Srinjay wishes to express his gratitude to his family for his literary legacy. Many members of his family were—and are—writers and artists, and are a perennial source of inspiration for him:
Hiralal Chakravarti (1908–1994), Srinjay’s paternal grandfather, was a well-known civil servant who served in senior positions in the Bengal government. A historian of renown—a Griffith Scholar and a Hawkins gold medalist—he also taught in different colleges. He wrote numerous essays in various journals.
Srinjay’s maternal grandfather Kshitindranarayan Bhattacharyya (1909–1990) was a pioneer writer of science fiction for children in Bangla (Bengali) and a renowned academic and editor. His novels and short stories, cast in the mold of Jules Verne, established the trend of “hard” science fiction in Bangla. He was a member of the legendary trinity of early popular science fiction writers for children in Bangla, the others being Premendra Mitra and Satyajit Ray. Not many know that apart from his prolific output of prose—novels, short stories, articles, essays and belles-lettres—he was an accomplished poet, playwright and cartoonist. He edited Ramdhanu (“Rainbow”), one of the longest continuously running children’s magazines in Bangla, and was also a professor of chemistry at a Calcutta college. He belonged to an illustrious literary family: his father Bisheshwar Bhattacharyya (1870–1957) was a well-known civil servant from Bengal who is remembered for his literary contributions. He established and edited Ramdhanu, which was subsequently edited by his elder son Manoranjan Bhattacharyya (1903–1939), a legendary pioneer of detective stories and humorous narratives for children in Bangla and also a professor of economics at a Calcutta college. After Manoranjan Bhattacharyya’s untimely death, Kshitindranarayan Bhattacharyya helmed Ramdhanu and edited the magazine till the end of his life.
Ranjan Kumar Chakravarti, Srinjay’s father, is an electrical engineer who has worked in senior management positions in the corporate sector, including a multinational engineering company and a power utility company. He is a well-known management expert and educator, teaching human resource management, business administration and allied subjects at a college and other institutions in Calcutta. He is also a well-known newspaper columnist and essayist, having written articles in both English and Bangla on engineering and management.
Ratnabali Chakravarti, Srinjay’s mother, has taught history at a Calcutta college and has worked as a researcher. She is also an accomplished artist, singer, and a poet and essayist, writing in Bangla.
Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty is Srinjay’s uncle (the younger brother of Ranjan Kumar Chakravarti). A historian, art historian, writer, orator, academic and administrator, he is widely known for his multifaceted intercultural and cross-disciplinary research and activism. A well-known scholar, he has authored and/or edited numerous books on archeology, rock art, art history, tribal issues, museology and the philosophy of religion and art. He studied at Presidency College, Calcutta, and Calcutta University, and has an M.P.A. and a Ph.D. (Fine Arts) from Harvard University. An officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), he retired in the rank of Secretary of the Government of India. He has been Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA), India’s federal fine arts academy; Director-General, National Museum; Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi; Chairman, National Screening and Evaluation Committee, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI); Director, National Museum of Mankind (IGRMS), Bhopal; and Chancellor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA). He has also headed the Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management (DIHRM) as Vice-Chairman and chaired the Bhasha Trust, Baroda. He is currently President of the Allahabad-based People’s Council of Education and also a Distinguished Professor at a university. Read more about him at his Wikipedia page.
Reeta Chakrabarti, the well-known journalist and news anchor with BBC TV, is Srinjay’s cousin. She is the daughter of Ruma Chakrabarti (the elder sister of Ranjan Kumar Chakravarti and Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty) and Dr. Bidhan Chakrabarti, an orthopedic surgeon. Born in London, she was educated at Exeter College, Oxford. Though she spent most of her childhood in Birmingham, she has also lived for some time in Calcutta as a teenager. More about her can be found at her Wikipedia page.
Reeta Chakrabarti’s younger sister, Lolita Chakrabarti, is a well-known actress and an award-winning playwright. She was born in Kingston upon Hull and educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She, too, spent most of her childhood in Birmingham, and has also lived for some time in Calcutta as a teenager. She won a UK-wide schools’ debating contest (the British Junior Chamber under-19s public speaking competition) for two years in succession in the 1980s. More about her can be found at her Wikipedia page.
Srinjay wishes to acknowledge his debt to his grandmothers, Nilima Chakravarty (1918–2006) and Gouri Bhattacharjee (1918–2004), both of whom were accomplished singers and writers. Nilima Chakravarty was a student of Gopinath Bhattacharya, the celebrated Sanskritist, and a disciple of the famed music composer Anupam Ghatak. She was a prolific essayist and short story writer in Bangla. Gouri Bhattacharjee was a student of the renowned vocalist Brojen Ganguly.
Srinjay also particularly wishes to thank his aunt, Minati Chakravarty (Dr. K.K. Chakravarty’s wife, who is a member of an illustrious family of Bengal and an M.A. in Political Science) and his cousin Sayantani Chakravarty (Dr. K.K. Chakravarty’s and Minati Chakravarty’s daughter, currently a postgraduate student based in Spain, and an accomplished photographer and artiste of the spoken word). And, of course, his wife Sulekha Chakraborty—a teacher, who is also a versatile danseuse, singer and painter—and his son Arinjay, for their gracious support and encouragement.