Poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay
Sunil Gangopadhyay started writing for various publications of the Ananda Bazar group, a major publishing house in Kolkata and had been continuing it for many years. He became a friend of the beat poet Allen Ginsberg while he was travelling in India. Gins
Sunil Gangopadhyay or Sunil Ganguly (7 September 1934 - 23 October 2012) was an Indian Bengali poet and novelist. Born in Faridpur of Bangladesh, he obtained his Masterâ€™s degree in Bengali from the University of Calcutta. In 1953, he and a few of his friends started a Bengali poetry magazine, Krittibas. Later he wrote for different publications.
Ganguly created the Bengali fictional character Kakababu and wrote a series of novels on this character which became significant in Indian children's literature. He received Sahitya Akademi award in 1985 for his novel Those Days (Sei Samaya). Sunil Gangopadhyay used the pen names Nil Lohit, Sanatan Pathak, and Nil Upadhyay.
He was the founder editor of Krittibas, a seminal poetry magazine started publishing from 1953 that became a platform for a new generation of poets experimenting with many new forms in poetic themes, rhythms, and words.
Later, he started writing for various publications of the Ananda Bazar group, a major publishing house in Kolkata and had been continuing it for many years. He became a friend of the beat poet Allen Ginsberg while he was travelling in India. Ginsberg mentioned him most notedly in his poem September on Jessore Road. He in return mentioned Ginsberg in some of his prose work. After serving five years as the Vice President, he was elected the President of the Sahitya Akademi on 20 February 2008.
Author of well over 200 books, Sunil was a prolific writer who has excelled in different genres but declares poetry to be his â€˜first love.â€™ His Nikhilesh and Neera series of poems (some of which have been translated as For You, Neera and Murmur in the Woods) have been extremely popular.
As in poetry, Sunil was known for his unique style in prose. His second novel was Atmaprakash and it was also the first writing from a newcomer in literature published in the prestigious magazine - Desh (1965). It was critically acclaimed but some controversy arose for its aggressive and â€˜obsceneâ€™ style. Sunil said that he was afraid of this novel and went away from Kolkata for a few days. Satyajit Ray thought to make a film on it but it wasn't possible for reasons. The central character of Atmaprakash is a young man of core-Kolkata- Sunil, who leads a bohemian life-style. The novel had inspiration from â€˜On the roadâ€™ by Jack Kerouac, the beat generation writer. His historical fiction Sei Somoy (translated into English by Aruna Chakravorty as Those Days) received the Indian Sahitya Akademi award in 1985. Sei Somoy continues to be a best seller more than two decade after its first publication. The same is true for Prothom Alo (also translated recently by Aruna Chakravorty as First Light), another best selling historical fiction and Poorba-Pashchim, a raw depiction of the partition and its aftermath seen through the eyes of three generations of Bengalis in West Bengal, Bangladesh and elsewhere. He is also the winner of the Bankim Puraskar (1982), and the Ananda Puraskar (twice, in 1972 and 1989).
Sunil wrote in many other genres including travelogues, children's fiction, short stories, features, and essays. Among his pen-names are: Nil Lohit, Sanatan Pathak and Nil Upadhyay.
Though he wrote all types of children's fiction, one character created by him that stands out above the rest, was Kakababu, the crippled adventurist, accompanied by his young adult nephew Santu, and his friend Jojo. Since 1974, Sunil Gangopadhyay wrote over 35 novels of this popular series, most of which appeared in Anandamela magazine.
Film based on his literary works
Satyajit Ray made two films Pratidwandi and Aranyer Din Ratri based on the works of Ganguly. One of Sunil Gangopadhyayâ€™s cult poems, Smritir Shohor has been turned into a song for the film Iti Mrinalini (2011) directed by Aparna Sen.
Five of his Kakababu series novels have been adapted into big screen- Sabuj Dwiper Raja (1979) directed by Tapan Sinha, Kakababu Here Gelen? (1996) directed by Pinaki Chaudhuri, Ek Tukro Chand (2003) directed by Pinaki Caudhuri, Mishor Rahasya (2013) directed by Srijit Mukherji, Yeti Obhijaan (2017) directed by Srijit Mukherjee, Kakababur Protyaborton (2019) directed by Srijit Mukherjee. Shyamaprasad adapted his novel Hirek Deepti as Malayalam feature Ore Kadal in 2007, and his novel Megh Brishti Alo short story into the 2012 Malayalam film Arike. The movie Hothat Nirar Jonyo (2004), is based on Sunilâ€™s short story Rani O Abinash. The movie Moner Manush (2010), directed by, Goutam Ghose a film based on Sunilâ€™s novel by the same name which depicts the life of Lalon Fakir, a famous Bengali philosopher and a Baul saint. The movie Aparajita Tumi (2012), directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, is based on Sunilâ€™s novel Dui Nari Hate Tarbari. Vara: A Blessing (2013), English film directed by Khyentse Norbu, is based on his short story Rakta Aar Kanna (Blood and Tears).
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia