5 All Time Fictional Detective Characters from Bengali Literature – A Heart Warming Tribute to Our Treasured Memories
Capturing the cosy corner of the room, a boy of class six engrossed in a book named “Kiriti Omonibash” which he snatched from his father’s collection. Sometimes you will find a girl around twenty-two adjusting her specs and very curiously reading the last few pages of “Pahare Feluda”. Being a dedicated Bong we always end up summing our movie mania with “Har Har Bomkesh” or “Badshahi Angti”.
Did we miss something? Yes, it is the love for the Bengali detectives like Bomkesh, Feluda, Arjun or Kiriti Ray who stole our heart with their charming personality and give a perfect image of our future boyfriend to be like! The smokes of Charminar, the razor sharp intelligence and sense of humour always entice a reader to think for a while whether they love the story or the character. Here are some memorable characters from your favourite novel for you to celebrate our love for the detectives.
1# Byomkesh BakshiOne of the oldest created yet most read and enacted of Bengali detectives, Bomkesh Bakshi is a perfect amalgamation of personality with an intelligence. The dhoti-clad satyanweshi (‘finder of truth’), as Byomkesh called himself, was created by Saradindu Bandyopadhyay in 1932. He first appeared in the story ‘Pother Kanta’, and carried on through the 1930s, 50s and 60s. Byomkesh Bakshi is one of Bengali literature’s most enduring characters, an exceptional criminal investigator with his own moral code, who lives a genteel life. He always thinks a little ahead of the others around him, including his loyal assistant Ajit, and that’s how he is able to get at the core of the problem. Byomkesh has been memorably played by Rajit Kapoor in the Basu Chatterjee-directed tele-series in 1993, where all the stories were shot. In recent times, Anjan Dutt chose Abir Chatterjee to act as Byomkesh for his four films. Rituparno Ghosh’s last film, Satyanweshi, featuring Sujoy Ghosh as Bomkesh. Jishu also featured Recently by Anjan Dutt for the story Kohen Kobi Kalidas.
2# FeludaFeluda is the result of Satyajit Ray’s wish for a detective character whose adventures can be enjoyed by children. But the genius Ray was, the adults also enamoured by this sharp, suave, dashing crime-solver Prodosh Chandra Mitter, aka Feluda. This tall, fair, dashing and immensely sharp detective Feluda has a one-of-its-kind co-voyager – an adventure-seeker, yet weak and nervous in real life, which aspects together make for uniquely comic interludes – Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu, who accompanies him and Topshe, his nephew assistant in all the cases except the initial few. Feluda burst onto the scene in Feludar Goendagiri, serialised in Sandesh magazine from December 1965 to February 1966. Satyajit Ray immortalised Feluda through his film, Sonar Kella (1974; ‘Golden Fortress’), where the master detective was played by Soumitra Chatterjee. To this day, to many, Feluda is synonymous with Soumitra. He reprised the role in Jai Baba Felunath. A Hindi teleseries was shot in the 1990s where Shashi Kapoor played Feluda. In Bengali, Feluda returned to screen again when Sandip Ray chose Sabyasachi Chatterjee to play the role, which he did commendably and now Abir Chatterjee has come to entertain us with the latest series named “Badshahi Angti”
3# Kiriti RoyKiriti Roy, perfect Bengali Homles is one of the most famous detectives in Bengali literature. He was created by Nihar Ranjan Gupta.
With a long coat and cap, and a pipe hanging from his lips, he is like Holmes carried a magnifying glass with him most of the time. His stories have a sense of adventure, of stalking criminals in the night, in general, a certain blood-curdling quality. He solves crimes with the help of his associate, Subrata Roy. Kiriti was launched in the novel, Kalo Bhromor, also Gupta’s his first detective novel. Nihar Ranjan Gupta wrote eighty odd stories featuring Kiriti.
Kiriti Roy’s mysteries are available in collected editions and are still popular. However, being too similar to Sherlock Holmes, that is, Eurocentric, there is less appeal of his character in modern times, and his popularity is more from the historical perspective. Nihar Ranjan Gupta was a prolific writer, and many of his non-Kiriti novels are also classics, some of which have been made into brilliant films too.
4# ArjunA brain child of Samaresh Majumdar Arjun is a handsome young detective, extremely popular among children.
The author hailed from North Bengal and so it was natural for him to base his character Arjun in Jalpaiguri. There is a reason behind this. However, that has not stopped the detective from solving cases all over the world, and his stories have an inherent sense of adventure, one of the prime reasons they are so popular amongst children.
The first film featuring the detective Arjun was released recently, Kalimpongey Sitaharan. It is a combination of two Arjun stories — Khunkharapi and Kalimpongey Sitaharan.
As the name suggests, they are a set of five young children who go about solving mysteries. These young detectives are on the lines of the popular western teenage detectives created by Enid Blyton, called the Famous Five. The five are Bablu, Bilu, Bhombol, and two sisters, Bachchu and Bichchhu. The first story was called Pandab Goenda, and was published in 1981. The stories are mainly published in Anandamela magazine. Sasthipada is an avid traveler, and his experiences of travelling all over the country are reflected in the adventures that Pandab Goenda undergo.
The adventures of Pandab Goenda were made into a series of animation films in 2007. Pandab Goenda stories continue to regale children interested in Bengali detective fiction.
If we are missing any Detectives from your list kindly comment in the arena. We would be delighted to know from your end soon!
Source – www.maamatimanush.tv