Author – Saratchandra Chattopadhyay
Translation – Anindita Mukhopadhyay
Rating – 4/5 stars
Number of Pages – 195
Publisher – Rupa Publications
Saratchandra is one of the most prominent Bengali novelist and short story writers of twentieth-century India. He has a number of stories to his credit written in Bengali language and many of them adapted in movies and plays. This book brings some of his stories translated into English for the readers unknown to Bengali. Most of his work deals with the lifestyle, tragedy and struggle of the village people and the contemporary social practices that prevailed in Bengal of that time. The stories are as old as nearly hundred years.
The stories come from the everyday life of a common man and underprivileged and deprived class of the society. The stories come from rural India. The stories in this book prominently focused on the untouchability, exploitation of the poor by the rich class and the men in power.
This collection has twelve widely acclaimed short stories of the author. The stories ranged from childhood memories of notoriety, a teenage love story which breaks the barrier of the social caste system, a lonely mother, a helpless farmer and other stories showing the facets of society. The ambiance of stories is based on older Bengal of the early twentieth century.
The stories run at a slow pace and take time to build the character. Sometimes I felt the characters lost the track but it was only the time story formulate. They are written in the same manner the stories had written by other writers of that time. You need to be a little patient and read the story till the end to fell in the delight of his writing.
Translation of hard reality, casteism, presenting a vivid picture of rural Bengal.
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (1876-1938) was one of the most prolific novelists and short story writers from Bengal in the early twentieth century. Among his novels, his most notable works include Baikunther Will, Pather Dabi, Devdas and Srikanta: stories such as ‘Mejdidi’ and ‘Mohesh’ rank among the most loved. Saratchandra’s powerful portrayals of human, economic and social distress, colonialism, middle-class lives and the rural world are still widely read, translated and have been adapted into films.
Anindita Mukhopadhyay teaches History at the University of Hyderabad and was formerly fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. She completed her graduation from Presidency College, Calcutta University, Kolkata, her Masters and M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and her Doctoral dissertation from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She has translated Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Sesher Kobita’ – The Last Poem (2007) and authored Behind the Mask: The Cultural Definition of the Legal Subject (2013).
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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’