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Aranyak: Of the Forest
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Aranyak: Of the Forest

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  2,210 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay was one of the greatest writers in modern Bengali literature, best known for his autobiographical novel Pather Panchali, which, along with another of Bandyopadhyay’s books, formed the basis for Satyajit Ray’s classic Apu Trilogy. In this semi-autobiographical novel, Satyacharan is a young graduate in 1920s Calcutta, who, unable to find a job in ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 15th 2017 by Seagull Books (first published December 1939)
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Saima  Zaman Tisha
must read book
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aranyak is a special book. This autobiographical account by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay of his time as an estate manager in the jungles of the Bhagalpur and Purnia districts is one-of-its-kind in Bengali literature. Nothing I have read in Bengali literature till now - be it Bankimchandra, Rabindranath, Sarat Chandra, Sharadindu, Satyajit or even Bibhutibhushan himself (Pather Panchali, Aparajito) can be compared to Aranyak. In its setting, in its context, in the people who inhabit these pages, ...more
Riju Ganguly
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is strange to believe that this classic novel (to many, a cornerstone in Bengali literature, as well as a pioneering effort in environmental awareness at a time when nobody bothered about such things) caught my imagination when I had been studying it as part of my Civil Services preparation. The writing is lucid to the point of unnerving any person new to the craft. The forests, each & every characters, the time, the emotions, everything come alive in this novel. But my problem was the uneven ...more
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book grows on you as you go through the pages.....and after you have finished reading. One almost feels a sense of nostalgia of going back to the tranquility of the jungles described in the book. Haunting......!
Dipayan Bairagi
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the most beautiful travelogue ever written in Bengali vernacular. What the author did here is such awe-inspiring that readers with a little subtlety with their taste would definitely fall in love with wilderness. It simply is a love story where love has been perceived in a very abstract and wholesome form. Love almost pervaded everywhere in the nature with her simple-minded children and filled the author. The beauty is delineated so honestly and still it enchants us. This is not ...more
Joseph Schreiber
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book took me six months to read, I felt no desire to rush. The account of a young graduate who, in the 1920s, is unable to find work in Calcutta, accepts a position managing a vast holding in a neighbouring state, it reads more like a memoir than a novel. What is striking is the protagonist’s concern about the environment and the fate of the poor, hardworking people he comes to know. It seems so very insightful for its time (written in the late 30s). I found it an enjoyable book to ...more
Subha Prasad
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bibhutibhushan has done something incredible in this novel. Though আরণ্যক does not have an inkling of a plot, several characters who are fairly interchangeable, and a narrator without much of a background, it is at once deeply personal, and breathtakingly large, fantastical,and yet materialistic, and romantic experience with heavy doses of unflinching realism.

What must necessarily be understood is that Satyacharan, the novel's narrator isn't the story's main character. That main character is th
This book grows on you slowly and then leaves you with a feeling of emptiness as you finish the last chapter.The diachotomy of urban and rural life is brought out in a beautiful and simple manner.A special mention for the foresight of the author who took up an issue such as environmental conservation as early as 1940 in this story.Interestingly,it also had a deja vu effect on me as it took me back to my childhood days in Assam.
Shashanka Rajapakshe
I was only 12 years old when I first read this book. Since then I have read it so many times I can't remember. It works like magic for me. It calm me down when I have troubles. Recently I read it again and it made me cry. Because it reminded me of my childhood. I never thought a book like this would make me feel nostalgic. Anyway one of the best books out there.
Sayantani Ghosh
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book I'll remember for life. The nuances in the tales of people, their lives, forest and nature of Labtolia, Nada Baihar and other nearby places in Bhagalpur district often brought me goosebumps. Bibhutibhushan has won my heart for an eternity...
Kaushik Pahari
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He deserved Novel Prize for this novel
Mashaekh Hassan
I really wish to read the translated version of the book.
Shani Perera
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
If you are a nature lover, you will love that book!
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The plot, such as it is, is simple enough. Satyacharan, a young educated man, originally from Bengal, living in Calcutta in the 1920s, finds himself out of work. Offered a job by an old friend, Satyacharan is soon heading off to an uninhabited forest land, as an administrator of land settlement. His home and office, known as the Katcheri is a small clearing, a few huts made from straw and bamboo are his world. It is a long way indeed from Calcutta.

“There is one day I shall never forget. I rememb
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant book. I'm a fan of novels set in nature. Having read similar books in English and other works translated to English I'm absolutely convinced that this book is right up there.

The protagonist Satyacharan is deputed as a manager of a zamindar's estate in the forests near Bhagalpur (Bihar). The book chronicles his life in the forest. His initial discomfort of adjusting to life deep in a remote forest - being a city bred boy. His gradual fascination with the magical forest. The fr
The main problem for me was though the narrator thinks of himself as someone bonded with the soul of the forest, he still carroes his city home wothin himself and in my opinion he's not even near it. So it sounds pretentious at many places. But at this era of post industrialisation these problems sound like history. But they happened just half a century ago and are root of many problems today.
Yajnaseni Roy
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
Wonderful. Of the same genre as Chander Pahad... makes one think about independence, adventure, exploration, nature and memories, all in one go.
Nushrat Farhana
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got lost into the story while reading. soul-consuming writing.
Shofiul Alam
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe the only book in Bangla literature which shows the our attraction towards nature so vastly. Though it's a book for middle school students, I loved it so much. There is love, sorrow, attraction towards nature and people. You'll have a perfect twist in the end. Wanna feel yourself between nature? Just read it. Love for nature, history of ancient India are waiting for you.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautiful read about the loss of the lush jungles of India in the twentieth century, this book reads like a diary, which is based on. To me the simple language meandering along was just like having the author talking to me.
Tasnima Fahmin
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bibhutibhushan always makes me wonder how he observed nature so thoroughly! Every little detail he drew with his words is amazing! I won't say that the plot of this book is amazing but I could literally feel the nature while reading this.
Anindita Bee
3.5 stars
Emtiaz Hossain  Hritan
Best novel written in Bengali language. Use of simple stories, high thoughts and beautiful words in a natural way. A must read masterpiece from Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.
Paul Kerschen
May 19, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018
City boy is sent to administer a patch of country and falls in love with it, very plausibly, while improving it out of existence.
Arijit Saha
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing Novel. A detailed description of forest life and its beauty, its people and their daily struggles.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just loved this one 😊
Ronal Das
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best DESCRIVETIVE book in bengali. The book empathize on nature and it's beauty 😍💓. The beauty of bengal Provence gets best description in words
Welipitiye Gnanakusala
I like it
Sanchita Barman
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite books.
Sumit Biswas
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book and writer really worth 4 noble prize
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Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay (Bangla: বিভূতিভূষণ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়) was an Indian Bangali author and one of the leading writers of modern Bangla literature. His best known work is the autobiographical novel, Pather Panchali: Song of the Road which was later adapted (along with Aparajito, the sequel) into the Apu Trilogy films, directed by Satyajit Ray.

The 1951 Rabindra Puraskar, the most prestigious

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“মানুষ কি চায় — উন্নতি, না আনন্দ? উন্নতি করিয়া কি হইবে যদি তাহাতে আনন্দ না থাকে? আমি এমন কত লোকের কথা জানি, যাহারা জীবনে উন্নতি করিয়াছে বটে, কিন্তু আনন্দকে হারাইয়াছে। অতিরিক্ত ভোগে মনোবৃত্তির ধার ক্ষইয়া ভোঁতা — এখন আর কিছুতেই তেমন আনন্দ পায় না, জীবন তাহাদের নিকট একঘেয়ে, একরঙা, অর্থহীন। মন শান-বাঁধানো — রস ঢুকিতে পায় না।” 87 likes
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