Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay was born on this day in 1894. He grew up in a village in West Bengal. Storytelling ran through the family- his father was a storyteller and a Sanskrit scholar. He was a prized student but since his family fell in a hard way, once his studies were complete, he enrolled as a teacher in a school in Hooghly before he went on to become a writer full time.
His setting was primarily rural Bengal. The Apu trilogy based on Pather Panchali and Aparajito caught Satyajit Ray’s attention and since then Bandyopadhyay’s works have become immortal on the silver screen.
His best-known works are the autobiographical novel, Pather Panchali (The Song of the Road), Chader Pahar, and Aranyak. He’s been called “perhaps the best of all modern Indian novelists” and his legacy is substantial- over a dozen novels, hundreds of short stories, memoirs and essays. His style is rooted in an almost romantic love for his environment and a traditional mode of storytelling- yet his voice is modernist and relevant even today, especially when he speaks about the disappearance of the rural fabric in the face of capitalism.
He died in 1950.