Vibhuti Bhushan Banerji, the great Bengali writer

The Banerjis of Bengal are locally called Bandopadhyayas. In the history of Bengali novel literature there was a banerji-trio living more or less at the same period and they were Tarashankar Banerji, Vibhuti Bhushan Banerji (1894 -1950) and Manik Banerji. Of these, Vibhuti Bhushan became reached the pinnacle of his glory with Pather Panjali (1925), his master piece, which became internationally famous when Satyajit Ray immortalized it in his classic film. The writer is also known for other great works like aprajito (1931), aranyak (1939), adarsha hindu hotel (1940), and Itchchamati ((1950). He wrote short stories, travelogues, autobiographical notes, memories etc, apart from novels.  In popularity, Vibhuti Bhushan is second only to Sharatchandra Chatterji as far as Bengali is concerned.

He was born as the first kid to Mahananda Banerji and Mrinalini Devi, in 1894, in the Muratipur village of 24 Parganas District of Bengal. It was a family of famous Ayurvedic physicians. But Mahananda, a scholar in Sanskrit, did not pursue the family tradition, and instead he chose to be a story teller, travelling from village to village. He could not support the family with the meager income he could get from this, and the early life of Vibhuti was in poverty and other difficulties. But he managed to continue his studies and received his degree in first class with distinction. He worked as a teacher, a secretary in a society, a private tutor, and finally the story teller in him arrived. His first writings were short stories. Pather Panjali was his first novel (1925), serialized in a local magazine. His earlier life in the forests and estates made him write later the famous novel 'aranyak', based on which Satyajit Ray made another of his brilliant film. Vibhuti tried his hand in journalism also. He died in 1950, and was awarded the prestigious Rabindra Sammaan posthumously.