Everyone is going to take advantage of everyone else and Thereby get to heaven ahead of all. In this world, interest accrues: but not for everyone. Indescribable bank notes in the hands of one or two persons. And these high-ranking persons of the world demand And take everything, even women. The rest of mankind, like profuse leaves of late autumn in darkness, Wish to fly off toward a river somewhere, or toward the ground- and mix in with some germinating seed of the earth. Even knowing that many births have been destroyed, still The proprietress must take possession of the familiar waters, partial light, When again she returns in the smell of sunshine, in immortality of dust, grass, flowers: And considering this, they blend into the darkness.
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His ancestors came from the Bikrampur region of Dhaka district, from a now-extinct village called Gaupara on the banks of the river Padma. He was an early exponent of the reformist Brahmo Samaj movement in Barisal and was highly regarded in town for his philanthropy. He erased the -gupta suffix from the family name, regarding it as a symbol of Vedic Brahmin excess, thus rendering the surname to Das.
The child who achieves not in words but in deeds, when will this land know such a one? Milu fell violently ill in his childhood, and his parents feared for his life.
Fervently desiring to restore his health, Kusumkumari took her ailing child on pilgrimage to Lucknow , Agra and Giridih. In January , Milu, by now eight years old, was admitted to the first grade in Brojomohon School. His school life passed by relatively uneventfully. In he successfully completed his matriculation examination from Brajamohan College, obtaining a first division in the process. He repeated the feat two years later when he passed the intermediate exams from Brajamohan College.
Evidently an accomplished student, he left his home at rural Barisal to join University of Calcutta. He studied English literature and graduated with a BA Honours degree in That same year, his first poem appeared in print in the Boishakh issue of Brahmobadi journal.
Fittingly, the poem was called Borsho-abahon Arrival of the New Year. This poem was published anonymously, with only the honorific Sri in the byline. However, the annual index in the year-end issue of the magazine revealed his full name: "Sri Jibanananda Das Gupta, BA".
In , he completed the MA degree in English from University of kolkata, obtaining a second class. He was also studying law. At this time, he lived in the Hardinge student quarters next to the university. Just before his exams, he fell ill with bacillary dysentery , which affected his preparation for the examination.
The following year, he started his teaching career. He joined the English department of City College, Calcutta as a tutor. By this time, he had left Hardinge and was boarding at Harrison Road. He gave up his law studies. It is thought that he also lived in a house in Bechu Chatterjee Street for some time with his brother Ashokanananda, who had come there from Barisal for his MSc studies. Travels and travails[ edit ] His literary career was starting to take off.
This poem would later take its place in the collection called Jhara Palok On reading it, poet Kalidas Roy said that he had thought the poem was the work of a mature, accomplished poet hiding behind a pseudonym. His poetry began to be widely published in various literary journals and little magazines in Calcutta, Dhaka and elsewhere.
These included Kallol , perhaps the most famous literary magazine of the era, Kalikalam Pen and Ink , Progoti Progress co-edited by Buddhadeb Bose and others. At this time, he occasionally used the surname Dasgupta as opposed to Das. In , Jhara Palok Fallen Feathers , his first collection of poems, came out. A few months later, Jibanananda was fired from his job at the City College.
The college had been struck by student unrest surrounding a religious festival, and enrolment seriously suffered as a consequence. Still in his late 20s, Jibanananda was the youngest member of the faculty and therefore regarded as the most dispensable. In the literary circle of Calcutta, he also came under serial attack.
One of the most serious literary critics of that time, Sajanikanta Das, began to write aggressive critiques of his poetry in the review pages of Shanibarer Chithi the Saturday Letter magazine. With nothing to keep him in Calcutta , Jibanananda left for the small town of Bagerhat in the far south, there to resume his teaching career at Bagerhat P. But after about three months he returned to the big city, now in dire financial straits.
To make ends meet, he gave private tuition to students while applying for full-time positions in academia. In December , he moved to Delhi to take up a teaching post at Ramjas College ; again this lasted no more than a few months. Back in Barisal, his family had been making arrangements for his marriage.
Once Jibanananda went to Barisal, he failed to go back to Delhi — and, consequently, lost the job. In May , he married Labanyaprabhai Das, a girl whose ancestors came from Khulna. A daughter called Manjusree was born to the couple in February of the following year. Around this time, he wrote one of his most controversial poems.
Many accused Jibanananda of promoting indecency and incest through this poem. He wrote a number of short novels and short stories during this period of unemployment, strife and frustration. In he wrote the series of poems that would form the basis of the collection called Rupasi Bangla.
These poems were not discovered during his lifetime, and were only published in , three years after his death. Back in Barisal[ edit ] In , Jibanananda, by now familiar with professional disappointment and poverty, returned to his alma mater Brajamohan College, which was then affiliated with the University of Calcutta.
He joined as a lecturer in the English department. Today, this line poem is among the most famous poems in the language. The following year, his second volume of poetry Dhusar Pandulipi was published.
Jibanananda was by now well settled in Barisal. A son Samarananda was born in November His impact in the world of Bengali literature continued to increase.
In , the same year that his father died, his third volume of poetry Banalata Sen was published under the aegis of Kobita Bhavan and Buddhadeb Bose.
The following year, Jibanananda provided his own translations of several of his poems for an English anthology to be published under the title Modern Bengali Poems. Life in Calcutta: final phase[ edit ] The aftermath of the war saw heightened demands for Indian independence. Muslim politicians led by Jinnah wanted an independent homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent.
Bengal was uniquely vulnerable to partition: its western half was majority-Hindu, its eastern half majority-Muslim. Yet adherents of both religions spoke the same language, came from the same ethnic stock, and lived in close proximity to each other in town and village. Jibanananda had emphasized the need for communal harmony at an early stage. In his very first book Jhora Palok, he had included a poem called Hindu Musalman.
Violence broke out in Noakhali and Tippera districts later in the autumn, and he was unable to return to Barisal. Just before partition in August , Jibanananda quit his job at Brajamohan College and said goodbye to his beloved Barisal.
He and his family were among the 10 million refugees who took part in the largest cross-border migration in history. For a while he worked for a magazine called Swaraj as its Sunday editor. However, he left the job after a few months. In , he completed two of his novels, Mallyaban and Shutirtho, neither of which were discovered during his life. The same month, his mother Kusumkumari Das died in Calcutta. By now, he was well established in the Calcutta literary world.
He was appointed to the editorial board of yet another new literary magazine Dondo Conflict. However, in a reprise of his early career, he was sacked from his job at Kharagpur College in February In , Signet Press published Banalata Sen.
Later that year, the poet found another job at Barisha College now known as Vivekananda College, Thakurpukur. This job too he lost within a few months.
He applied afresh to Diamond Harbour Fakirchand College, but eventually declined it, owing to travel difficulties. As the head of the English department, he was entitled to a taka monthly bonus on top of his salary. By the last year of his life, Jibanananda was acclaimed as one of the best poets of the post-Tagore era. He was constantly in demand at literary conferences, poetry readings, radio recitals etc.
Love and marriage[ edit ] Young Jibanananda fell in love with Shovona, daughter of his uncle Atulchandra Das , who lived in the neighbourhood. He dedicated his first anthology of poems to Shovona without mentioning her name explicitly. He did not try to marry her since marriage between cousins was not socially acceptable. The gap with his wife never narrowed. While Jibanananda was near death after a tram accident on 14 October , Labanyaprabha did not visit her husband on his deathbed more than once.
At that time she was busy in film-making in Tallyganj. I Death[ edit ] One poet now dead, killed near his fiftieth year Jibanananda was returning home after his routine evening walk. At that time, he used to reside in a rented apartment on the Lansdowne Road.
Seriously injured, he was taken to Shambhunath Pundit Hospital. Poet-writer Sajanikanta Das who had been one of his fiercest critics was tireless in his efforts to secure the best treatment for the poet. He even persuaded Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy then chief minister of West Bengal to visit him in hospital.
Nonetheless, the injury was too severe to redress. Jibanananda died in hospital on 22 October eight days later, at about midnight. He was then 55 and left behind his wife, Labanyaprabha Das, a son and a daughter, and the ever-growing band of readers. His body was cremated the following day at Keoratola crematorium.