Chandra the Novelist
'There was a big forest. There were trees of many kinds. Branches and leaves were
dense and interwoven. Sunlight could hardly penetrate through these leaves. There were
leaves and leaveseverywhere; they seemed endless. It was dark, pitch dark. Even in broad
day, light the forest was dim and fearful. People did not dare enter the forest, there was
not a sound other than the rustle of the leaves and the cry of wild animals and birds.'
Imagine the forest. It is midnight. The forest is dark, terrifyingly dark. And there is
not a single sound. And, in this darkness and silence suddenly a man's voice is heard.
'Will not my heart Is desire be fulfilled?
There is silence.
Again the voice:
'Will not my heart's desire be fulfilled?'
Once again the voice asks:
'Will not my heart's desire be fulfilled?
Now there is an answer. But what an answer. The answer is a question and a challenge.
'What will you offer in return?'
The first voice replies, 'All that belongs to me I am ready to give up. I shall even give
'What is a life after all? Anybody can give that.'
else then? What else can I give?
Pat comes the answer, 'Dedication.'
What an interesting story! The deep and dense forest, the pitch black night, the
..and a human voice is heard. A thrilling situation. What a question! And
What an answer ! One cannot put the book down until the last page is turned.
The passage quoted here appear the beginning of the novel 'Anandama mentioned earlier with
reference to our National Song Vande Mataram'.
Is it surprising that people read Bankim Chandra's novels eagerly?
Bankim Chandra had founded a journal called 'Vangadarshan'. 'Anandamatha' appeared in
installments in this monthly journal. In 1882 it appeared in book form. Soon the copies
were sold out and the book was reprinted. The second edition, too, was soon sold out.
During Bankim Chandra's lifetime alone, in ten years 'Anandamatha' was reprinted five
Readers found reading a Bankim Chandra's novel an altogether knew kind of
experience. The people of Bengal were fascinated by his novels. When the novels were
translated into other Indianlanguages they delighted the new readers, too.
Bankim came to be regarded as one of Bengal's treasures; this was because of his novels.
Bankim Chandra had give thought to the question of a writer's style. A novelist tells a
story. How should he write?His language must be the language of the people - language they
can understand; he must write as they speak, thought Bankim Chandra. He wrote in that
manner. Though his language was close to the spoken form of his day, it was attractive.
The Bengali language acquired a new dignity because of his writings.
Bankim wrote fifteen novels in all. 'Durgeshanandhini','Kapalkundala,''Mrinalini,'
'Chandrashekar' and 'Rajsimha' are well known for their interesting stories.
'Anandamatha.' 'Devi Chowdhurani' and 'Seethararn' are based on the history of our
land. Bankim was a keen observer of the life of the people around him; and he used to
reflect deeply on what was right and what was wrong in the social life of his day.
'Vishavriksha', 'Indira', 'Yugalanguriya', 'Radharani', 'Rajani', and 'Krishna kanther
Will' - these reflect the good and the bad in society.