Eminent Bengali poet Sarat Kumar Mukherjee dies at age 90


KOLKATA: Eminent Bengali poet and writer Sarat Kumar Mukherjee, known to be part of the post-Modernist poets’ group along with Sunil Ganguly and Shakti Chattopadhyay, died in the early hours of Tuesday after a cardiac arrest.

Mukherjee, also known as Sarat Mukhopadhyay, often wrote under the pseudonym ‘Trishanku’, and was renowned for poems such as ‘To God’ and ‘Birajamohan’.

He had turned 90 on August 15.

He left behind only son Sayan Mukherjee.

His wife Bijoya Mukhopadhtay, a Sanskrit scholar and poet in her own right, had predeceased him.

Mukherjee was one of the post-Modernist poets who stormed into Bengal’s and India’s literary world with a new grammar and language for poetry, which was both modern and revolutionary at that time.

The group broke certain notions by embracing the life of non-conformist subalterns.

He had studied in Glasgow and was a successful chartered accountant and company secretary, before he chose to concentrate solely on his literary passion.

Besides Chattopadhyay and Ganguly, he was close friends with writers Buddhadeb Guha and Dibyendu Palit.

An anthology of his poems was translated into English with the title ‘The Cat Under the Stairs’ by Robert S MacNamara.

Mukherjee himself translated a number of Rabindra Tagore’s short stories.

A familiar figure in Bengali literary circles, Mukherjee wrote with a disarmingly wry humour and a remarkable verbal directness, which combined with a deeply personal response to his surroundings and times, carving out sensitive poetry.