Khana

800 – 1200


Khana was the first female poet, astrologer and mathematician in Bengali history between the 9th and 12th centuries AD. She was known for her exceptional perception, foresight and observational skills regarding the weather, astrology, agriculture et cetera; her wise saying regarding the mundane and extraordinar, Khanar Bachan, eventually circulated all throughout Bengal, having become synonymous with her legendary wit. However, along with her meteoric rise in popularity, much sorrow came in the future for Khana. Her father-in-law Varahimihira, the royal astrologer, became immensely jealous and rueful of her success, as her work and talent within the fields of astrology and mathematics was soon overshadowing his. Determined to silence her once and for all, he ordered to have her tongue be cut off. In spite of this horrific and unjust deed done to her, Khana never really went back into the shadows, defying all odds against her; her name is still associated with astronomical knowledge and counsel through her couplets, that are still recited and followed by people and farmers alike even today all over Bangladesh and India.