Author: Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Thilakavathi
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126024623
Aparajito is the sequel to the famous novel Pather Panchali, and like it reveals the clarity of Bhibhutibhushan's own inner vision, the astute but sympathetic treatment of his characters and his close intimacy with nature.
In Pather Panchali, the story revolves around Harihar Roy, his wife Sabajaya, daughter Durga and son Apu, whose vision of the future remains positive. Aparajito carries forward this vision through Apu's adolescence and youth.
The story takes the reader through Apu's school days at the village. His thirst for knowledge and an insatiable desire to see the world drive him to the city where he joins a college for higher education.
For the first time in his life he has to battle not just poverty but also the complexities of human relationships and other harsh realities of life, without support or assistance from anywhere. After his mother's death, a tragic marriage and years of carefree living, Apu finally realizes his responsibilities and returns to his roots accompanied by his like-minded son, Kajal.
In describing Apu and his mother's grim struggle with poverty, their loneliness and other disappointments in life, Bandopadhyay might have turned Aparajito into a tale of woe. What he does in fact, is just the opposite. It remains truly the story of an unvanquished spirit that rises through all sorrows and grief like a phoenix, triumphant in its ability to retain hope at all times.