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Thakumar Jhuli / ঠাকুমার ঝুলি

Original price was: ₹200.00.Current price is: ₹185.00.

Author : Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder
Publisher : Mitra & Ghosh

Availability: In stock

Thakurmar Jhuli (Bengali: ঠাকুরমার ঝুলি; Grandmother’s Bag [of tales]) is a collection of Bengali folk tales and fairy tales. The author Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder collected some folktales of Bengali and published some of them under the name of “Thakurmar Jhuli” in 1907 (1314 of Bengali calendar). The Nobel-Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore wrote the introduction to the anthology. Since then, it has become iconic in Bengali children’s literature, becoming a household name in West Bengal and Bangladesh over the years.

Certain characters and stories like “Lalkamal-Nilkamal”, “Buddhu-Bhutum” and “Byangoma-Byangomi”, have gained legendary status. Hundreds of editions of this book have been published from Bangladesh and West Bengal since the original publication.

Rabindranath Tagore notes in his introduction to Thakurmar Jhuli, that there was a dire need for folk literature of Bengal to be revived because the only such works available to the reading public of the time were European fairytales and their translations. He expressed the need for a swadeshi or indigenous folk literature that would remind the people of Bengal of their rich oral traditions. This would be a method of contending the cultural imperialism of the British. Dakshinaranjan recounts the memories of listening to fairytales told by his mother as well as his aunt, in his own introduction to Thakurmar Jhuli. Dakshinaranjan’s aunt, Rajlakkhi Debi had given him the duty of visiting the villages in their zamindari. He travelled and listened to Bengali folktales and fairytales being narrated by the village elders. He recorded this material with a phonograph that he carried, and listened to the recordings repeatedly, imbibing the style. However, he found no publisher initially, and had set up a press to self-publish the first book that would be a compilation of the stories he developed from the recorded tales. At this juncture, Dinesh Chandra Sen, impressed by the manuscript, arranged for it to be published by Bhattacharya and Sons, a renowned publisher of the time. Within a week, three thousand copies were sold. Several illustrations for the collection were also drawn by the author. His drawings were turned into lithographs for printing.

The book fourteen stories, divided into three sections- “Dudher Sagor” (Sea of Milk), “Rooptarashi” (Scary Form), and “Chyang Byang” (Fish-Frog). The final section “Shona Ghumalo” (Cutie Sleeps) contains three poems. Apart from this, some other poems act as introductions to the collection as a whole, and to each section.

In his introduction, Tagore noted that Dakhshinaranjan has successfully put into writing, the linguistic flavour of traditional oral tales. The poems read as collages of references to Bengali culture and folklore motifs.

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