Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in Miscellaneous Translations | 2 comments

Buddhadev Bose described the pleasant academic atmosphere of Dhaka University in detail in the Second Chapter of his memoir Amar Jouban (My Youth). In the month of July, 1927, he got admission to the Dhaka University with Honours in English. …. He also studied Sanskrit and History. He had a sweet relationship with his college. He writes: “Our relation with the college never snapped as soon as the classes ended. This wasn’t possible there, for often we had to go back to attend events in the evening — even if it was not captivating all the time, it would be interesting and since the students themselves were the organizers and the producers of these events and since one or the other of our teachers would invariably attend and sometimes even take part, both the teachers and the students would feel a bond that was almost like the family tie.

Buddhadev Bose - in his youth

Buddhadev Bose – in his youth

In 1930 in his B.A. examination, Buddhadev was the only candidate who secured a first class. The story of his taking the examination is intriguing. The examination would be held from eight to twelve in the morning. Before the examination began he would take a stroll on the green lawn adjacent to the Curzon Hall.

pen and wash drawing

In his own words he would recite lines from Bewoulf in his own mind or the satirical poems of Alexander Pope or the staccato stanzas of Swinburne — or he would ponder on whether Falstaff could be considered a coward.

I always enjoyed writing an examination; on that occasion, it appeared to be especially pleasant. Every day around ten the teachers would order a cup of tea on my request. I too would, following my habit at home, take a sip from time to time and go on writing, but for the next cigarette, I had to go out to the corridor. My pen would run almost constantly, I’d remember the right word just at the appropriate time. It appeared as if I felt a kind of
taking an examination_buddhadev bose inspiration in the silent and serious atmosphere of the examination hall. On the last day, I had to write the Essay Paper. I was hesitating in selecting a subject when our professor of Sanskrit, while passing by me, uttered almost inaudibly, “But you should attempt the one on Charles Lamb.” I began to write immediately……

[Translated from PRASANGA: BUDDHADEV BOSE; Sudhansu Sekhar Mukhopadhyaya; Amritalok Sahitya Parishad; January, 2010]