15 September 2012

Great writers of India..


Today is Birth Anniversary of Great Bengali writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay . His novels and stories are still read today…I have also read many of his stories and novels which always touched my heart !! “Pairneeta” and “Devadas”  are all time favorite of many…and who can forget the touching story of “Majhli Didi” that makes a reader’s eyes wet….  This Post is Philatelic Tribute to him !!I


Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay (15 September 1876 – 16 January 1938) is one of the most popular Bengali novelists and short story writers of early 20th century.  His first published story was "Mandir". He was particularly sensitive to the cause of women.

He was born at Devanandapur, Hooghly, India and received his education in the city of Bhagalpur. His work represented rural Bengali society and he often wrote against social superstitions, malpractice and oppression. His famous works are Debdas 1917 (written 1901), Porinita/Parineeta 1914, Baradidi 1907, Bindur Chhele 1913, Biraj Bou 1914, Ramer Shumoti 1914, Palli Shomaj 1916, Arakhsanya 1916, Choritrohin 1917, Srikanto (4 parts, 1917, 1918, 1927, 1933), Datta 1917-19, Grihodaho 1919, Dena Paona 1923, Pother Dabi 1926, Ses Prasna 1931. He died in Kolkata of liver cancer in 1938.


His works have been made into some fifty films in many Indian languages, particularly his novel Devdas made into eight versions, from Bengali, Hindi to Telugu, 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.

Sarat Mela

Sarat Mela is an annual fair which is held in late January every year for seven days to showcase the different lifetimes of Sarat Chandra. The fair is solely dedicated to Sarat Chandra and his works. Sarat Mela was started in 1972. Complete with countless stalls of handicrafts and local products, giant wheels, merry-go-rounds, stalls of jalebi, papad, toys, utensils, etc. Cultural programmes mostly held by local talents, debate and singing competition is also held. Students display their handicrafts as do amateur and professional gardeners. They also display uniques like oversized vegetables and plants, series of terracotta relief plaques depicting the various phases of Sarat Chandra’s life like his childhood, his marriage, his homeopathic clinic for the poor, his last journey to Kolkata’s Park Nursing Home in a palanquin and so on which catch the eye. Also such clay “illustrations” of Sarat Chandra’s works like Mahesh are installed. The fair ends late at night with Chhau dance and a fireworks display.

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.

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