The Aurobindonian community of Bengal has lost a bright star with the untimely demise of Shri Subhas Ghosal—whom we lovingly addressed as ‘Subhas-da’—on 30 December 2010. A litterateur, poet, biographer, essayist and novelist, Subhas-da has excelled in every form of literature. Born on 17 July 1948, he was named by his father Manmathanath (who was a soldier in the Indian National Army) after the name of Subhash Chandra Bose. His novels in Bengali like Tanmatro, Ka-Bargo, Mandap and Chidakash have won not only critical acclaim but also the heart of the readers. For nearly thirteen years he edited the journal Heenojan. When Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Kolkata, launched its quarterly journal Sandhitsha, he became its editor and served the journal till the last days of his life. Under his editorship, Sandhitsha established a reputation of being one of the most well-read journals of Bengal. An ardent disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, he practised the Integral Yoga with his pen as his medium of sadhana. A number of Sri Aurobindo’s poems were translated by him into Bengali. His biographies of the Mother, Nolini Kanta Gupta and Nishikanto as well as his thought-provoking articles on Sri Aurobindo and his philosophy reveal his deep insight and understanding of the works of his spiritual guides. His biography of Nolini Kanta Gupta earned him the ‘Nolini Kanta Gupta Memorial Award’ in 2005.
His other publications include the following: Leenar Biman, Dehokei Phire Pawa, Daminike Rakhi Chere, Batash Chuyeche Dweep, Anubhalok, Ghore Tepantor, Upomudra, Nadir Chokh, Akanda, Bashpo, Muktobhoshmo, Ananter Luckochuri, Gandhi, Pondicherryer Shreema, Sri Auobindo O Tanr Boloy, etc. He was awarded with the ‘Uttarapath Sahitya Puraskar’ (Sweden) in 1990 for his literary contributions and the ‘Pragya Samman’ in 1996 for his novel Mandap.
Subhas-da was an admirer of the activities of Overman Foundation and appreciated its gradual development. It was because of his encouragement that some of the unpublished poems of Nishikanto Raichowdhury, the great mystic poet of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, compiled by me were published in the November 2010 issue of Sandhitsha under the title of ‘Ananya Nishikanto’ along with some epistolary exchanges between the poet and Sri Aurobindo. He was quite keen to publish some of the unpublished correspondence of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother which we possess at Overman Foundation serially in Sandhitsha. But his untimely death marked the premature end of a promising beginning.
On behalf of all the members of Overman Foundation, I take the opportunity of paying my humble tribute to Subhas-da and offering my condolence to his family members.
With warm regards,