(Last Updated on : 14/09/2011)
Upendrakishore Ray Chauduri is a popular Bengali litterateur. He had multiple talents and was famous for his writing, music and painting brilliance. Upendrakishore was born on May 10th 1863 in a tiny village called Moshua in Mymensingh District in Bangladesh. Upendrakishore adopted the title of Ray Chauduri from his rich childless uncle who had adopted him at a very young age. His adult life has been spent mostly in Kolkata
, where he died at the age of fifty two in the year 1915, December 20th.
Personal Life of Upendrakishore Ray Chauduri
Upendrakishore is the father of the popular humour writer Sukumar Ray and the grandfather of the internationally famous film maker Satyajit Ray
. He was an active member of the Brahmo Movement, which spearheaded the cultural up-gradation of the state of West Bengal
. In the later part of his life is whole heartedly engaged with the Tagore family to improve the art and culture of the society, and take it to a global level. As a writer he is well known for his compilation of folklore. As a printer he played a pioneering the art of engraving and was the first to introduce colour printing during a time when former and latter were already in use by the Western Community.
Literary Interest of Upendrakishore Ray Chauduri
Upendrakishore's only son, Sukumar Ray
, enhanced the family pride to an all new level. He wrote poems, verses, children's rhymes with sparkling humour and absolute fluency. And today he remains as one of the most celebrated, famous and often-quoted Bengali poet after Rabindranath Tagore
. Upendrakishore Ray Chauduri launched the first children's magazine in India called "Sandesh". The name of the magazine was kept after the popular Bengali sweet which in Sanskrit means 'news'. After his death the mantle of publishing went to his son Sukumar Ray ably handled the entire work of Sandesh. After Sukumar's death, it was managed by Satyajit Ray. Presently, Sandip Ray, son of Satyajit Ray is the editor of Sandesh.
Upendrakishore had immense linguistic expertise. He was fluent in Persian Language and English language and also about the British Indian Legal system. He became a pivotal force in interpreting the old and traditional land deeds written in Persian to the landowners and gets the best possible deals out of the process. In the process he became affluent and eventually the family was able to have enough money for two elephants.
Upendrakishore Ray Chauduri as a Short Story Writer
Upendrakishore is popular for his Bengali short stories and articles of science-fiction for children. There are varieties of other works by Upendrakishore that are greatly valued by the Bengali literature lovers. In the 1880's when he took active role in the Brahmo Samaj
movements he continued to create magic in the science-fiction genre for children. His scientific bent of mind is well reflected in his repertoire of work.
Publishing Brain of Upendrakishore Ray Chauduri
He is also the main brain behind the half tone block making. When he saw that for one of his books, the woodline blocks of his illustrations were of very bad quality, he decided to import chemicals and equipments from Britain and learn the procedure of block making. After learning the art successfully he set up a business for block making. He experimented with the process and several of his articles were published in Britain regarding the art of block making. After fully grasping the art he started a publishing house. He started one of the best publishing houses in Kolkata
named (U.Ray & Sons). This house gained popular in India and also abroad.
Upendrakishore's best contribution has been in children's literature. Some of his most prominent and popular works include the fantasy "Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne", children's verses in "Tuntuni'r Boi", and the children's versions of the Hindu epics - "Chotoder Ramayan" and "Chotoder Mahabharat". He did most of the illustrations of his books himself.