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Author: Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay

Publisher: Mitra & Ghosh Publishers Pvt. Ltd
ISBN: 9788172931209
Pages: 168
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Aranyak, a Bengali novel, translates to Of the Forest. The story is about Satyacharan, the protagonist, and his journey on the amalgamated path of urban and jungle life.

The author, Bandyopadhyay, lived in Calcutta but had spent a lot of time in the jungles of Bihar and that had left an impact on him. The wild flowers, the soil, the moon, the hills and the rains, all captivated him. Bandyopadhyay was also affected by the people of the rural lands, migrant workers, displaced farmers, tribals and more. Before writing the book, he noted all of these things in his diary. Though he returned to Calcutta, he kept visiting forests in Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh and, wished to write a story that would tell the tales of the jungle. That was the birth of Aranyak.

The story starts with Satyacharan, who is an estate manager who is sent to from Calcutta to rural Bhagalpur in Bihar. At the beginning, he dislikes the wild and lonely life of the forests because he has always lead an urban lifestyle. However, as time goes by he slowly starts to fall in love with the jungle and her ways. He also meets many different people like a poor Brahmin, an impoverished mother, a young dancer, a moneylender, a poet, a tribal and more. Though Satyacharan now loves this natural surroundings, his job is to reclaim this wild land and distribute it amongst the local people. Which means, the forest must be destroyed so that human settlements can be established there. Much against his will, Satyacharan is stuck between his duty and his love for the trees. Aranyak goes on to show what finally happens at the end.

Aranyak was first published serially as a monthly article in a Bengali magazine named Prabasi. However, it was first published as a book in 1976. It was dedicated to his first wife, Gauri Devi. Today Aranyak is said to be a classic in the world of Bengali literature.