Satyajit Ray’s Feluda has been a favourite of mine ever since I read it on a train journey from Calcutta to Madras. I was I think 13 and the journey long with only my pesky little brother for company. Mom took us to Oxford Bookstore on Park Street in Calcutta and bought “The Adventures of Feluda”, the first of the Feluda adventures to be translated into English. It was a blue colour book that started my Feluda fixation. So I read about Feluda the incomparable Charminar-smoking detective with a razor sharp brain, his Watson Topshe and the ever-funny Lal Mohan Ganguly, the writer of bumbling overseas adventures with incorrigible names like “Holocaust in Honolulu” on a moving train to music graciously provided by my travelling companions, a band of North Eastern boys who were strumming the guitar nearby. And I have not yet forgotten what I read. Till date I recommend Feluda adventures to anybody who’d care to listen. The only flip side is that when I accidentally recommend them to Bengalis, they say, “So, you’ve read them only in English? You have read nothing. It’s better in Bangla.” busting my little bubble.
I have since then collected all the adventures of Feluda. And now for some interesting news: Sandip Ray is making Tinterreto’s Jesus one of Feluda’s later cases into a movie. I must admit I haven’t seen any Sandip Ray’s Feluda films. My favourites still are Joi Baba Felunath and Shonar Kella. But I am eagerly waiting for this one.
PS: Feluda to the uninitiated is Prodosh Mitter, the detective who lives in Calcutta. He is a private investigator in the style of Sherlock Holmes, taking up only interesting cases and willing to put both physical and mental energy into solving them. He is assisted by his 14-year-old cousin, Tapesh (aka Topshe) an able lieutenant who records the cases and picks up useful snippets of Feluda’s methods on the way. The two are also accompanied by Lalmohan Ganguly, an enthusiastic and cheerful companion who writes potboiler thrillers under the name of Jatayu.