Well-known author and and the 2015 winner of the Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar, Subhadra Sen Gupta passed away on May 3 due to COVID-19. Her cousin Shuddhabrata Sengupta, artist and curator, Raqs Media Collective took to her Facebook handle to share the news.
“My cousin, Subhadra Sen Gupta, ‘Bul-di’ to all who knew her, beloved writer of historical fiction and history for children and young readers – who many waves of kids across India adored for how she made history come alive for them with her books, passed away last night due to Covid 19. She fought the disease bravely. Gone with her is her remarkable sense of how the past remains alive, as story, as history, as memory,” the note read.
She was the archivist of our Sengupta family, and it’s more than one-hundred-year-old presence in Old Delhi. She knew the ins and outs of our eccentric ancestors. I learnt how to look for clues, like a detective, from her, and how to cherish and share a good story. She taught me many precious things. I will miss her completely zany sense of humor, her endless treasure of stories, her no-nonsense spirit, her love for Delhi, and her passion for life, for history, for freedom, and for adventure. I will miss her. My heart goes out to her sister, Sushmita, our ‘Cchor-di’. This is a very, very sad day,” Shuddhabrata Sengupta further wrote.
Subhadra Sen Gupta wrote over 50 children’s books in different genres. Some of her works include Goodbye Pasha Begum! from The Puffin Book of Spooky Ghost Stories, Bishnu – The Dhobi Singer, and A Mauryan Adventure. Her book, Mystery of the House of Pigeons, was adapted into a television series for Doordarshan as Khoj Khazana Khojher.