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Swarnalata Ghose

Information

Wife of Monmohun Ghose, a close friend (but no relation) of Sri Aurobindo’s father. Her name was Swarnalata, just as it was the name of K.D. Ghose’s wife. And both Swarnalatas – even as their husbands – also were very great friends. It was in Manmohan’s house that K. D. Ghose’s son Aurobindo was born in 1872. At summer 1972 Dr. Ghose lived with his family in Rangpur, but there was outbreak of malaria followed by a cholera epidemics, so Dr. Ghose decided to send his wife to the comparatively healthy environment of Calcutta.

There are different information on address of the house, it may be:

(1) 4 Theatre Road (later 8 Theatre Road and now 8 Shakespeare Sarani), but, it seems that, Mano Mohun lived here between 1879 and 1895.

(2) According to The Bengal Directory, in 1872 Mano Mohun Ghose was living at two addresses:

(2-A) 14 South Circular Road and

(2-B) 48, Chowringhee = Theatre Road (Ballard Building).

(3) According to two daughters of Mano Mohan, it was 237 Lower Circular Road (earlier — 12 Lower Circular Road, now — 237 Acharya Jagadish Chandra Road, but

(a) according to Peter Heehs 237 Lower Circular Road = 14 (not 12) Lower Circular Road);

(b) according to the protocol of “Proceedings of the Meeting of the Sub-Committee of the Aurobindo Centenary Committee held at 10.30 AM on Saturday January 30 of 1971 at National Library, Belvdere, Calcutta-27” (Published at Archives and Research: A biannual journal.- Volume 1, No1 (1977, April).- pp. 79-80.) this house (i.e. 12 Lower Circular Road) “came to be occupied by the Late Manmohan Ghose not earlier than 1876”.

So we have two possible addresses: 14 South Circular Road and 48, Chowringhee.

She was a daughter of Shyma Charan Roy of Taki-Sripur in 24 Parganas. In 1858, she was married to Mani Mohan. In 1866 she went to the nuns at Loreto Convent, for her education. When she returned, She and her husbend looked as Anglicised Indians. Swarnalata took to wearing the gown, in the style of English women.

 

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