Sukumar Ray, born on October 30, 1887, was the second son of Upendrakishore Ray and wife Bidhumukhi. Sukumar grew up in the progressive and spirited environment of the Brahma Samaj, the socio-religious ideals that the Ray household subscribed to, and he also had frequent interactions with several illustrious family friends like Rabindranath Tagore, and Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose
Sukumar graduated with double honours in Physics and Chemistry from the Presidency College in 1906. In several ways Sukumar reflected the spirit and understanding of his father. In 1911 he went to England to study printing technology. He did exceptional technical work first in London and later in Manchester, publishing several written works in reputed journals in these places. Sukumar also developed an active interest in photography. He was awarded a merit prize by ‘Boy's Own Paper’ for excellence in photography in November, 1904 at the age of 17. Sukumar designed the sliding calculator to assist in photography and went onto become the fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in the year 1912. The following year Tagore made his historic visit to London and they returned together to India in 1913.
Upendrakishore started Sandesh, a children's magazine, which steered the course of Bengali children’s literature. Sukumar started writing profusely for the magazine, and in due course became the pioneer in India of the light-hearted, nonsense rhyme, introduced as a phenomenon by Edward Lear and Lewis Caroll almost three decades ago.
After Upendrakishore’s death in 1915, Sukumar took over as editor of Sandesh. Even some eighty years after the first publication of Abol Tabol, it still holds its place as the archetype of Bengali nonsense verse and supplements the Bengali literary fervour. Besides Abol Tabol, his other popular works are Ha-Ja-Ba-Ra-La, Pagla Dashu, Jhalapala and Lakkhaner Shaktishel.
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