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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Noted Bengali author Buddhadeb Guha dies at 85: ‘His works displayed great sensitivity to environment’

The writer, whose works of fiction reflected his closeness to nature and forests of eastern India, was suffering from post-Covid complications and had been hospitalised earlier this month after complaining of breathlessness and urinary infection, his family said

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: August 31, 2021 8:08:14 am
Buddhadeb guhaBuddhadeb Guha passed away due to post-Covid complications. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Noted Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha, who authored several popular books including Madhukari (Honey Gatherer), died of post-Covid complications after cardiac arrest at a private hospital on Sunday night. He was 85. Guha had contracted Covid-19 in April and was hospitalised for 33 days. Earlier this month, he was hospitalised after complaining of breathlessness and urinary infection.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar all condoled his death.

Guha is survived by his two daughters. His wife Ritu Guha, an eminent Rabindra Sangeet exponent, died in 2001.

Guha’s elder daughter Maleni said on social media, “Buddhadev Guha is no more. He was blessed as to be one with the Divine on the night of Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday) 2021. Do join his family and friends in celebrating his life.”

Born on June 29, 1936 in Kolkata, Guha had spent his childhood in Rangpur and Barisal districts of East Bengal (now Bangladesh). His childhood experiences and travels left a deep imprint on him, which were reflected in his works.

The last journey: Minister Firhad Hakim paying tributes to Buddhadeb Guha. (Express Photo)

His novels and short stories have been highly acclaimed by critics which helped him win several awards, including the Ananda Purashkar and Sharat Puraskar. He was also a noted classical singer and proficient illustrator.

Besides Madhukari, some of Guha’s notable works include Koeler Kachhe, Sobinoy Nibedon and Baba Howa. He was also popular among children as he was the creator of the fictional character Rijuda, a hunter-turned-conservationist, and his side-kick Rudra. Most of his works focused on the theme of nature and forest.

PM Modi tweeted, “Shri Buddhadeb Guha’s writings were multifaceted and displayed great sensitivity to the environment. His works were enjoyed across generations, particularly among youngsters. His passing away is a big loss to the literary world. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

Banerjee said, “I am deeply saddened by the demise of the eminent writer Buddhadev Guha. He passed away in Kolkata last night. He was 85 years old. Buddhadev Guha, the prominent author of Bengali literature, has written notable books, including ‘Koel’, ‘Kojagar’, ‘Madhukari’, ‘Jangalmahal’, ‘Charibeti’ etc. He is also the creator of two popular fictional characters in Bengali literature – Rivu and Rijuda.”

Dhankhar tweeted, “Saddened at passing of eminent Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha, author of many notable works such as ‘Madhukari’ (Honey Gatherer). His works of fiction reflected his closeness to nature and forests of eastern India. Pray Almighty to bestow eternal peace on the departed soul.”

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