Narayan Sanyal

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Narayan Sanyal

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    Square on the Hypotenuse
    Square on the Hypotenusewrote on 08 Dec 2010

    Narayan Sanyal (26 Apr 1924 - 7 Feb 2005) was a well-known & versatile writer of modern Bengali literature.

    Sanyal's father was Chittasukh Sanyal, who was an engineer from B.E. College in Shibpur, Howrah, India and mother Basantalata Devi. He received several awards for literature including Rabindra Puraskar (for Aporupa Ajanta in 1969), Bankim Purashkar (for Rupmanjari in 2000), Narasingha Dutta Award. Many of his books were filmed and he won the Best Film Story Writer Award for the story Satyakaam Bengal Film Journalists.

    Although Sanyal is known mostly as a novelist, he was an equally eminent civil engineer by profession. After graduating in science from the University of Calcutta, he passed Bachelor of Engineering from Bengal Engineering College in 1948. Thereafter he joined Public Works Department and later National Buildings Organisation, Ministry of Works and Housing, Eastern Region, Govt. of India. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India) and a Fellow of the Association of Engineers (India). He wrote books in Civil Engineering also like Vaastu Vigyan. He also wrote a series of detective fiction called the Kanta (Thorn) series, the framework of which was borrowed from the Perry Mason series of Erle Stanley Gardner and many of the individual stories were adapted from well-known English stories. A biography of Narayan Sanyal was written by Pradip Dutta, Ami Narayan Sanyal Ke Dekechi

    Sanyal wrote numerous books that dealt with many topics, such as children, science, art and architecture, travels, psychiatric, technology, refugee problems, history, biographical pieces, encyclopedia of animals,social novel and Devadasi-related.

    Interestingly, this talented author also preferred writing books on deep shadow of many world famous works. One of the most popular Sci-Fictions of him is 'Nakshatraloker Debatatma,' is based on the transformation of human race from primitive creature to civilized intelligent species controlling the whole earth. Then it deals with Jupiter exploration and a super intelligent Computer HAL. The three parted book is a clear shadow of 2001: A Space Odyssey written by Arthur C. Clarke. In his book, Sanyal renamed HAL as 'Jantra-Na.' In his mother tongue Bengali, it means 'Not a Machine.' The next most popular work of Sanyal is 'Biswasghatak.' On Manhattan project that developed the first US Atom Bomb. This book is based on the shadow of 'Brighter than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists (1970), by Austrian Robert Jungk.' Not a shadow, but almost translation in some parts. Few of the illustrations in this book have been taken from few Russian school level books. Another one, 'Timi Timingil' is on Whales. This stands on an article published in Readers Digest. Thousands of Sanyal fans feel sorry of this as a man of his talent could have developed something even better instead of just 'Copying' and retouching others works while he had indeed produced some excellent works himself.
    But it is undoubtedly accepted by all that Sanyal was one of the finest authors in Bengali and he was a class apart from the flock of contemporary Bengali writers those who too dependent on sentiment and emotional overdose in their writings and too dependent on monopolist Bengali media/publication groups in commercial front.