Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Those Days” as Want to Read:
Those Days
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Those Days

(সেই সময় #1, 2)

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,836 ratings  ·  121 reviews
This novel is set in 19th centruy Bengal against the backdrop of the Bengal Renaissance and the 1857 uprising. This translation from Bengali weaves history and fiction into a highly readable fabric.
Paperback, 588 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Penguin Books India (first published April 14th 1981)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Those Days, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tanveer "সেই সময় " বাংলা বই এর নাম
Maruf Rosul Nabin resembles Kaliprasanna Sinha. He was a Bengali author, playwright, and philanthropist. His most famous work was the translation of the ancient H…moreNabin resembles Kaliprasanna Sinha. He was a Bengali author, playwright, and philanthropist. His most famous work was the translation of the ancient Hindu epic 'Mahabharata' into Bengali. Singha's book 'Hutom Pyanchar Naksha', a compilation of satirical social sketches, is another noted work that is noted for reflecting Bengalee urban society of the time. He is also remembered as a philanthropist who helped several people and movements in distress.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,836 ratings  ·  121 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Those Days
Śrī
Sunil Gangopadhyay's Those Days is Bengal's answer to Tolstoy's War and Peace .

Methodologically, both authors have approached the writing in the same way: an influential historical period is chosen — the Bengal Renaissance starting in the 1820s, all the way up to the 1870s in Those Days and the Napoleonic Wars in War and Peace — and characters [both historical and fictional] are used to give a sense of the period. Both authors take licence with putting words in the mouths of real people
...more
Sim
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that made me understand and appreciate my heritage in a way nothing else ever did. Brilliant translation by Aruna Chakraborty! I just wish I had the reading skills to read the original :)
A Man Called Ove
Can proudly say that this is the best historical fiction i have read so far. The society of the time is brilliantly depicted and one is completely immersed. The widow-remarriage act, child-marriages, education, 1857, indigo-farming etc have all been covered aptly.
Also, hats-off to the translator Aruna Chakravarti. The reading experience was smooth and she almost made herself invisible ! Came to know later that she too has written books on the same era. Will be reading the sequel First Light soon
...more
Sujoy Nath
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
my favorite! but the original Bengali version (Sei Somoy) is recommended to get the true flavor...

Moumita Roy
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are someone who can't read Bengali I think you should definately read this one . The author is one of the greatest Bengali writers . I love his writting a lot . And I love the main bengali version of this book . It's a Historical fiction where he has portrairted the time of 70s to 90s where most of the greatest Bengalis were born like ,Tagore, Madhusudan Dutta . These book reflected the life of that time . I think it's one of the best books .
Pallavi Kamat
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A superb book spanning the late 1800s in Bengal. It talks about widow remarriage, women's education, zamindars, religion, caste, etc. Features real men from the past such as Vidyasagar and Michael Madhusudan Dutt.
Sayantika
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is in league with Tolstoy, Dickens and Faulkner.
Jaya
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally published in Bengali as Sei Somoy, this book provides magnificent insights into 19th century Bengal - the extravagance and the worldliness, the poverty and the social revolutions - as the British cement their presence at Fort St William. The story revolves around the zamindars and the people who serve them.

Bengal is buzzing with revolutionary ideas. Derozio's influence lingers on some young men who take to western ways with great keenness; others, after a period of denigrating Bengal
...more
Treena Sengupta
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best period 'fiction' on Bengal! This book originally written in Bengali, Kudos Aruna chakrabarti, for amazing translation for the lesser mortals like us!
The book capture and articulates so well the Bengal Renaissance period of 1840 to 1870, a period so full of intellectuals, Writers, philosophers, freedom fighters; needless to mention also worthless wealthy leeches, psychopants, adulterers.
Calcutta being the British capital; Bengali Babus caught between the imitating western cultur
...more
S Chattopadhyay
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bengali
The book serves as a great introduction to not only the conditions of Bengal in the mid nineteenth century but also manages to place the contributions of luminaries such as Vidyasagar in context. It is an exploration of how an enlightened generation of Bengalis managed to bring about social reform and enrich the Bengali language with new forms of literature and poetry, thereby contributing to the strong literary heritage that it has today. Along with the historical context , the story of Nabinku ...more
Neerja
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Two delightful books by Sunil Gangopadhya (this one and its sequel First Light), translated from Bengali...which bring alive another time and and age..the awakening and dawn of India's struggle for independence...the changes in thought and the questioning of old beliefs and traditions which made this happen are woven into the story and its characters...a tale of change in its many many dimensions...written in simple and beautiful prose.
Shom Biswas
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Author - Sunil Gangopadhyay

Genre - Historical Fiction, Bengali

Source - Print

Rating - 5

June 2014

A monster of a book. Very strong writing. Te history comes alive. I hope this is as good in English translation as in Bengali, though (I read the original) - this is about more than anything about the rise of the Bengali people and the Bengali language.
Do tell me, friends, if the translation works.
Jyotirmoy Roy
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best Bengali historical fiction that I've read. The way all the "times" merge into each other makes you just want to turn the pages one after another.
Ranjana Gupta
Apr 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Religion above man.
Man above woman.
Married woman above widow.

Sunil Gangopadhyay's Bengali classic is all about hierarchies, class systems and revolutions. It is a pity that it is yet another translation which has frustrated me. In words of the translator, the characters have become so cardboard like and stilted, that the epic scope of the plot is rendered grey, unclear, quite like seeing an image in a faded mirror.

The saga - it is not just a story - follows the lives of the Singhas of Kolkata in
...more
Avik
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shei Somoy (Those Days) is a landmark historical novel by Sunil Gangopadhyay in which he paints a lively and vivid picture of the city of Kolkata in particular and Bengal in general in the period between 1840 and 1870.

In contrast to the period described in his other famous historical novel set in British India, the period under focus here is one of predominantly darkness – of ignorance, of religious dogmatism, of a society overflowing with vice and steeped in slumber. However, there are flickers
...more
Sujith Ravindran
Finished reading Sunil Gagopadhyay’s most acclaimed novel “Those Days” (Sei Samai). This is my first experience with Bengali literature. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the journey and the novel gave me deep insight into the historical and cultural heritage of Bengal.

The book focuses typically on Bengali renaissance period closely following the fortunes of two Zamindari families, the Mukherjees and the Singhas. Through the narration of their life events some of the most eventful and turbulent chapters
...more
Devleena Bhattacharjee
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is an eye opener to the history of Bengali literature and the society back in the early nineteenth-century.
Hindusim and Indian society at large desperately needed reforms . The book emphasis the struggle of the key people responsible for the Bengali Renaissance .There are many books available in the market that details on the period however what Sunil Gangopadhyay was able to do is to portray the times from a common man's perspective .
Biographies of the stalwarts of Bengali Renaissance
...more
Md. Asif Halim
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding piece of historical novel. The exact socio-economic state of the erstwhile British Bengal territory has been portrayed with great care and a lot of research works understandably. Actual historical characters of this area like Isshorchandra Biddyasagor, Michael Modhusudan Dutt, Debendranath Tegor, Pyarichand Mitra and others has been present with a noticeable hype. Years between 1835-1860 is unofficially called the Renaissance period of the Bangla literature and Sunil Gangopadhyay has ...more
Archana Purohit
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. Must read for lovers of historical fiction. Very strongly depicted characters. Most interesting aspect for me was depiction of struggles of social reformers that we read about in history books. Though I am not particularly interested in history of West Bengal or Calcutta, I found it interesting because of this aspect. Certain descriptions stand out. When Thakomoni and her family come to Calcutta in search of their zamindar's mansion, Bidhu shekhar's admiration for the British after ...more
Anand
Oct 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Engaging book, with historical characters mingling with the fictional with great ease. Perhaps - perhaps - some of the authorial liberty in the nuancing of the historical characters may appear provocative (did Michael Madhusudan Dutta really demonstrate bisexual tendencies? Or was Harish Mukherjee really a libertine?) but that may be just carping in what is to all intent a sharp and incisive view of the way of life in Bengal in the 19th century. Exquisitely written and well translated - worth a ...more
Debjani  Banerji
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Finally finished the iconic novel, the translated version of Shei Shomay in Bengali by the renowned bengali author- Sunil Gangopadhyay.

The flavour of decandent bengali aristocracy, in the 19th century,the rise of the Bengal reformists, like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Ram Mohan Roy, the srtange and curious life history of the bengal poet- Michael Madhusudan Dutt, the love stories of Ganga Narayan and Nabin Chandra, all come alive in the book, writtenn with the revolt of 1857, woven in the back g
...more
Souvik Debnath
I've read the original bengali version and tell you what-it is a must read for every bengali and those who wants to know bengal, I mean here the then calcutta centric bengal.Loose but quite prominently based on the life story of Kaliprasanna Sinha, a shortlived scholar and the translator of mahabharata in bengali, the great epic, it takes us through a wonderful journy through bengali Renaissance period and also show us the naked filthyness of the so called bengali 'babu' culture.....one of my fa ...more
Jhumjhum Chakrabarti
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the best books about Old Calcutta and the times I have ever read. Not only did it widen my horizon of knowledge about my roots and my place, it also gave me an insight to understand the 'tatkalin zamindari household' and the intricacies involved in the same. A fine amalgamation of history and fiction, to understand every minute detail of a period which otherwise gets a passing mention in history books!
Shamol Biswas
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is awesome. I'm astonished by feeling the power of Sunil's writing. I must say it is one of the greatest books I have ever read. Every character in this book was existed and the writer has brought them alive to readers. This book is notable in Bengali literature.
Tanmoy Mondal
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every bengali and history lover
A must read for every bengali who want to know how bengali culture evolve over year and how our language changed from a local to a world class language. the background story is very strong all historical people start talking in this book
Abhishek Dutta
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are few novels that can enlighten a reader's senses in a complete manner. Probably the best work of Nillohit, this book transforms readers into a time when old methods were getting replaced by new laws and the society getting reborn.

Thank you to the author for such a marvellous experience.
Yogitha
A truly entertaining novel........Gives the reader glimpses into the zamindari times of Bengal and skillfully woven into the fabric of the story are the leaders of the renaissance movement in Bengal.
Latha Krishnan
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A journey through late 19th century Bengal interspersed with real and imaginary characters, this novel warms the heart and delights the mind with its emotions and descriptions of people, places and the intrigues all through it.
Saurav
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sunil Gangopadhyay at his best as usual.. Brings out a nice portrayal of the Bengal Renaissance.. Been a long read for me.. But can't say I enjoyed it any less... Wish I was born in that time, among all those amazing people..
Mohar
Nov 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites, primarily because it makes me feel lucky that I am a woman of this age leading a life not bound by age old traditions.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • কালবেলা (অনিমেষ, #২)
  • ব্যোমকেশ সমগ্র
  • চাঁদের পাহাড়
  • জোছনা ও জননীর গল্প
  • দূরবীন
  • পদ্মানদীর মাঝি
  • সাতকাহন  (সাতকাহন #১)
  • Pather Panchali: Song of the Road
  • একাত্তরের দিনগুলি
  • কবি
  • আদর্শ হিন্দু হোটেল
  • The Complete Adventures of Feluda, Vol. 1
  • শঙ্কু সমগ্র
  • কালপুরুষ  (অনিমেষ, #৩)
  • হাজার বছর ধরে
  • গর্ভধারিণী
  • দীপু নাম্বার টু
  • শঙ্খনীল কারাগার
See similar books…
591 followers
Sunil Gangopadhyay (Bengali: সুনীল গঙ্গোপাধ্যায়) was a famous Indian poet and novelist. Born in Faridpur, Bangladesh, Gangopadhyay obtained his Master's degree in Bengali from the University of Calcutta, In 1953 he started a Bengali poetry magazine Krittibas. Later he wrote for many different publications.

Ganguly created the Bengali fictional character Kakababu and wrote a series of novels on thi
...more

Related Articles

While dealing with her husband's illness, this debut author turned to the refuge of Jane Austen's work. That refuge turned into her highly anticipa...
84 likes · 11 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“কৃতজ্ঞতা একটা বিষম বোঝা। অনেকেই সারাজীবন এ বোঝা বহনে অক্ষম। তাই এই বোঝা ঝেড়ে ফেলে উপকারী ব্যক্তির শত্রুতা করে তারা স্বস্তি বোধ করে।” 17 likes
“ঘটনার চেয়ে রটনার রূপ অনেক বেশী বিচিত্র এবং গতিবেগও প্রচন্ড” 12 likes
More quotes…