300px SatyajitRay Sunil Gangopadhyay Is No More

English: Portrait of Satyajit Ray created by me in 1997 and edited in 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Sunil Kumar


A prolific writer, Gangopadhyay authored more than 200 books over six decades, with his magnificent range of creations touching upon diverse segments like novels, children’s fiction, poetry, literary criticism, travelogue and essays.

Gangopadhyay was born in Faridpur, now in Bangladesh, in 1934, and his family shifted before the partition to Kolkata – a city that saw the flowering of his talent shaped by a passion for reading and endless informal chat sessions with literary and other cultural geniuses and even the ordinary people from all walks of life.


“After my school final examination, my father – to keep me engaged – asked me to translate Tennyson. After translating some of the poems, I thought why don’t I try out my hand in writing some poems of my own? I liked what I wrote”. His first poem “Ekti Chithi” (A letter) was published in 1950.

In the 1950s, Gangopadhyay and some of his friends brought out a seminal poetry magazine “Krittibas“, which published poems of only young writers and became a platform for young talents experimenting with various forms. Gangopadhyay was the founder editor.

His first novel, “Atmaprakash” (Emergence), published in 1965 in the prestigious magazine “Desh”, was critically acclaimed though it triggered a controversy, with some calling it “obscene”.

Among his well-known poems are ‘Kavita Sangraha’, ‘Shada Pristha Tomar Sangay’ and ‘Amar Swapna’.

In 1985, Gangopadhyay got the Sahitya Akademi award for his historical fiction “Sei Somoy” (“Those Days”).

Among his other works are “Pratham Alo” (“First Light”), and “Purbo-Paschim”, a novel on the partition and its effect depicted through the eyes of three generations of Bengalis in West Bengal, Bangladesh and elsewhere.


Several of his novels were made into films by acclaimed directors. While Satyajit Ray did “Pratidwandi” and “Aranyer Dinratri“, Tapan Sinha made “Sobuj Dwiper Raja”, and Goutam Ghose directed the much-awarded “Moner Manush” based on the life of Baul singer Lalan Fakir.

Gangopadhyay got a chance to put his vast knowledge of literature, particularly Indian literature, to good use. Indian literature is one, written in many languages. Writers in the Naga and Manipuri languages should not feel isolated because of their location. We are thinking of ways to remove their sense of isolation,” Gangopadhyay said, giving a peek into his philosophy




 Sunil Gangopadhyay Is No More
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