Book of the week - Feluda
Dominus Omnium Magister. It means God is the master of all things
“When a new character appears in your tale, you must describe his looks and clothes in some detail. If you don’t, your reader may imagine certain things on his own, which will probably not fit whatever you say later on.’ So”
― Satyajit Ray, The Complete Adventures of Feluda: Volume II
Okay, many of you might have heard of Feluda, but few know it’s a series of ‘35 Feluda stories’. It doesn’t end here, there is another set of 4 unfished stories under the same label.
It’s been more than 50 years to when Satyajit Ray introduced Feluda in Bengali literature, and it still remains a hit. Prodosh Chandra Mitter nicknamed Feluda is a fictional private investigator created in 1965; who resides at 21 Rajani Sen Road, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
This young man is (the list goes long), tall, smart, reserved, upright, honest to the core, extremely well-read, interested in all things under the sun, foodie, excellent with wordplays and card tricks, physically fit, has an excellent sense of humor, possessing photographic memory, possessing certain extraordinary physical capabilities like being able to see clearly in almost pitch-dark, extremely logical and yet with a mind completely open to the paranormal and pseudoscience!
That’s a lot, tho why? Satyajit wanted to set his creation apart from the stereotype that an average Bengali man in his early thirties tends to portray.
Feluda’s first adventure was Feludar Goendagiri! That’s where all his adventures started. Often accompanied by his cousin who unofficially is also his assistant Topshe also serves as the narrator of the stories. In the 6th tale(Sonar Kella), they are accompanied by a popular thriller writer Jatayu.
And then, this young trio never looked back. They took their paths from the verdant slopes of Pahalgam to the barren deserts of Jaisalmer to the windy beaches of Puri, to the dark, damp and serpentine lanes of Benaras (all a far more attractive proposition than one set in a bungalow in urban Kolkata). Added to this is the immaculate and artistic, yet terse description of the locales by Ray, so the setting is taken care of well.
All in all, to the readers the stories feel like travelogues though the primary focus is on the crime-solving capability of Feluda.
I would like to call the end with a quote from volume 1 of Feluda.
― Satyajit Ray, The Complete Adventures of Feluda: Volume I