Sadashiv

Sadashiv

Sadashiv is one of the most popular characters in Bengali young-adult literature. Noted author and script-writer Sharadindu Banerjee created this character with the backdrop of 16th century Maharashtra when the Maratha-Adil Shah-Mughal animosity was at its peak. Chhatrapati Shivaji and Aurangjeb’s conflicts provided the series with its own unique storyline. The hero, Sadashiv is an adolescent boy from a Maratha village who gets entangled and later gives shape to the turmoil all around.

Series: Sadashiv
Creator: Saradindu Banerjee
Original Language: Bengali
Genre: Adventure, historical

Summary

The story is set in the backdrop of continuous conflicts between Shivaji’s and Auranjeb’s forces. The Mughals were residing on Daulatabad north of Maharashtra, and Sultan Adil Shah was in Bijapur fort in the south. The simple villagers were being tortured on a daily basis. Shivaji’s forces were on the rise to end this oppression, though at the time of the story’s beginning they had not yet earned the trust of entire mass. During this time Shadashib, an orphan boy of around seventeen to eighteen was growing up in his maternal uncle’s house. One day,his maternal uncle Sakharam decides to throw him out of his home after consulting with the villages elders. He reasons that he is unable to provide sustenance to his household in the time of war. Sadashiv, who has nobody in the village to turn to leaves, but his friend Kumkum advices him to go and join Shivaji’s troops. Kumkum also happens to be the daughter of village elder Biththal Patil. Kumkum helps him escape on the ailing horse of her father. Sadashiv sets course for Puna, but he encounters Shivaji’s forces on the road, and helps them unknowingly. They take him to Torna, where Shivaji was camping. He joins Shivaji’s force and gets popular by the day on the merit of his cunning and young stature.

Story Index

*Sadashiver Adi Kando (First published 26 May 1957) — The first story of the series. How Sadashiv escapes the village and joins Shivaji’s forces is the crux of the story. It is thus regarded as the prelude to the series.

*Sadashiver Agnikando (First published 28 January 1958) — The second story in the series, where Captain Liyakat Khan attacks Torna Fort with 7000 Bijapuri soldiers. The capture of Shivaji is imminent. But Shivaji hatches a cunning plan and sends Sadashiv in the guise of a lamb to accomplish the mission.

*Sadashiver Dourodouri Kando (First published 18 December 1958) — Shivaji’s father Shahji Bhonsle is one of the feudal lords of Bijapur. When Shivaji starts to assault and occupy a number ofBijapur’s forts, the Sultan Adil Shah loses faith on Shahji. Shivaji fears that out of distrust his father might be assassinated, so he hatches a plan to inform Shahji about this danger. The task falls on Sadashiv as he is unknown to the Bijapur’s soldiers. Sadashiv sets out on an adventurous trail mounted on one of Shivaji’s favorite horses, Sindhughotok. The adventure quest like format of the story somewhat sets it apart from other stories, also it is more realistic. Various facets of the then Maharashtra has come up on the pages of this lengthiest story in the series.

*Sadashiver Hoi Hoi Kando (First Published 21 November 1960) — Sadashiv returns to his village a year after his escape, with a small task to accomplish on the way. He had thought that the village folk would now respect him. He has also bought a ring for Kumkum from Jinji, and he was excited about that prospect. But things take a turn as time elapses.

*Sadashiver Ghora Ghora Kando (First Published 22 May 1962) — An epidemic has made horses scarcein Maharashtra. The only place one can avail them is the Chandragarh fort, where Shivaji’s maternal uncle Balawant Rao is the lord. He had made Shivaji swear an oath when he was a child that he would never by any means try to capture the Chandragarh fort. Untill now Shivaji has kept his promise. But now when he is in desperate need of horses, Balawant refuses to sell him horses at normal rate. As he can not pay the high price being demanded by Balawant e decides to obtain them by cunning and yet again Sadashiv works as his right hand.

There were four more drafts obtained from Saradindu Banerjee’s notebook. They are —

*Sadashiver Roktarokti Kando
*Sadashiver Kelenkari Kando
*Sadashiver Bidgute Kando, and
*Sadashiver Mahamari Kando

It is understood that he wanted to script the entire history of Shivaji’s rise through this series, but unfortunately he could not finish them.

Characters

*Sadashiv — An orphan boy of around seventeen living in a village on the Paschimghat mountain range with his uncle Sakharam. He is driven out of the village and soon after he joins Shivaji’s forces

*Kumkum/Kunku — Sadashiv’s childhood friend and the only well-wisher in the village. Daughter of village elder Biththal Patil. It is on her advice that Sadashiv sets out to join Shivaji. Later their marriage was arranged by Shivaji, it is guessed that they had married.

*Shivaji — The national hero from Maharashtra, but during they narration of the stories he was regarded as a bandit by the commoners.

*Jijabai — Shivaji’s mother and wife of Shahji Bhonsle. She is the main inspiration behind Shivaji’s efforts for an independent Maharashtra.

*Tanaji — Tanaji Malsare. Shivaji’s minister and childhood friend.

*Jesaji — Jesaji Kank, another childhood friend and minister of Shivaji.

*Ratnaji — Shivaji’s childhood friend and the spy for him. Guised as a foot soldier for Bijapur.

*Sakharam — The miser uncle of Sadashiv who strongly dislikes him.

*Biththal Patil — One of the village elders of Sadashiv’s native village. Kumkum’s father. Sadashiv stole his ailing horse when he was escaping the village.

Publishing History

Saradindu Banerjee is praised for his historical novels and novels with a backdrop of history, but they were all for adults. He had not yet written such fare for young-adults, but wrote some such short stories.

Literary exponent Rajsekhar Bose first inspired Saradindu to write for the young-adults, in a letter to Saradindu he wrote, “If you write something based on the conflict between Shivaji and Aurangjeb with a chivalrous soldier as the hero then I presume that the stories will be immensely popular among all age groups.” After this Saradindu created the character of Sadashiv for the Mouchak magazine and started writing about his escapades. Rajsekhar had in this time constantly written inspiring letters to him. Saradindu thus dedicated the first volume of Sadashiv “Sadashiver Tin Kando” to Rajsekhar Bose.

Sadashiv’s first story was published on 26 May 1957 in the Mouchak magazine, the second one coming soon after on 28 January 1958.

On April 1959 the first volume of Sadashiv, “Sadashiver Tin Kando” was published from New Age Publishers. Sadashiver Dourodouri kando is added to Adikando and Agnikando.

The fourth story, “Sadashiver Hoi Hoi Kando” was published from the house of Indian Associated Publishing Co. on November 1960.

The fifth and final story, “Sadshiber Ghora Ghora Kando” on Sandesh Magazine’s second year of third iteration on 22 May 1962.

The second edition of the earlier book was published by Indian Associated Publishing Co. combining “Hoi Hoi kando” and “Ghora Ghora kando” in the year 1966. On December 1981 “Sadashiver Ghora Ghora Kando” was published in “Sera Sandesh” edited by Satyajit Ray and published by Ananda Publishers (Commemorating 20th year of third iteration of Sandesh).
In December 1974 all of Sadashiv’s stories were published together in Fourth Volume of Saradindu Omnibus published by Ananda Publishers.

Praise

Sadashiv gathered immediate fan following soon after it’s release, it reached its peak after the first book was published. After Byomkesh Bakshi, Sadashiv became the most talked about character created by Saradindu Banerjee. Soon it became a landmark in Bengali young-adult literature. In 1960 “Sadashiver Tin Kando” won a prestigious prize from Indian Government.

Adaptation

Radio plays were scripted by Akashbani from Sadashiv’s all five escapades.
In 1979 Sadashiv’s graphic novel series started to come out in fortnightly Anandamela edited by Neerendranath Chakraborty. This is the first such colored graphic novel to come out in Bengali literature’s history. It was scripted by eminent film director Tarun Mazumdar and was drawn by exponent graphic artist Bimal Das. The series became as popular as the original.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License