Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
Sharat Chandra Chatterji.jpg
Born (1876-09-15)15 September 1876
Debanandapur, Hooghly, Bengal Presidency, British Raj
(now in West Bengal, India)
Died 16 January 1938(1938-01-16) (aged 61)
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British Raj
(now Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
Pen name Anila Devi
Occupation Writer
Nationality British India
Ethnicity Bengali
Citizenship British Indian
Period 19th century-Early 20th century
Genres Novelist
Literary movement Bengal Renaissance
Spouse(s) Shanti devi (died in plague in Burma),
Hironmoyi devi (previously called Mokkhoda)
Children One boy, who died in the Burma plague as a baby

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay [1] (15 September 1876 – 16 January 1938) was a Bengali novelist and short story writer of early 20th century.

Personal life

Sarat Chandra was born in Debanandapur, Hooghly, Bengal Presidency, British Raj. His family was occasionally supported by other family members and Chattopadhyay's lack of financial stability would influence his writing in years to come. He started his education at "Pyari Pandit"s" pathshala and then he took admission at Hooghly Branch High School. Although he began as a fine arts student, Chattopadhyay left his studies due to his persistent state of poverty. He received his early education while residing at his maternal uncle's house in Bhagalpur. He spent 20 years of his life in Bhagalpur and a significant portion of his novels were either written in Bhagalpur or based on his experience in Bhagalpur.

His work represented rural Bengali society and he often wrote against social superstitions and oppression. For a short period he was a sannyasi, a Hindu ascetic who abandons the material and social worlds. His first published story was "Mandir".

After the death of his parents, Chattopadhyay left his college education midway and went to Burma in 1903. There he found employment with a Government Office as clerk. He returned to India, but before his departure he submitted a short story for a prize competition under his uncle's name, Surendranath Ganguli. It won first prize in 1904.

Vishnu Prabhakar wrote a biography about Chattopadhyay. Prabhakar traveled for fourteen years to collect material.

He died in Kolkata of liver cancer in 1938.

House of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay

Sarat Chandra's house at Samta.
Room of Sarat Chandra in his house at Samta.

After returning from Burma, Chattopadhyay stayed for 11 years in Baje Shibpur, Howrah. Then he made a house in the village of Samtabere. He spent the later years of his lifetime as a novelist in Samtabere and in another house in Kolkata. His house in Samtaber is often called by and shown as Sarat Chandra Kuthi in the map of Samtaber or Samta, in the Howrah district of West Bengal.

The temple of Sarat Chandra in his house.

The Rupnarayan River then used to flow right outside the window of Sarat Chandra’s ground floor study. Now, the river has changed its route and has moved far away. The two storied Burmese style house was also home to Sarat Chandra's brother, Swami Vedananda, who was a disciple of Belur Math. His along with his brother Swami Vedananda's samadhi can still be seen there. Swami Vedananda was a disciple in Belur Math. The trees like that of bamboo, galoncho and the guava trees planted by the renowned author are still tourist attractions.[2]

Inside Sarat Chandra's house.
The trees planted by Sarat Chandra.

Parts of the house-like the mud-walled kitchen-collapsed and the house was damaged in the 1978 floods, the Zilla Parishad undertook its repair spending INR77000. After it was declared as a Heritage or Historical Site by the Clause 2 of the West Bengal Heritage Commission Act 2001 (Act IX of 2001)[3][4] Act IX of 2001 in 2009 the whole house was renovated and the belongings of Sarat Chandra like his furniture, walking stick, shoes etc. were polished and are restored in showcases. The house’s boundary has been extended until the Samadhis, surrounding them which earlier used to lie on the road.

Sarat Mela

The fair is held on the Panitras High School grounds some distance from Sarat Chandra’s house but if it could be shifted to the open space where the Rupnarayan River once flowed right in front of the house people could link the two more easily. The Government of West Bengal does not provide funds, only private and public donations allow the villagers to hold the fair. However, sometime the number of people it draws is reduced due to unpleasant weather conditions like rainfall.

Works

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya visits Surendranath Roy in 1927.

Films

Kundal Lal Saigal and Jamuna in Devdas.

His works have been made into some fifty films in many Indian languages,[5] particularly his novel Devdas made into eight versions, from Bengali, Hindi to Telugu, all verson get huge response. Parineeta also been made twice, Majhli Didi (1967) by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Swami (1977) for which he was awarded Filmfare Award for Best Story. Another famous film Chhoti Bahu (1971) is based on his novel Bindur Chhele.His Novel 'Datta' was adapted into a Bengali film (1976) starring Suchitra Sen and Soumitra Chatterjee in the lead roles.

There was another movie based on his novel called Nishkriti, Apne Paraye (1980) by Basu Chatterjee, starring Amol Palekar.[6] The Telugu film Thodi Kodallu (1957) is also based on this novel. Gulzar's 1975 film, Khushboo is majorly inspired by his work entitled Pandit Mashay. The 1961 Telugu film Vagdanam by Acharya Atreya is loosely based on his novel Datta. Also the 2011 film Aalo Chhaya is based on his short story, Aalo O Chhaya.

Awards and degrees

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay is known as Oporajoy Kothashilpi in Bangla literature

Textbooks

See also

References

  1. ^ alternatively spelt as Sarat Chandra Chatterjee
  2. ^ House of Sarat Chandra
  3. ^ Origin of W.B. Heritage Commission
  4. ^ West Bengal Heritage Commission Act 2001 (Act IX of 2001)
  5. ^ Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ Gulzar; Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 337. ISBN 81-7991-066-0. 

General

External links