Ask any Indian film lover or book lover in any language and chances are that he has surely come across a creation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. And why not? According to Wikipedia and other researches, he is ‘the most popular, most translated, most adapted, and most plagiarized Indian author of all time’.
How does one become a great storyteller? Is it by good education? Or is it in the genes?
Perhaps a little reflection into the life of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay will tell you something else. The seed of imagination will always grow into a plant no matter where you put it.
Here are some interesting and lesser known facts on the great storyteller Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay-
#1 Motilal Chattopadhyay was too much of a fantasist to spend his life in mundane work. Most of his time he dis odd jobs and spent many years in his father-in-law’s house with his wife and five children. But he loved to read and write. One of his sons, Nyara (Sarat Chandra) picked up the trait and it gave him a foundation for his future pursuit.
#2 Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was a brilliant student, perhaps a genius. A few times, he was given ‘double promotion’, that is, due to his extraordinary intelligence, he would jump a grade. Sadly due to lack of money in his family, he could not pursue his education further into college.
#3 Now that Sarat Chandra was free from his studies, he spent his time playing and exploring the world with his friends. He would spend hours in nature and observing the people around him. When he wasn’t playing around, he wrote. Not only that, it was this period that actually made him grow the most. He started to pen down some of his best! Some of his earliest stories were Kakbasha and Kashinath.
#4 After his mother passed away, he did not stay with his father and left home. Since that tender age, he started to live on his own.
#5 He explored the world on his own and also had scarier times. At one time, he started to spend time in graveyards and got influenced by Naga Sadhus. He also left with them. After his father’s death, he was somehow brought back home.
#6 Sarat Chandra however had to take up a job at one time to live a married life. Sadly his wife and a year-old son died due to illness. Such a grievous incident poured him deeper into the psyche of human emotions and tragedy. Perhaps his creations like Debdas are its reflection.
#7 He moved on and married again to a widow called Mokshada. Later he also became her teacher – teaching her to read, write and grow – and rechristened her to Hironmoyee. It was this deep compassion and care towards women that brought forward his awesome characters like Parineeta, Rajlakshmi and so many more.
#8 His first story was published under the name of Surendranath Ganguli in Jamuna magazine. Later he also used the names Anila Devi and Anupama to publish his stories.
#9 Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was a Bengali but he was, and still is, among the most cosmopolitan Indian figure. His stories have been translated and loved in almost every Indian major language- and are still being translated. Perhaps his most famous story remains Debdas. Its film has been made 16 times in various languages.
#10 There have been 50 films made on his stories in different languages. Be it Oriya, Marathi, Telugu or Hindu, the films are always welcomed warmly. His novels, novella and stories remain still so popular that it is also a favourite choice to plagiarize. His stories has been copied and plagiarized the most in India and also globally.
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay will remain as one of India’s most loved personalities through his tales. Isn’t it unbelievable that we are still hooked on to a person’s stories who was born in 15 September 1876? That’s two centuries old! Perhaps time cannot touch a thing of real value. That’s why his stories are timeless.
Image and information Credits: Wikipedia, sreenivasaraos.com, subhaditya-infoworld.blogspot.in/2012/09/sarat-chandra-chattopadhyay-master.html