Best Bengali books of all times that you must read
Today i am writing a post that is so close to my heart. I planned on this International Mother Language Day to give you something with the touch of the sweetest language on earth, Bengali, which I proudly call mine.
you might be already aware of the great poets and authors born in the land of Bengal who are internationally appraised and recognized for their literary brilliance. I was introduced to them by my father at very young age and I am thankful for that.
I am giving you a list of some books mainly in Bengali but you can obviously find them translated in other language. And I assure you, even if the translation doesn’t give you the real essence, it’s worth it.
These books are so close to my heart for various reasons and I am sure they will change your life too if you give them a chance.
১) প্রথম প্রতিশ্রুতি (The first promise) by Ashapurna Devi:
This book tells you about a time when girls were wed off at ripe age of nine and sent to their in laws to produce children. They were bound in numerous superstitions of society. In that glorious time, this is a story about a little girl, who were brave enough to learn to write, to speak her mind and take her first step to women liberation. This book will stir your soul, especially if you are a woman. You will see that the easy path you are walking were built over blood and tears of many of our kinds!
২) চাঁদের পাহাড় (The mountain of the moon) by Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhyay:
Oh the thrill I felt the first time read it! My first ever adventure story and no kidding, I was transported to mysterious land of south African jungle with the protagonist fighting with mysterious creature to survive.
No other book till date could give me the adrenaline rush it gave.
৩) ন হণ্যতে (It does not die) by Maitreyee Devi:
I have a very up close and personal relationship with this book. First, this is my favorite of all time. And my father’s and the reason behind I was named after the female protagonist of this book. I could so relate myself when I read this book, She did not write this one; she crafted dreams and weaved memories through the pages. You would feel love like you never have before while reading it.
৪) সেই সময় (That time) by Suneel Gangopadhyay:
One of the cult written by the beloved author of our time. This book depicts of the Golden time of Kolkata when it used to be the capital of British rule. Kolkata, rather Calcutta was the center of culture and intellect and knowledge. This novel is about Bengal renaissance and the beautiful language will hypnotize you. I could not read a single book for days after I finished it.
৫) পূর্ব পশ্চিম (East – West) by Suneel Gangopadhyay:
Another one from the treasure of this talented author. This is about the painful and dark time when Bengal was divided in two parts, West Bengal and Bangladesh. Or as we know, East and West Bengals! Read it. It will leave you speechless but your mind wide open!
৬) পথের পাঁচালী (Song of the road) by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay:
Another one from this genius. You must be familiar to the name. This is the story which was made to film by our beloved director Satyajit Roy and brought home the first Oscar to India. This story is about two siblings and the story is about so much more than that. It will tear your heart apart, make you cry, fall in love. It will stay with you for the rest of your life.
৭) শেষের কবিতা (The last poem) by Rabindranath Tagore:
Yes! How it could be a list of Bengali books without one from him? There could be a debate about which one is the best but I surrender! I do not consider myself worthy to participate in that debate. I love everything he had ever written.
৮) দূরবীণ (Durbin by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay) :
I could not find a translated copy of this one but if you are able to find it, read it. This book is about three generation of men in Bengal. In my mind, the lead character of this novel was none, it was time itself.
৯) শ্রীকান্ত (Srikanta) by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay:
This is considered to be the masterpiece of the great author of Devdas. I gave the reference which is more popularly known but Srikanta is dearer to me. Srikanta is based on the name of it’s protagonist, the face of first liberal mind of the modern society as we know it. The author has beautifully romanticized the character of this aimless drifter who is completely inhibition free and fearless. It will amaze you to the core.
১০)চৌরঙ্গী (Chowringhee) by Shankar:
I know for a fact that you can find it in amazon and I suggest you to read it. It is an intimate story of the residents of the largest and biggest hotel in ancient Calcutta. The characters will paint you a picture of old colonial time, that society and it’s people in a way that will surprise you.
There are many many more in my language that moved me, books that I could take to my deathbed may be. There are many authors I can swear by like Satyajit Roy, Samaresh Majumdar, Bani Basu and many others. I just compiled this small list for starters 🙂
Hope you would like it and please let me know some books in you mother language, any language that I can find translated and read. Something you enjoyed.
Please share this list to celebrate your wonderful language if you are a Bengali. And I hope to meet you soon guys!