|Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
শরৎ চন্দ্র চট্টোপাধ্যায়
15 September 1876|
Debanandapur, Hooghly, Bengal Presidency, British Raj
(now in West Bengal, India)
|Died||16 January 1938
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British Raj
(now Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
|Pen name||Anila Devi|
|Period||19th century-Early 20th century|
|Literary movement||Bengal Renaissance|
|Spouse||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 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.
House of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
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 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.
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 ₹77000. 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) 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.
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.
Sarat Chandra primarily wrote novels, novellas, and stories. He converted three of his works into plays. The following classification of his works is based on "Sarat Rachanabali" (collected works) website
Novels and Novellas
- Arakhsanya, 1916
- Bamuner Meye
- Bipradas, 1935
- Birajbou, (Mrs. Biraj) 1914
- Baikunther Will
- Bordidi, (The Elder Sister) 1907
- Choritrohin, (Shameless) 1917
- Datta, 1917–19
- Dena Paona, (Debts and Demands) 1923
- Devdas, 1917 (written in 1901)
- Grihodaho, 1919
- Naba Bidhan
- Palli Shomaj, 1916
- Parineeta, 1914
- Pather Dabi or Path Ke Davedar, (Demand for a Pathway) 1926
- Shesh Prasna, (The Final Question) 1931
- Shesher Parichoy (Incomplete)
- Srikanta, (Four parts, 1917, 1918, 1927, 1933)
- Aalo O Chhaya
- Abhagir Swargo
- Anupamar Prem
- Andhare Aalo
- Balya Smriti
- Bindur Chhele, (Bindu's Son) 1913
- Darpochurno (Broken Pride)
- Ekadoshi Bairagi
- Lalu (parts 1, 2, and 3)
- Mamlar Phol
- Mahesh (The Drought)
- Bochor Panchash Purber Ekti Kahini
- Path Nirdesh
- Ramer Shumoti, (Ram's Good Sense) 1914
- Swami (The Husband)
- Narir Mulya
- Swadesh O Sahitya
- Taruner Bidroho
- Dehati Samaj, 1920
- Sharoda (published posthumously)
His works have been made into some fifty films in many Indian languages, particularly his novel Devdas made into sixteen 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. 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
- Golpo Songroho (Collected Stories), the national text book of B.A. (pass and subsidiary) course of Bangladesh, published by University of Dhaka in 1979 (reprint in 1986).
- Bangla Sahitya (Bengali Literature), the national text book of intermediate (college) level of Bangladesh published in 1996 by all educational boards.
- Complete works
- Films based on works by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
- Samtaber, the village where Sarat Chandra spent his life's early years as a novelist.
- Sarat Chandra Kuthi, the house of Sarat Chandra at Samtaber.
- alternatively spelt as Sarat Chandra Chatterjee
- House of Sarat Chandra
- Origin of W.B. Heritage Commission
- West Bengal Heritage Commission Act 2001 (Act IX of 2001)
- Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay at the Internet Movie Database
- Gulzar; Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 337. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- Ganguly, Swagato. "Introduction." In Parineeta by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2005. (English translation)
- Guha, Sreejata. "Introduction." In Devdas by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2002. (English translation)
- Roy, Gopalchandra. Saratchandra, Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata
- Sarat Rachanabali, Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata
- Prithwindra Mukherjee. "Introduction" in Mahesh et autres nouvelles by Saratchandra Chatterji. Paris: Unesco/Gallimard, 1978. (French translation of Mahesh, Bindur chhele and Mejdidi by Prithwindra Mukherjee. Foreword by Jean Filliozat)
- Dutt, A. K. and Dhussa, R. "Novelist Sarat Chandra's perception of his Bengali home region: a literary geographic study." Springer Link
- Sil, Narasingha Prasad. "The life of Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay : drifter and dreamer" Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012