Short Stories Although the Pavchatantra and Kathasaritsagar in sanskrit and the jataka and Divyavadan in pali and also Aesop's fables and the Thousand and One Nights are full of organised tales, but these are not, in fact, short stories. As the Gesta Romanorum and the Decameron are not short stories, but only enjoyable tales told with a message. The short story as a literary form first emerged in Europe in the 19th century Europe and America, the earliest writers being Anton Chekhov, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allan Poe and Ernest Hemingway. In bangla literature this form The first short stories in Bangla are stories such as 'Yugalabguriya' (Twin Rings, 1874) and 'Radharani' (1975) by bankimchandra chattopadhyay (1838-1894). Purnachandra Chattopadhyay's Madhumati and sunjeeb chunder chatterjee’ s (1834-1899) Ramexvarer Adrsta (The Fate of Ramexvar) and Damini (The Wife) seem to fall between the novel and the short story, and should perhaps be called novellas. Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay's (1847-1919) collections of stories further enriched the genre of the Bangla short stories.
Short stories are usually defined as stories that can be read in one sitting and that do not take more than 10 to 30 minutes to read. pramatha chowdhu (1868-1964) also defined short stories as being 'short and at the same time stories. But it is rynot its brevity alone that determines whether a story belongs to this particular genre. The salient features of a short story is that it should be able to express more than what it says. This is what differentiates a short story from a novel that can deliberate at length. rabindranath tagore (1861-1941), in his poem 'Barsayapan' (Living with Rain), defined the short story thus:
Chhota pran, chhota byatha chhota chhota duhkha katha Nitantai sahaj saral Sahasra bismrti raxi pratyaha yetechhe bhasi Tari du-chariti axrujal. Nahi barnanar chhata ghatanar ghanaghata Nahi tattva nahi upadex Antare atrpti rabe sabga kari mane habe Shes hayeo haila na ses. (Simple events of life, happy or sad, Some sad strings from the train of forgetfulness, Not fraught with heavy descriptions, Not crowded with events, No advice, no philosophy Only the feeling that the story is not yet over Although there is no more to read)
The first short stories in Bangla are stories such as 'Yugalabguriya' (Twin Rings, 1874) and 'Radharani' (1975) by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay (1838-1894). Purnachandra Chattopadhyay's Madhumati and Sunjeeb Chunder Chatterjee's (1834-1899) Ramesvarer Adrsta (The Fate of Ramexvar) and Damini (The Wife) seem to fall between the novel and the short story, and should perhaps be called novellas. Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay's (1847-1919) collections of stories further enriched the genre of the Bangla short stories. However, his stories, included in Bhut O Manus (The Ghost and the Man), Muktamala (A Pearl Necklace), Majar Galpa (Funny Stories) and Damrucharita (The Life of Damru), are chiefly marked by fantasy. Another early short story writer was Nagendranath Gupta (1861-1940) with his stories of love and romance.
The finest Bangla short story writer of this period was Rabindranath Tagore who is generally regarded as the father of the Bangla short story. His first short story, 'Bhikharini' (The Beggar-woman), was published in the bharati magazine in 1874, but it is 'Denapaona' (Assets and Liabilities, 1890), which established Tagore's claim to be acknowledged master of this genre. Tagore wrote 119 short stories, included in Galpaguchchha (Short Stories), Se (He, or She), Tinsabgi (Three Comrades) etc.
Tagore's short stories are on a variety of themes: love, nature, supernatural events, social issues, psychological relationships etc. Among his stories based on the theme of love are 'Ekratri' (One Night), 'Mahamaya' (Great Illusion), 'Samapti' (The End), 'Malyadan' (Garland Offering), 'Madhyabartini' (The Mediator), 'Xasti' (Punishment), 'Prayaxchitta' (Atonement), 'Duraxa' (Far Cry), 'Adhyapak' (Professor), 'Nastanid' (The Ruined Nest), 'Strir Patra' (The Wife's Letter), 'Patra O Patri' (The Groom and the Bride), 'Manbhavjan' (Winning Over in a Huff), 'Rabibar' (Sunday), 'Xeskatha' (The Last Word'), 'Laboratory. His stories based on nature include 'Xubha,' 'Atithi' (The Guest), 'Apad' (Calamity),' 'Balai' etc. The female characters in his nature stories are representations of nature. His stories on social life and psychological relationships are 'Byabadhan' (Distance), 'Megh O Raudra' (Rain and Shine), 'Panraksa' (Wager), 'Postmaster,' 'Kabliwala,' 'Didi' (Sister), 'Haimanti,' 'Karmaphal' (The Fruit of Work), 'Dan-Pratidan' (Exchange), 'Dena-Paona' (Assets and Liabilities), 'Chhuti' (The Holiday), 'Putrayajva' (The Sacrifice of a Son), 'Khokababur Pratyabartan' (The Return of the Little Master) etc. His supernatural stories are 'Guptadhan' (Hidden Treasure), 'Jibita-Mrta' (Dead and Alive), 'Nixithe' (At Night), 'Manihara,' 'Ksudhita Pasan' (The Hungry Tyrant), 'Master Maxai' (The Teacher) etc.
Prominent among the short story writers who followed Tagore is Kedarnath Bandyopadhyay (1863-1949), who wrote satirical stories such as, 'Amra Ki O Ke' (Who and What Are We?), 'Kabulati' (Admission), 'Patheya' (Travelling Expense), 'Duhkher Dewali' (Dewali of Sorrow), 'Ma Phalesu' (No Yearning for Fruits), 'Sandhya Shabkha' (The Conch Bangle of the evening) and Namaskari (A Gift of Respect). Pramatha Chowdury was a talented writer, but is seldom regarded as a true short story writer because of his casual attitude towards form. Among his noteworthy collections are Char Yari Katha (Talks of Four Friends), Ahuti (Oblation), Nil Lohita (Shiva) etc.
probhat kumar mukhopadhyay (1873-1932) wrote more than a hundred short stories during 1900 to 1931. His short story anthologies include Nabakatha (New Words), Sodaxi Galpavjali (The Offering of Stories), Galpabithi (The Garden of Stories), Gahanar Baksa (The Jewellery Box), Hatax Premik O Anyanya Galpa (The Star-Crossed Lover and Other Stories) etc. Although many of his works depict the common life of the Bengalis, he also wrote several humorous stories.