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Pather Panchali (Bengali, meaning Song of the Road) is a novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay which deals with the life of the Roy family from their ancestral village in rural Bengal to their life after moving to Varanasi and the journey that they take. It was adapted into a film bearing the same name by Satyajit Ray which went on to be critically acclaimed.
Summary Of The Book
Pather Panchali is considered a classic bildungsroman in Bengali literature. It first appeared as a series in a magazine during 1928, and was later compiled as a novel in 1929.
The plot of the book is partly based on the Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's early life and childhood. The novel depicts the struggle of a poor family's to survive in their ancestral rural home. It focusses on the growing up of Apu, the male child in the family.
The novel also has two sequels, Aparajito and Apur Sansar. The last part of the trilogy was published posthumously and completed by the author's son.
Pather Panchali enjoyed immense success when translated to Sinhalese under the title of Mawathe Geethaya by Chintha Lakshmi Sinhaarachchi in 1986.
An English translation was originally published in 1976, as part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works.
The book is considered to be one of the greatest works of fiction in modern India. Its impact on Bengali culture as well as world culture through the popularity of Satyajit Ray's film adaptation is immense.
Through the years, the novel and its film adaptation have had many famous admirers ranging from Jawaharlal Nehru to Akira Kurosawa
About Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay
Born on September 12, 1894, Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay is considered one of the greatest Indian authors, and one of the leading writers of modern Bengali literature.
His writing is known to evoke the rural life of Bengal. He is best known for Pather Panchali (The Song of the Road) and it's sequels, which were later adapted into the Apu Trilogy films, directed by Satyajit Ray.
Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's writing also reflected loss and loneliness, partly because his first wife died in labour. This theme of loss is a recurrent motif in his work.
He passed away on November 1, 1950, and was awarded the Rabindra Puraskar, the most prestigious literary award in West Bengal, posthumously for his novel Ichhamati in 1951.