Idgah is one of the masterpieces of Munsi Premchand. It should be heard by Bengali listeners. It has not appeared in any collections of this famous Hindi writer. This story is included in our collection "Chhotoder Galpa" available from the audio books section of our library. We are podcasting this story keeping in mind its popularity. For a list of audio books in our library visit our page www.bpa.org.in/audiolist.htm
Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay (1847-1919) nourished Bengali prose when it was still in its early stage of development. His opium-inspired stories and gossips earned him a distinct place in Bengali literature. Though his writings had a didactic tone, they are remembered for their pure humour. Lullu, in spite of its satirical and moralistic tone, is one of the best-known Bengali stories for the genuine reading pleasure it offers. A radio drama of this story by Akash Bani Kolkata attracted our attention to this story. You would enjoy it.
Here is the second part of the story. We hope, you have enjoyed the first part.
Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay (1873-1932) is one of the best short story writers in Bengali literature. His characters come from the middleclass families of Bengal. Their hopes and aspirations, joys and sorrows are woven fine in the pages of his stories. Translation of these stories cannot convey the feelings. They are too localized; they can be felt only by those who have lived in this society. No European will realize the wit and fun that are predominant in a Bengali marriage festival. His name should be in the luminous galaxy of world-famous short story writers like Maupassant and Chekhov. Balaban Jamata is one of his masterpieces. Its pure humour has only fun for us, a source of laughter without a tinge of satire or ridicule. You must have read it. Listen to it. You won’t regret it.
Shri Indranath Banerjee has read out Bibhutibhushan’s Bama from a Braille book. We pay our homage through this presentation to Monsieur Louis Braille on the occasion of his birthday on 4th January. It was on this day in 1809 Monsieur Braille was born in France. He lost his sight at the tender age of 3. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge urged him to inventing Braille, the tactile system of reading and writing used by the visually challenged. Then he was only a boy of fifteen. He died of consumption at the age of forty-three, unknown and unsung. Years later, the world discovered the true potentials of his invention. It opened up the world of knowledge before those exiled from the world of light and colour.
Chalo Michhile Jai has depicted the aftershocks of the illicit liquor tragedy in last December in South 24 Parganas. Though the incident is still fresh and vivid in our minds, we think, we should podcast this story on this real incident. This very brief narrative has the potentials of a poem which stirs our imagination. Shri Arun Chattopadhyay has written this and some other stories on Facebook. He is already known to the internet community. This story has also been read out by Lisa from a Braille script.
We started this podcast site with Bibhutibhushan’s Budhir Bari Fera. But, in spite of its popularity, we had to remove it from our site for paucity of space. Thanks to our host, the Podbean team, for their gift of extra free space. This story was downloaded or played on line by 22 listeners before it was removed. We have uploaded it again for those who missed it.
Trankarta is a bit different from what we see in the stories of Ashapoorna Debi (1909-1995). Her protagonists are mostly women. They are seen fighting against some social injustice or suffering from some problem exclusive to her community. In this tory we are brought face to face with the problem of faith and relationship. Kanai, the young orphan boy, puts the dilemma of faith or no faith in him. Kanais are seldom given this chance. We cannot risk our household really.
At times a creation becomes more popular than its creator. Manmayee Girls’ School achieved huge success on stage and screen. Its author, Rabindranath Maitra (1896-1933), is a forgotten name. In his promising career cut short by malignant malaria, he edited Shanibarer Chithi, contributed stories to Prabashi and wrote column for Anandabazar Patrika. His works include Parajay, Niranjan, Third Class and Mayabanshi. He worked for the welfare of the Santal and the Oraon communities. This story, Nidhiramer Besati, is the simple narrative of a hawker whose daily drudgery is sweetened by the petty prattle of a young rirl. This is another Bengali masterpiece on universal fatherhood that moves the reader’s heart.Listen and you will remember names of other stories on the theme.
This is a ghost story. A ghost appears at the end of the story. Yet this is a story on a simple desire of a villager. The pratiksha (waiting) of the ghost of BatukBhairab for Rajen comes to an end, although his last wish remains unfulfilled. Banaphool (1899-1979) , who saw and showed us characters like Arjun Mondal, Bishwasmashai and Alobabu, has introduced another memorable character, BatukBhairab within the small canvas of a short story.
Krishan Chander (1914-1977) wrote early in Urdu, although later he wrote a number of stories in Hindi as well. He was born in the Pakistan protion of undivided India and spent his childhood in Poonch district of jammu and Kashmir. His experiences of the Kashmiri village life had a deep impact in his writings. His affinity with the peasants and labourers had a marked effect on his outlook. An atheist and a communist, he was deeply moved by the famine in Bengal and the Hindu-Muslim riot and the consequent partition of India in the forties. The central character of our story is a sightless orphan boy. Though he has lost his father in a factory accident and has to earn his bread selling booklets of film stories in front of the same factory gate, he refuses to beg when the workers go on strike. He learns the songs sung by the workers in their meeting. He dies during a shoot-out at the factory gate during the strike. His death thwarts the owner's attempt to break the strike.
Syed Mujtaba Ali (1904-74) was one of the first graduates of Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan. He received his early education at his native place at Karimpur (Asam, india). Later he studied at various places in India and abroad. He taught at several places too and worked as able administrator in various responsibilities. His greatest contribution was the erudite style mixed with humour he introduced in Bengali prose. The story Padatika (the leg's tale) we recorded for podcasting reveals his sympathy for the lost tradition. The tone of humour throughout the story ends up in choked tears.
Today is the 175th birthday of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (June 26, 1838 - April 8, 1894). His Durgeshnandini published in 1865 is considered the first Bengali novel. He wrote twelve more novels and it is difficult to conclude from his maturity in style and plot construction that he was writing the earliest novels in a language. Although the novelist Bankim Chandra never lost sight of his role as an administrator and a moralist, his stories penetrated deep into the Bengali households. There are glimpses of his sense of humour almost in all of his novels. Subarnagolak, the story we have selected for podcasting, was published in Lok Rahasya as a social commentary. It reveals his love for pure fun. This is another variation of mistaken identity after Vidyasagar's Bhrantibilas.
Humayun Ahmed (November 13, 1948 - July 19, 2012), the pied piper of Hamlin, who wandered about the streets and alleys of Dhaka with followers walking behind him from both Bengals, has vanished a few hours ago. The end of an illustrious career of forty years has left for us many memorable eccentric characters in more than hundred stories. Our selected story, Achin Briksha, has for its hero a village schoolmaster who is waiting for a legendary panacea flower to bloom on the achin briksha (mystery tree). It is the cure-all for his wife's fatal illness and perhaps for many others. At the end of the story, the author and the readers cannot but wish that at least one panacea flower would bloom.
The apparel oft proclaims the man, Polonius said in Hamlet. This belief leads to snobbery and sometimes we try to show off our limited learning like rich apparel. Our selected story is a tragic tale of snobbery coupled with kleptomania. Tis story is podcast to remember Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay (July 23, 1898 - September 14, 1971) on his 114th birth anniversary.
What is true religion? The expected answer to this question is observation of all religious rules with rituals. What happens if two principles come into conflict? The answer to this question is sought by Rabindranath in Anadhikar Prabesh. Jaykali severely punishes her nephew Nalin for playfully damaging her favourite temple's arbour. The same Jaykali protects a dirty pig, driven by some drunken men for slaughter, when it seeks refuge inside the same arbour. What will Jaykali do? Will she protect the unclean creature's life or will she cling to the purity and cleanliness of her temple? Let us listen to the story podcast on Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)'s71st death anniversary.
Today we are celebrating the birth centenary of Jyotirindra Nandi (August20, 1912 - August 1, 1983). His stories show what we often do not wan to see, the other side of an event. His novels - Baaro Ghar Ek Uthon, Ei Taar Puraskar and Mirar Dupur - do not just surprise us. The readers are awakened into reality by a shock. Our selection, Ishtikutum, starts in a dream setting enchanted by birds' notes. We realise its ominous significance when we finish the story. It reminds us of the recent news that 55,000 children are missing in India (Anandabazar, August 17, 2012).
Yesterday Bengali literature has lost another of its most popular story-writers, Syed Mustafa Siraj (October 14, 1930 - September 4, 2012). Siraj was born at Khoshbashpur village in Murshidabad district. He travelled a lot with a folk drama group Aalkaap. This experience as a bohemian served for his source in many stories. He wanted to speak of men he met. He wrote all kinds of stories attracting readers of all ages. This story speaks of a father and son in an idyllic background. The idyll does not last long though.
This is our tribute to Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay (September 15, 1876 - January 16, 1938) on his 136th birth anniversary. Like all Bengali readers, we are remembering him on his birthday on Bhadra 31 according to Bengali calendar which now is September 17. You must have read this story several times like us. Still you will enjoy listening to it when Lisa Banerjee is reading it from a Braille script for you. (Thanks to our listeners for pointing out two repetitions in the story. The rectified file has been uploaded again. We are sorry for about 250 listeners who have already downloaded the file with repetitions.)
This story of Sunil Gangopadhyay (born on September 7, 1934) is not just a story of blood (rakta) and tears (kanna). It is the story of an untouchable Hindu outcast. He wants to change his profession of sweeper he has inherited under the Hindu social tradition. The society thrusts him back to cleaning human wastes. His son, Bangshi, is not ready to yield. He makes earthenware and succeeds. Then he becomes ambitious. Now he builds effigies of Hindu gods and goddesses, even Debi Durga. Can he succeed? (This story is presented in three parts.)
« Older episodes ·