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Dhaka Division, Bangladesh

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Nabendu Ghosh


Nabendu Ghosh (27 March 1917 – 15 December 2007) was an Indian author in Bengali literature, and screenwriter. He has written screenplays of classic Bollywood movies like, Sujata, Bandini, Devdas, Majhli Didi, Abhimaan, and Teesri Kasam. He has written stories for movies like Baap Beti, Shatranj, and Raja Jani. He has also acted briefly in Do Bigha Zameen, Teesri Kasam, and Lukochuri. Later in his career, he directed four movies as well.


Nabendu Ghosh was born on 27 March 1917 in Dhaka (presently in Bangladesh). At the age of 12, he became a popular actor on stage. As an acclaimed dancer in Uday Shankar style, he won several medals between 1939 and 1945. Ghosh lost a government job in 1944 for writing Dak Diye Jaai, set against the Quit India Movement launched by Indian National Congress. The novel catapulted him to fame and he moved to Calcutta in 1945. He soon ranked among the most progressive young writers in Bengali literature.


After partition, Urdu was declared the state language of East Pakistan; thereby banning all Bengali literature and films. It was this political division that prompted Nabendu Ghosh to join Bimal Roy in 1951, when he left New Theatres in Kolkata, to make films for Bombay Talkies. Others in the team who also shifted were Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Asit Sen, Paul Mahendra, Kamal Bose, and later Salil Chaudhury. After Bimal Roy's death, Ghosh worked extensively with Hrishikesh Mukherjee.


Nabendu Ghosh has written on all the historical upheavals of the 1940s – famine, riots, partition – as well as love. His oeuvre bears the distinct stamp of his outlook toward life. His literary efforts are 'pointing fingers.' There is a multi-colored variety, a deep empathy for human emotions, mysterious layers of meaning, subtle symbolism, and a description of unbearable life. Love for humanity is also reflected in his writings. He has to his credit 26 novels and 14 collections of short stories. He directed the film Trishagni (1988), based on Saradindu Bandopadhyay's historical short story Maru O Sangha.


He died on 15 December 2007. He is survived by two sons, Dr. Dipankar and filmmaker Shubhankar, and daughter Ratnottama Sengupta (film festival curator, author, and former The Times of India film journalist). His wife Kanaklata died in 1999. His autobiography, Eka Naukar Jatri was published in March 2008. His daughter-in-law, Dr Soma Ghosh is an acclaimed classical vocalist, and was conferred with the Padma Shree award in 2016.


To commemorate his birth centenary, an English translation of his science fiction novel, Aami o Aami (1999), was released on 25 March 2017. He had worked on the translation with his grandson, Devottam Sengupta. The book is known as Me and I in English.

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