Amiya Bhushan Majumdar

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Novelist Amiya Bhushan Majumdar at his home in the Coochbehar district of the Indian state of West Bengal

Amiya Bhushan Majumdar (March 22, 1918 – July 8, 2001) was an acclaimed Indian novelist, short-story writer, essayist and playwright. In a writing career spanning over four decades, Majumdar wrote numerous novels, short stories, plays and essays in Bengali. Known as the ‘Writer’s Writer’, Majumdar is considered one of the most noteworthy authors of modern Bengali prose.[1] His works received significant critical acclaim and recognition – including the Sahitya Academi Award for his novel Rajnagar in 1986 [1][2]

Early life[edit]

He was born to Babu Ananta Bhushan Majumdar (actual surname Bagchi) a Bengali Bramhin zamindar in Pakshi, Pabna, (now in Bangladesh) and Jyotirindu Devi. Though Jyotirindu Devi was also from a Barendra Brahmin family, she was highly influenced by the Brahmo Samaj and had close friends in the Coochbehar royal family. Amiya Bhushan was the eldest among the five sons of Ananta Bhushan and Jyotirindu Devi and had two elder sisters.[2]

Education[edit]

Though he was an honours graduate in English, his command over Mathematics, History, Geography, Philosophy, Sanskrit and Law was enviable. This erudition has always reflected in the narratives he created. In 1937 he was enrolled in B. A. English honours class at the Scottish Church College, under the University of Calcutta.[3] Owing to serious illness, he went back to Cooch Behar after a few months and got admitted to Victoria College (now Acharya Brojendra Nath Seal College). After earning his degree in 1939, he was compelled by circumstances to take up a job as a Graduate Clerk in the Coochbehar Head Post Office to support his family, drawing a full stop to what could have become a brilliant academic career.

Literary career[edit]

Majumdar was an outstanding fiction writer in Bengali literature and a role model for many writers and creative artists, who avoided patronizing any quarter of the society. Although he lived in a district town at the northernmost part of the state, he produced literary masterpieces like, ‘Garh Shrikhanda’, ‘Mahishkurar Upakatha’, ‘Rajnagar’, ‘Madhu Sadhukhan’ ‘Friday Island’ and many more which were first published in little magazines with very limited circulation.[2][4]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Poet Jay Goswami wrote: "As a (classical) singer moves from note to note, Amiya Bhushan moved from sentence to sentence. It takes time for the reader to overcome the spell it creates and to adjust himself with the movement. It becomes a lesson to new writers" and "Amiya Bhushan was an inventor of new lands and has taught how to appreciate achievements with a highly sophisticated self restrain."[4]

In 2006-2007 Central Institute of Indian Languages produced a 30 mins documentary film on him under the project named Bhasha Mandakini. The name of the film is: Makers of Bangla Literature:Amiya Bhusan Majumdar, Directed by Indranil Sen.

Collected works[edit]

  • Amiyabhushan Rachana Samagra, Volumes 1 to 11 (Collected Works of Amiya Bhushan Majumdar, Volumes 1 to 11)

Major novels[edit]

  • Garh Shrikhanda
  • Mahishkurar Upakatha
  • Rajnagar রাজনগর
  • Madhu Sadhukha্ মধু সাধু খাঁ
  • Friday Island Othoba Noromangsho Bhokkhon Ebong Tahar Por
  • Chandbene
  • Tashilar Mayor
  • Bishwa Mittirer Prithhibi
  • Nirbaas
  • Bilash Binoy Bandana
  • New Calcutta

Other interests[edit]

Majumdar loved what he called "playing with colours and brush" and this 'play' has given birth to many a thought provoking oil painting. He deeply loved Indian Classical Music and was a great fan of Pundit Omkarnath Thakur and Ustad Vinayakrao Patavardhan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Literature". Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Amiya Bhushan Majumdar Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008, p. 588
  4. ^ a b Amar Sambandhe in Amiya Bhusan Majumdar Rachanasamagra, Vol. 4,, Dey's Publishing, Kolkata, 2007.

5) 'Amiya Bhusan Majumdar' - one of a series of documentaries named Makers of Indian Literature produced by the Central Institute of Indian Languages- 2007

6) Journal of Bengali Studies Summer Issue, 2016