Sanyal, Prabodh Kumar

Sanyal, Prabodh Kumar (1905-1983) litterateur, journalist and traveller, was born on 7 July 1905 at his maternal uncle's house at Chorbagan in Kolkata. During 1937-1941 he worked as editor of the Sunday literary magazine of Jug'a'ntar. While working as editor of the Swadesh he was once accused of sedition. He also edited the Bijli and Padatik.

Prabodh Kumar loved travelling, and travelled six times all over India, going to many inaccessible areas in the Himalayas. Apart from India and Nepal, he also travelled to other places in Asia as well as Europe, the Americas and Russia. He enriched the travel literature of Bengal by writing books such as Mahaprasthaner Pathe (1937), Russiar Diary, Debatatma Himalaya(2 vol) and Uttar Himalaya Charit. Mahaprasthaner Pathe was immensely popular. In 1960 he established the Himalayan Association in Kolkata. In1968 he was made president of the Himalayan Federation. In 1978 he went to Norway via the North Pole.

Prabodh Kumar is primarily known as a novelist of the 'Kallol era'. Apart from the Kallol, he used to write regularly in journals such as the Bijli, 'Swadesh, Dundubhi, Padatik, Forward, and Banglar Katha. His first novel Jajabar was published in 1928. This was followed by Priyabandhabi(1931), Agragami (1936), Ankabanka(1939), Puspadhanu (1956), Bibagi Bhramar, Hasubanu, Banahansi, Kanch Kata Hire and Nishipadma. In his novels and short stories he laid more emphasis on friendly human relationship between man and woman than on physical sex. His love for travelling significantly influenced his novels, which describe a variety of characters living diverse lives by preference to solitary characters living confined, sedentary lives. He used simple but effective language to describe the complex life stories of his characters.

In recognition of his literary achievements, Prabodh Kumar was awarded a gold medal by Calcutta University (1911), the Shishir Kumar and Motilal prizes (1910) and the Sharat and Ananda prizes (1980). Prabodh Kumar Sanyal died on 17 April 1983. [Shipra Dastider]