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|December 31, 1997||
Nirad to write autobiography in Bengali
Nirad C Chaudhury, the 'Unknown Indian' who turned 100 on November 24, is writing another book. And a mega one, at that, in Bengali.
"Yes," says Chaudhury, "(It is) a big book, my autobiography!"
One of India's most celebrated literary icons, Chaudhury has written very sparsely in his native language, preferring English. But the little he did between 1937 and 1987 -- especially Bangalijibane Ramani and the essays in the 1970s -- has left a deep mark in Bengali literature.
Besides his autobiography, the writer also proposes to take up two other projects -- the third and fourth volumes to Atmaghati Bengali.
Why, you ask him, is that his contributions in Bengali so low?
"The last time I wrote in Bengali was in 1937. (But) there was no response to Bangalijibane Ramani and I felt there was little point in writing for the Bengalis," Chaudhury answers.
But in 1987, after he had become famous, complaints from Bengalis began to pour in. Chaudhury, they alleged, has 'abandoned' his home and people.
"That was untrue and I decided to counter it so that no one may charge me in future with having forsaken the Bengalis," the writer says, "I am trying to keep in touch and share my experience with them through my writings."
What about death? Does the prospect scare him?
No, it doesn't. "That's the only thing that's certain in a man's life," he says, "I have no regrets. Whenever death comes I shall be able to say ekhon chollo (take me now)."
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