He was the second son and sixth child of Chandrasekhar and Lakshmimani Devi. Rajshekhar spent his childhood in Darbhanga , in the state of Bihar , and learned to speak Hindi as a first language , rather than Bengali. He was an inquisitive child and manifested a knack for science early in life. Shashisekhar, his elder brother, later wrote that the young Rajshekhar put together a laboratory at home equipped with two cupboards of various chemicals; he would forecast the weather by looking at a barometer that he had hung on the wall, would write prescriptions of cough-mixtures for his family members, and later, would even go to the Temple Medical School to dissect corpses.

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He was chiefly known for his comic and satirical short stories, and is considered the greatest Bengali humorist of the twentieth century. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in Basu began his writing career in the s. He adopted the pen name of Parashuram while writing humorous pieces for a monthly magazine. The name was not, apparently, an homage to the Parashurama of mythology. In fact, Basu simply borrowed the surname of someone at hand, the family goldsmith, Tarachand Parashuram. His first book of stories, Gaddalika, was published in and drew praise from such personalities as Rabindranath Tagore.

In , when he published Chalantika, a monolingual Bengali dictionary, Rabindranath commented: "At long last, we have a dictionary for Bengali. The concise grammar for Bengali that you have included in the appendix is also wonderful.

A few years before its publication, in , Calcutta University formed a committee, chaired by him, to formulate a set of guidelines governing the spelling of Bengali words. The recommendations of this committee were broadly accepted, and Chalantika is still in use today.


Balmiki Ramayan Rajsekhar Basu



Rajshekhar Basu


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