We have got a heavy course of studies. I hardly find time to study literature outside our syllabus. We have in our Bengali text books extracts from the works of many great authors. These have created in me a taste for reading the works of those authors. Whenever I get an opportunity I read their works.
My favourite author and his works
I have read some works of Bankim Chandra, Rabindranath and others. But Sarat Chandra is my favourite author. He wrote a large number of stories and novels. Of his stories I may mention Earner Sumati, Bindur Chhele, Mahesh, Abhagir Swarga, etc. Among his novels may be mentioned Palli Samaj, Datta, Chandranath, Baikunther Will, Srikanta, Charitrahin, Grihadaha, Bipradas, Father Dabi, Dena Paona, etc.
Why I like Sarat Chandra
I have read some of the stories and novels of Sarat Chandra. They appeal to me most. In his stories and novels Sarat Chandra has given expression with a sympathetic heart to the joys and sorrows of the common people around us. This is scarcely found in the works of Bankim Chandra or Rabindranath. The author must have personal experience. He must be in their midst and share their joys and sorrows. Then only he can give in his books a true picture of the common people—picture of their joys and sorrows, picture of their virtues and vices, picture of their hopes and aspirations. I think no other author before him has given a true picture of the rural life of Bengal so vividly as we find it in his Palli Samaj and some other novels. His Earner Sumati, Bindur Chhele, Mahesh, Abhagir Swarga are rare gems of Bengali literature. We see how the nature of a turbulent boy like Ram was transformed by the love and affection of his sister-in-law Narayani. We see how Bindu sacrificed her every thing to build up the character of a child to make a true man of him. We see in Mahesh and Abhagir Swarga how the rich and upper class people treated the poor people of the lower rank society with extreme hatred and cruelty. I cannot but shed tears when I read of the injustice done to these people. I am really charmed when I read of Indranath in Srikanta. He is a wonderful creation of Sarat Chandra. His spirit of adventure, his generosity of heart, his sincere love for his friend appeal to me most. Though he is a dare-devil boy, we cannot but love him.
The characters of Sarat Chandra’s works are mostly drawn from middle class and lower-middle class of society. His writings are based on the eternal ideal of humanity. Men will never forget this. With wonderful skill and insight he has painted the characters of his novels and stories. I feel they are so many living men and women moving about around us. They have their virtues and vices. Nobody is wholly good, nobody is wholly bad. Sarat Chandra has exposed the drawbacks of our society ruthlessly in order to root them out. He has made himself one with the downtrodden and neglected people of society. He has fought for their cause. He has fought against social superstition and social injustice and has won our sympathy. Nobody like him has been able to give expression to the sufferings of womanhood so vividly. He has roused our sympathy for a particular class of women. They had some flaw in their moral character. They slipped from the regular path of life due to the oppression of society. But there were at the same time some noble traits in their character. The author has painted their character in such a way that readers cannot but feel sympathy for them. Among such characters we find Annada Didi, Rajlakshmi, Sabitri, Kiranmayee, etc.
Another charm of Sarat Chandra’s writings is his style. It is very lucid. The language has a spontaneous flow and is understood by all. He has got a wonderful descriptive power. We see instances of this in Srikanta. He gives a very beautiful picture of darkness. Many of us have also read the vivid description of the tempest in the sea.
Influence of his works on me—Sarat Chandra’s works have left a lasting impression on me. My outlook of life has been broadened. They teach me to rise above narrowness, meanness and selfishness. We should have sympathy for the downtrodden and oppressed people of society. We should expose the hypocrisy of the so-called leaders of society and hold before others their real character. We shall try to build a new society based on social Justice.