Friday’s Forgotten Book: The Adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray (1988)

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.

Feluda and Topshe (left) in their first adventure, Feludar Goendagiri (Danger in Darjeeling), drawing by Satyajit Ray @Wikipedia

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.

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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

Pages: 267

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Submitted for Friday’s Forgotten Books @ Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom

18 thoughts on “Friday’s Forgotten Book: The Adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray (1988)

      1. Oh, yes! I was in India for three months, end of 2016. (How long ago that seems!) Travelling both by myself, and with a tour group.

        The north:
        Delhi; Jaisalmer; Jodhpur; Udaipur; Pushkar; Jaipur; the Bharatpur sanctuary; Agra and the Taj (by balloon!); Varanasi

        The south:
        Trivandrum; Varkala; a boat on the Kerala backwaters; Kochi; the Periyar nature park; Madurai; Mysore; the Hampi ruins; Goa

        Mumbai

        I fell madly in love with India!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. WoW! that’s wonderful to know, Nick. You have visited the golden triangle: Jaipur-Delh-Agra, the backwaters of Kerala, and even the Hampi ruins which I so much want to see. And Taj on a balloon! Never seen it like that though I have seen it under the moonlight. You have seen much more than I have done!!! Did you also see the Dilwara temples at Abu near Pushkar? Breathtakingly beautiful!!!

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  1. So happy to see these Neeru 🙂 I’ve read only a couple of the Feluda stories so far but seen a handful of the films (Bengali) including of the first of these stories, Sonar Kella. Like you I plan to read the others as well.

    Ray was really multitalented as I discovered when I did a post for his centenary last year–not only did he write, he also designed book covers and also a handful of fonts including four fonts in English.

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    1. I have not seen Feluda’s movies though I did watch the DD serial on him which had Utpal Dutt and Shahsi Kapoor. Haven’t watched many movies of Ray too except for Shatranj ke Khiladi and Ghare-Baire, both of which I loved.

      WoW! That’s some great information about Ray – four fonts!!! Would love to read that post. Could you leave a link plz?

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      1. I haven’t seen those, may be I have seen Shatranj ke Khiladi but not properly. I’ve seen two of his Feluda movies Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath. Also the Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne movies–all three.

        Thanks for mentioning the DD adaptation. I wasn’t aware of that. After reading your post yesterday I remembered I wanted to try his Prof Shonku stories so ordered a small collection which was on sale.

        My post is here:
        https://potpourri2015.wordpress.com/2021/05/02/centenary-post-satyajit-ray-many-facets/comment-page-1/

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew the title of this collection and name of the detective sounded familiar. It’s on the pile as one of the stories is described as a locked room mystery. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello TC, hope 2022 has begun well. That story is not really a locked-room one though it is certainly interesting. I will be interested to know your views on the collection when you read it.

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