Byomkesh Bakshi

Byomkesh Bakshi

Byomkesh Bakshi is a fictional detective in Bengali literature created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The advocate-turned-litterateur Bandyopadhyay was deeply influenced by the different Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Father Brown stories as well as the "tales of ratiocination" produced by Edgar Allan Poe. He was, however, concerned with how the Indian and Bengali fictional detectives created between 1890 and 1930 had failed to exist as something other than mere copies of the Western (and particularly English) fictional detectives. The stories of Dinendra Kumar Ray's Robert Blake, Panchkari Dey's Debendra Bijoy Mitra or Swapan Kumar's Deepak Chatterjee were almost always set in London or in Kolkata which was identifiably the British metropolis. It was almost as a postcolonial response that Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay introduced the Bengali 'bhadrolok' (gentleman) sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit Banerjee (Byomkesh's associate and narrator) in "Pather Kanta" in 1932, and began to write of them as investigating in an Indian metropolis - the capital of British India until 1911 - that has had been thoroughly Indianised. Initially serialized in the literary magazine "Basumati," the stories and novels were all eventually published in hardcover editions, the first being "Byomkesher Diary."

The detective was picturized in a film ("Chiriyakhana" or "The Zoo") by Satyajit Ray, starring Uttam Kumar in 1967. It has also been televised in Hindi by Doordarshan by Basu Chatterjee, featuring Rajit Kapur.

Major characters and events

Byomkesh meets his lifelong friend, Ajit in "Satyanveshi" (Satya-Truth and anveshi - investigator), where he introduces himself as a "truth seeker" under the alias Atulchandra Mitra. Later, Byomkesh and Ajit share a flat on Harrison Road. Ajit's ambition from the start is to be a writer and he becomes moderately successful by narrating their cases. He buys a car in the later years of World War II. Byomkesh and Ajit get many of their leads from their favorite newspaper, "Dainik Kalketu". Byomkesh marries Satyaboti, someone he meets while investigating the murder of Karalicharan Basu. Later, they buy a house. Puntiram is their faithful servant through most of the novels. The sympathetic police officer, Purandar Pandey, who helps out in many cases first makes his appearance in "Chitrochor". During the "Durgo-rahasyo" case, Byomkesh's son is born. In many of the novels written after the war, Sharadindu changes from a first-person narrative to a more impersonal third-person format.

Literature Featuring Byomkesh Bakshi

Anthologized in Sharadindu Omnibus Volume I

# "Satyanveshi" Byomkesh makes his first appearance and meets lifelong friend and narrator, Ajit. Here the villain is a Homaeopath doctor called Anukul Babu.
# "Pother kanta" (also transliterated as "Pather kanta"). This is a short novel featuring an innovative serial killer.
# "Seemanto-heera" (can also be transliterated as "Sheemanto heera", "Seemanta heera" or "Shimantohira. 'A story featuring the theft of a diamond.'
# "Makorshar rosh 'A story about a man consuming "Tarantulla" venom of spider as intoxication.
# "Arthamonorthom 'A story in which Byomkesh first met Satyabati.'
# "Chorabali"
# "Agnibaan 'This story is about a scientist who invented match sticks to kill his wife to claim the insurance money but eventually his only son and daughter died.'
# "Upasonghaar 'In this story Anukul Babu (villain of the novel "Satyanneshi") has returned & tried to kill Byomkesh using the match-sticks which were used in "Agnibaan".'
# "Raktomukhi Neela"
# "Byomkesh o Boroda"
# "Chitrochor 'A Story about a man who stole a group photograph to conceal his identity.'
# "Durgo-rahasyo"
# "Chiriyakhana"

Anthologized in Sharadindu Omnibus Volume II

#"Adim ripu"
#"Rokter daag"
#"Amriter mrityu
#"Shaila Rahasya"
#"Ochin pakhi"
#"Kohen kobi Kalidas"
#"Adrishyo trikon"
#"Khunji khunji nari
#"Hneyalir chhondo"
#"Room no. 2
#"Chholonar chhondo"
#"Shojarur kanta
#"Lohar biscuit" 'In this story Byomkesh solved the mystery of Golden Biscuits'
#"Bishupal bodh". Incomplete

Penguin Books (India) have started publishing English translations (translated by Sreejata Guha currently living in Pittsburgh, USA) of Byomkesh novellas. The first book released in 1999, "Picture Imperfect", has the following stories:1. The Inquisitor (Satyanveshi)2. The Gramophone Pin Mystery (Pather Kanta)3. The Venom of the Tarantula (Makarshar Rosh)4. Where there's a Will (Arthamanartham)5. Calamity Strikes (Ognibaan)6. An Encore for Byomkesh (Upasanhar)7. Picture Imperfect (Chitrachor)

Recently, "Sarup and Sons", New Delhi, has published Pinaki Roy's " " (ISBN 9788176258494) that offers a postcolonial rereading of almost all the Byomkesh Bakshi stories (in English translated form).


* The customs and manners of Calcutta during the British Raj are very well portrayed in the earlier books, from street names to the names of the shops. Interestingly, the bridge spanning the Hooghly river, was a pontoon bridge as mentioned by Byomkesh twice in "Pother kanta". This was prior to the current Howrah Bridge, construction of which began three years after the publication of the first edition of the novel.

* In the foreword to the first anthologized edition of stories featuring Byomkesh, "Byomkesher diary," published by Gurudas Chottopadhyay and Sons, which contained "Pother kanta", "Satyanneshi", "Seemanto-heera" and "Makorshar rosh", Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay wrote, "Many will be anxious to know whether these are original stories or merely transcreated from foreign novels. For the interest of the general reader, I'd like to make it known that these are completely my own creations"

* Although "Pother kanta" was the first novel featuring Byomkesh that Sharadindu wrote, since "Satyanneshi" is the novel in which the character of Byomkesh Bakshi is established, it is considered by readers to be the first in the series.

* Byomkesh learned to play chess from Ajit.

* Byomkesh learns to love poetry on reading Sukumar Ray's "Abol Tabol", a book given to his son by Ajit.

* Byomkesh's father was a mathematics teacher by profession.

* Byomkesh reads the personal advertisements in a newspaper as if they were the real news. In stories like Pather Kanta, cases are partially introduced through the personal advertisement section of the newspaper.

* Although most stories are penned by Ajit, somewhere through the second book of Byomkesh stories, he gives up writing Byomkesh's accounts.

* Satyajit Ray named his first Professor Shonku story "Byomjatrir Diary" - a play on the title of the first Byomkesh novel.

External links

* [ An outline of Bengali fictional detectives]
* [ An English translation of a few stories] (ISBN 0-14-028710-8)
* [ Also a second book translated in to English]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bakshi — is a surname found among both Hindu and Muslim Punjabis, as well as Kashmiris. Bakshi also belong to the Sikh. This is also used as a title bestowed on them by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Sikh Bakshis are from Rawalpindi area and are khatris. Also… …   Wikipedia

  • Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay — Born 30 March 1899(1899 03 30) Jaunpur, British India Died 22 September 1970(1970 09 22) (aged 71) Pune, India …   Wikipedia

  • Pother kanta — infobox Book | name = A Thorn on the Path title orig = (পথের কাঁটা) Pother kanta or transliterated as Pather kanta translator = image caption = author = Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay cover artist = country = India language = Bengali series = Byomkesh… …   Wikipedia

  • Non-canonical Sherlock Holmes works — Sherlock Holmes has long been a popular character for authors and creators other than Arthur Conan Doyle. Their works can be grouped into four broad categories: new Sherlock Holmes stories; stories in which Holmes appears in a cameo role; stories …   Wikipedia

  • Chiriakhana — Filmdaten Originaltitel চিড়িয়াখানা (Chiriakhana) Produktionsland Indien …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chiriyakhana — Filmdaten Originaltitel: চিড়িয়াখানা (Chiriakhana) Produktionsland: Indien Erscheinungsjahr: 1967 Länge: 121 Minuten Originalsprache: Bengalisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amriter Mrityu — Infobox short story | name = Amriter Mrityu author = Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay title orig = translator = country = India language = Bengali series = Byomkesh Bakshi subject = genre = Crime preceded by = Monimondon followed by = Shaila Rahasya… …   Wikipedia

  • Seemanto-heera — infobox Book | name = The Frontier Diamond title orig = Seemanto heera , Sheemanto heera , Seemanta heera , or Shimantohira translator = author = Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay cover artist = country = India language = Bengali series = Byomkesh Bakshi… …   Wikipedia

  • Non-canonical works related and derived from Sherlock Holmes — Sherlock Holmes has long been a popular character for authors and creatives other than Arthur Conan Doyle. Their works can be grouped into four broad categories: new Sherlock Holmes stories; stories in which Holmes appears in a cameo role;… …   Wikipedia

  • Ajit Bandyopadhyay — Ajit Bandyopadhyay, also known as Ajit Banerjee or simply Ajit, is a longtime friend, associate, and narrator of Byomkesh Bakshi in the Bengali detective fiction written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. Ajit meets Byomkesh in Satyanneshi where he… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”