Firingee, Anthony

Firingee, Anthony (?-1836) Bangla poet of Portuguese origin. His original name was Hensman Anthony. Anthony Firingee was his pseudonym. He lived at Farashdanga in Chandannagar, west bengal.

Anthony married a Hindu widow and became influenced by bangali culture and the Hindu religion. He also learnt Bangla well enough to compose songs to Durga and Kali. In one of his songs to Kali, he asks the goddess for forgiveness because, as a foreigner, he does not know all the rites: 'O Mother, I don't know much of devotion or worship, for I am a firingee. Show me mercy, O mother Kali'. He also wrote Agamani songs, celebrating the return of Durga to her parents' home. He built a Kali temple at Bowbazar, Kolkata, which was known as Firingee Kali Mandir.

Anthony used to sing the songs he composed by himself. At the beginning, Gorakshanath set the songs to music but later he started doing so himself. He took part in a number of kaviyal contests with well-known composers such as bhola moira, Ram Basu and Thakur Singh. [Wakil Ahmed]