Manik Bandopadhay or Manik Banerjee Born as Prabodh Kumar Bandhopadhay to Harihar Bandhopadhay and Neeroda Devi, is one of the founding fathers of modern Bangla fiction. During a short life of forty eight years, plagued simultaneously with ailment and financial crisis, he produced forty two novels and more than two hundred short-stories. His important works include Padma Nadir Majhi and Putul Nacher Etikatha and Chatushkone
Manik Bandopadhay was born on 19 May 1908 in a small town called Dumka in the district of Santal Paragona in the state of Bihar in India.
His original name is Prabodh Kumar Bandhopadhay. His pen name is derived from his family nick 'Manik'. He was the fifth of the fourteen children (eight sons and six daughters) of his parents. His father was Harihar Bandopadhyay and his mother was Niroda Devi. Harihar was a government official and travelled across undivided Bengal in connection with his service which gave the author to experience life and living of different peoples of Bengal, in his early life.
Since his childhood Manik was carefree and adventurous in character. But he also possessed a very sensitive soul. He lost his mother on 28 May 1924 when he was only sixteen and this berevement left a deep mark in his psyche. After his mother's death, Manik became reckless and tie with his family grew thin.
The writer married Kamala Devi, the third daughter of Surendranath Chattopadhay. He had two sons and two daughters.
Manik passed Entrance examinaiton from the Midnapore Zilla School in 1926 securing first division with letter marks in both compulsory and optional Mathematics. In the same year he got admitted in Welleslyan Mission College at Bankura. Earlier he has also studied in Kanthi Model School in Tangail.
In Welleslyan College Manik came in contact with a professor called Jackson.Being influenced by him Manik read Bible and got rid of religious inferiority. In 1928 he passed I. Sc. with first division.
He got admitted to the B.Sc. course in Mathematics at the Presidency College, Calcutta with the inspiration of his father.
Writing was the only source of income for Manik Bandopadhyay throughout his life and hence he languished perpetual poverty. However, for a short while he tried to enhance his earning through involvement with one or two literary magazines. He worked as editor of Nabarun for a few months in 1934. During 1937-38, he worked as Assisatnt Editor of literary magazine Bangasree. Also he had established a printing and publishing house in 1939 which turned out to be a short-lived endeavour. Also, he worked as Publicity Assistant for the Government of India in 1943.
Manik died in 1956, at age 48. His funeral took place at Nimtala Shmashan Ghat. Since early life he had struggled with poverty and epilepsy. The signs of epilepsy first surfaced when he was engaged in writing Padma Nadir Majhi and Putul Nacher Etikatha. Continued and unabated ailment, problems and crises devastated his mental disposition and eventually he resorted to alcohol for respite, adding to his misery. On 30 November 1956, the author collapsed and fell into a coma. He was admitted to the Nilratan Government Hospital on 2nd of December where he died the next day. Following his death, a mourning meeting was held on 7 December, attended by a huge crowd.
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