Diving into the world of Feluda
Feluda is arguably the most famous Bangali detective. A fan favourite, Feluda is the creation of virtuoso Satyajit Ray. Feluda is a private detective living in Kolkata. There is however no need to think that all his cases are in Kolkata. From Hong Kong to Hajaribag, Feluda has cracked cases in many parts of the world.
The first book in the Feluda series is ‘Badshahi Angti’. Here we see Feluda and his cousin Topesh (affectionately called Topshe by Feluda) go about their investigation. Topesh deeply admires his elder brother and is ever ready to assist him during cases. The third person in the trio is Joyatu aka Lalmohon Ganguly. Jotayu is a best seller author of thrillers. In fact, his books are based on the adventures of fictional character Prokhor Rudro, who is a detective too.
I first read Feluda when I was thirteen or fourteen. I don’t exactly remember at this point. This is the one of the reasons why I write down personal stories. I have a fear that as I grow older, memories might fade away. These writings will then act as reminder of my exploits.
I borrowed the two Feluda Shomogro when I was a teenager and dived into them. My christening into the Feluda fan club was complete. Needless to say, I was in awe of the man. Feluda to me was not just a detective, he was a brilliant man with a heart of gold. His pursued his ambition of being a detective whole heartedly and with utmost dedication. His two companions, Topesh and Jotayu were if not more but equally adventurous. Their concern and care for Feluda too is admirable.
I have watched both Soumitra Chaterjee’s and Sabyashachi Chakroborty’s Feluda movies with equal enthusiasm. Same goes for Toto Roy Chowdhury’s web series ‘Feluda Pherot’. My favourite Feluda movie is Sonar Kella. It is the story of a boy called ‘Mukul’ who claims to remember his past life and speaks of hidden treasures. Shot in Rajasthan, this is probably one of Satyajit Ray’s superior cinemas. Recently I watched Feluda Pherot and it was refreshingly good. It is always a pleasure to watch new adaptations of Feluda’s stories and Toto Roy Chowdhury proved to be a nearly perfect Feluda. The first season of Feluda Pherot is based on ‘Chinnomoster Obhishap’.
A few months ago, I got the full Satyajit Rochonaboli and started rereading Feluda. It was incredible. I was in for an absolute treat. I loved the stories more than I had done when I was a child. As the Feluda trio moved from case to case and travelled around, it felt to me like I was travelling too with them but without moving. I looked forward to the hot chocolate of Keventers in Darjeeling. I roamed around the Imambara in Lucknow. I stood in awe of the snow capped mountains of Kedarnath. Multiple times, I found myself waiting for the waves in Puri beach to crash at my feet.
Jotayu’s riotous comments and Feluda’s incredible wit are a match made in heaven. Whenever Jotayu makes a farcical comment, Feluda can hardly ever contain himself to not pass a snarky remark. The friendship between these two is precious.
Most people will remember Mogonlal Meghraj, the notorious villain in the Feluda series to have only appeared in ‘Sonar Kella’. But actually Mogonlal Meghraj vs Feluda face off takes place during a couple of other cases as well. This was something I had completely forgotten in the years between my first and second read of Feluda.
Allow me to end my reminiscing of Feluda with a few lines from the Feluda Pherot webseries theme song written by Srijato Bandyopadhyay. The song comes close to giving one a brief overview of what Feluda’s life is like.
“কে কোথায় আছে শত্রু চেনা
ফের শুরু হলো খোঁজ,
যায় সময় তবু ধার কমে না
তার যে অস্ত্র মগজ ।
ফের ছুটে চলা এদেশ ওদেশ
ঠিক খুলে যাবে জট
ফের সময়মত সল্ভ হবে কেস
দুষ্টু লোক স্পিকটি নট ।”