He was born in Noakhali , now in Bangladesh. At the age of 13, after his father's death, Sengupta moved to Calcutta , where he completed his schooling. He got a B. He contributed to almost all genres of Bengali literature , but is best remembered for his novels and short stories.
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Very nice, very helpful article for everyone. Thanks for sharing with us, keep posting. This has been aptly translated into English by my wife Suchitra Sengupta, and edited by my elder daughter Ananya]. Achintya Kumar Sengupta was my uncle. The sisters were all older than Achintya Kumar. Achintya Kumar was born on the 19 th of September in the year at Noakhali currently in Bangladesh where my grandfather Raj Kumar Sengupta was a practising lawyer. My father was 12 years older than Kakamoni.
Achintya Kumar lost his father in at the very tender age of My father, then only 25 years old, became the head of a very young family left behind by my grandfather.
In , two years after the death of his father, Jitendra Kumar Sengupta relocated the entire family from Noakhali to Kolkata where he had been practising law at the High court for the past four years. The family took up residence at Bakul Bagan Road in Bhowanipur.
He had always been known for academic excellence. He passed his matriculation examination in , intermediate examination in , and his Bachelor of Arts examination with honours in English in — and earned a first class in each one of them.
He did his intermediate and bachelor degree courses at the South Suburban College — now known as Ashutosh College. After graduation he did what all good students of his day did — he enrolled in two courses simultaneously - Masters in English and Bachelor of Law at Calcutta University. He passed his law examinations, again with a First Class in The friendship started in school, and lasted a lifetime. While at school the two of them showed considerable literary acumen. Together they wrote numerous poems — most of these were centred around love, --divine and human.
Frustrated by this continuous rejection, Achintya and his friend Subodh Dasgupta, another fellow poet, decided to send their poems under female pseudonyms. Strangely this time round the poem was accepted and published in the autumn Ashwin edition of the magazine in the year Achintya was all of eighteen at that time. While in college, Achintya, Premendra and their other friends continued their literary pursuits in all seriousness.
Their oeuvre went beyond poems and included short stories and novels too. This was in May The magazine had as its first joint editor an extraordinary person called Gokul Chandra Nag, who was a friend, philosopher and guide to a whole generation of young writers in the post-Tagore era. He was the elder brother of Kalidas Nag — another noted Bengali litterateur belonging to the same era. The publication of Kallol under the stewardship of Gokul Nag and Dinesh Ranjan Das, the editor, literally unfettered the creativity of a host of very talented modern writers of Bengal in the early s.
The first edition of the magazine Kallol came out in , but it wound up in These writers were literary virtuosos; they wrote poetry, short stories, and novels along with articles and essays and were prolific writers. This period designated as Kallol Yug the epoch of Kallol started a new chapter in Bengali literature after Tagore.
This book has become a must read for all serious students of the history of Bengali literature. All major writers of the Kallol Yug shared one characteristic — they were poets and prose writers at the same time.
Along with poetry, they also authored short stories, novels, essays and biographies. Achintya Kumar composed a large number of poems and these were collected in at least nine anthologies e. Later on in life, he also wrote poems on wide ranging subjects including social and political change and other related issues, nature, narratives and annals, elegies or paeans to noted personalities and Great Men.
Tagore and the Kallol Movement. He ruled supreme over every department of Bengali literature — poetry, songs, short stories, novels and essays. The young brigade of Kallol Yug dared take up the challenge to go beyond Tagore and his literary style. The clarion call was sounded as Achintya wrote the following lines in a poem:. Let the path in front be guarded by the mighty Rabindranath Thakur -. The glare from my eyes will ignite a light of such brilliance and penetration.
That the epochal sun will be outshone Translated from Bengali. These few lines did not signify a rebellion against Tagore but acknowledged everything that Tagore stood for, as well as the need to push the boundaries even beyond, into new territories.
These young writers were in search of a new direction and a new literary idiom beyond Tagore. Having said this, one must emphasize that Achintya Kumar was a lifelong follower of Tagore and his ardent admirer. Till his last days he would quote from Tagore extensively in all his conversations and exchanges with colleagues, acquaintances, friends and family.
His first encounter with Tagore took place in He was twenty years old then. At the passing away of Tagore Achintya Kumar wrote:. Carrying the pain of my emotions —. My imaginings unbounded and limitless -. Are but inspired by you. Achintya Kumar in the Law Profession. After getting his degree in Law, Achintya Kumar joined the judicial services in He continued in these services till — first as a Munsif and then as a sub judge and retired as a District Judge at the Alipore Courts in Kolkata.
His job as a judicial officer took him to distant parts of Bengal; he travelled to small villages, towns and settlements. An Author of Short Stories and Novels. Achintya Kumar wrote hundreds of short stories, which were collected in thirty books. Quite a few of his short stories were published while he was still a student, much before he took up the legal profession.
The majority of stories published in this phase centred on the themes of the relationship between men and women, and rebellion against oppressive societal prejudices and norms. Beyond this phase his stories reflected the subaltern — he wrote of lives of people living on the edges of society, their daily struggle against poverty and injustice, stories of their romance, aspirations, frustrations and hopelessness. The locales of his stories written in this period spanned the great metropolis of Calcutta as well as the rural areas and small towns of Bengal where his judicial work took him to.
In this phase of his life he recounted the tales of common people caught up in the vicissitudes of the Second World War and the Great Famine of Bengal in — two major upheavals that dealt a body blow to the lives of the people of Bengal.
These stories prompted Bishnu Dey another contemporary Bengali poet in one of his essays to compare Achintya Kumar with Ernest Hemingway. We will now discuss the novelist Achintya Kumar. Quite some years after that Achintya Kumar collaborated with Buddhadeb Bose and Premendra Mitra to write two more novels. Both of these novels were published in From then on he wrote 43 more novels until his death in This novel, a first in many respects in modern Bengali literature, saw Achintya Kumar experiment with both form and content.
In different phases of this novel Achintya Kumar dealt with the diversity and failures of human existence in general and of earthly love in specific - its transient nature as well as the responsibilities love entails.
The same level of excitement and sensation was generated with the publication of three other novels written by Achintya Kumar. Allegations of obscenity were brought against these novels. Along with these volumes of Achintya Kumar, the Kolkata Police confiscated three other novels.
Copies of these books were set alight in a bonfire on the pavements in front of the Police Headquarters in Laal Baazaar, Kolkata. So Sajanikanta parodied the titles of the novels to mock the authors, drawing attention to their unmarried status. The Biographer. This biography was written in four volumes.
The first volume was published in and the fourth volume in It is said that Achintya Kumar started writing this biography after a surreal experience he had while he functioned as a Sub-judge in Asansol — an industrial town in Bengal.
This was soon after his wife Niharkana had lost her mother. The gentleman took Niharkana to the nearest hospital and her life was saved.
While he took leave of the grateful couple, the unknown benefactor gifted Achintya two volumes of a book and asked him to read those.
The very next day Achintya Kumar received a gift of a Calendar with a picture of Ramakrishna on it. He hung the picture on the wall of his bedroom and put a small altar below it.
This incident prompted Achintya Kumar to study deeply the philosophy and spiritualism of Shri Ramakrishna and also do an extensive survey of all literature on the life and times of Ramakrishna. As he did so he became an ardent devotee of Ramakrishna and his seminal biography of Ramakrishna was a fruit of that devotion and labour. So much so that a common ditty in those days ran as below,.
Thakur who would have known you If Achintya did not take it upon himself to do so? Achintya Kumar was a gifted orator too. The drama of his baritone voice, his unique style of delivery and spontaneous narration in his personalised alliterative prose and above all the lyricism created with the play of words in classically Sanskritised Tatsama and colloquial Chalti Bengali — all made for a great listening experience.
In Achintya Kumar was invited by the University of Calcutta as a speaker at the prestigious lecture series instituted in the memory of the great Bengali novelist Shri Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. He spoke for one and half hour in each session on four consecutive days. As the numbers swelled beyond the wildest expectation of the organizers, the University had to fix loudspeakers so that the audience spilling out onto the public pavements outside the Hall could hear him speak.
On the third and the fourth days, traffic in the vicinity of the University had to be diverted to accommodate the audience who came in hordes to listen to Achintya speak, albeit, through a loudspeaker. Using his very own style and format he wrote a large number of biographies right up until the end of his writing career and his life. Firstly, he continued writing short stories, novels and poems as before, even as he researched and wrote about the lives of great men.
Needless to say, these biographies became immensely popular during this time.
Achintya Kumar Sengupta
Very nice, very helpful article for everyone. Thanks for sharing with us, keep posting. This has been aptly translated into English by my wife Suchitra Sengupta, and edited by my elder daughter Ananya]. Achintya Kumar Sengupta was my uncle. The sisters were all older than Achintya Kumar. Achintya Kumar was born on the 19 th of September in the year at Noakhali currently in Bangladesh where my grandfather Raj Kumar Sengupta was a practising lawyer.
Achintya Kumar Sengupta Books