son, Taradas, was born in Bandopadhyay died on 1 November , in Ghatshila. The cause of death was identified as a heart attack. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Indian Bengali author. For other people named Bibhutibhushan, see Bibhutibhushan.
Bongaon High School Surendranath College. Retrieved 12 September Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh Second ed. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.
Makers of Indian Literature 1st ed. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. The Middle Stage: Essays on Indian and world literature. Retrieved 3 April Retrieved 21 January Retrieved 2 October Indian Express. Retrieved 4 May Works of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. Moon Mountain. Bengal famine of Categories : births deaths Bengali writers Bengali-language writers Indian male novelists Surendranath College alumni University of Calcutta alumni Recipients of the Rabindra Puraskar People from North 24 Parganas district 20th-century Indian novelists Novelists from West Bengal 20th-century Indian male writers.
Barrackpore , Calcutta , Bengal Presidency During his childhood life. Rabindra Puraskar posthumous Gouri Devi Rama Chattopadhyay. Taradas Bandyopadhyay. Taranath Tantrik. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.
But to readers of Bengali, Bandyopadhyay remains an icon, perhaps not as widely read and remembered as Rabindranath Tagore, but still admired by a cult-like following. They demand to be read, discussed, translated and celebrated, more than ever before. Although he was a bright student, he was forced to interrupt his postgraduate studies to earn a living. He took on several odd jobs, from teaching in schools to managing estates, to support his family, while keeping up his writing. By the time he died in , Bandyopadhyay had left behind a rich legacy, in spite of the relatively brief 56 years he lived.
Remembering the evergreen genius of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
Bandyopadhyay, Bibhutibhushan novelist, was born on 12 September at his maternal uncle's house at Ghoshpada-Muraripur village, near Kanchrapara in the Parganas, west bengal. His father Mahananda Bandyopadhyay, a resident of Barackpur village in the same district, was a sanskrit scholar and had been awarded the title of 'Shastri' for his erudition and proficiency in reciting and interpreting legends and myths. Bibhutibhushan's education started at the village school. He had always been a talented student and secured first division in both the Entrance and the Intermediate of Arts examinations. He passed the BA examination also with distinction. Though he was admitted to the MA and Law classes, he did not continue his studies and started teaching at a school in Hughli. For a short period of time, he toured different areas of Bengal, assam , Tripura and Arakan as a roving publicist for Goraksini Sabha.