Sunil Gangopadhyay was an Indian poet, novelist born on 7th September 1934 at Faridpur (now in Bangladesh). Among children, his “Kakababu” series is still famous. Every writer has a pen name. And in this Sunil Gangopadhyay was not lagging behind. Nil Lohit, Sanatan Pathak, and Nil Upadhyay were some of his nom de plume.
Sunil Gangopadhyay had a strong cord with “Krittibas” – a Bengali poetry magazine. He along with his friends in his college days started this Bengali poetry magazine. Later Gangopadhyay was the sole editor of this magazine. Later he started writing for Ananda Bazaar Group, Kolkata and continued it for many years.
Sanatan Pathak was intellectually productive and pen down over approximately two hundred books. Poetry was his “first love” though he excelled in different literary styles. His fiction Sei Somoy (later translated as Those Days) won him two prestigious awards in two consecutive years – Bankim Puraskar in 1983 and Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984. He was also honoured with the Ananda Puraskar twice by the ABP Group. He was elected president of Sahitya Akademi in 2008.
Famous director of all times, Satyajit Ray made two films “Aranyer Din Raatri” and “Pratidwandi” based on the works of Sunil Ganguly. “Aranyer din Raatri” is one of the best adventure novels of mine written by Ganguly. “Pratidwandi” was a bit controversial. Many of the young film lovers became an admirer of Sunil Ganguly after the release of “Mishor Rohoshsho” (Mystery in Egypt) by Srijit Mukherji.
This connoisseur of Bengali literature died on 23rd October 2012. Upon his death President Pranab Mukherjee said, “Gangopadhyay had enriched Bengali literature through his unique style. He was one of the best intellectuals among his contemporaries. The vacuum created by his death cannot be filled.”