Cinematic legend, Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) is renowned all over the world for his filmmaking skills, especially for his Apu trilogy. Not many people know that he was also a very keen reader of detective stories and that his own creation, Prodosh Chandra Mitter [more famously known by the sobriquet Feluda] is one of the most popular detectives in India. Feluda made his first appearance in 1965 in the Bengali magazine Sandesh which had been started by Ray’s grandfather and which Ray revived in 1961. From his first appearance Feluda was well-liked by the public and Ray continued to pen his adventures as people fell in love with the erudite investigator. The cases or adventures are narrated by Feluda’s young cousin, Topshe, who uses the respectful ‘da’ (which is short for dada- elder brother in Bengali) after the detective’s nickname, hence Felu becomes Feluda.
This book comprises four adventures of Feluda. The Golden Fortess in which the kidnapping of a child who professes to remember his previous birth takes the two cousins to the desert state of Rajasthan. Enroute, they are joined by Lalmohan Ganguli, a popular writer of thrillers under the pseudonym Jatayu, who thenceforth becomes a staple of Feluda’s stories. The second, The Buccaneer of Bombay, takes them to the Hindi film industry at Bombay as one of Jatayu’s novels is being turned into a film. The Mystery at Golok Lodge is set in a creepy and crumbling house in Calcutta whereas the last Trouble in the Graveyard deals with spirits of the past that do not rest easy.
This was my second read of Feluda’s adventures and it was rollicking fun. I plan to read all his adventures.
First Line: Feluda noisily slammed together the covers of his book.
First Published (together in English): 1988
Original Language: Bengali
Translator: Chitra Banerji
Publication Details: New Delhi: Penguin, 1988
Submitted for Friday’s Forgotten Books @ Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom