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Cover of a Byomkesh Bakshi stories collection , English translation. Still from the TV version with Rajit Kapur (in the foreground) as Bakshi.

Byomkesh Bakshi is a fictional detective in Bengali literature created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The advocate-turned-littérateur Bandyopadhyay was deeply influenced by Sherlock Holmes[1], 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 sleuth have been portrayed by several actors including Uttam Kumar (films such Chiriyakhana and Shajaur Kanta, Sudip Mukherjee (in Bengali miniseries Byomkesh Bakshi) and most accepted Rajit Kapur (in Hindi TV series).

Contents

Major characters and events

Byomkesh meets his lifelong friend, Ajit in Satyanveshi (Satya: truth, 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 Satyabati, someone he meets while investigating the murder of Karalicharan Basu in the case Arthamonortham. 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

  1. Satyanveshi. Byomkesh makes his first appearance and meets lifelong friend and narrator, Ajit. Here the villain is a homoeopath doctor called Anukul Babu.
  2. Pother kanta (also transliterated as Pather kanta). This is a short novel featuring an innovative serial killer.Pother kanta starts off like many of the Byomkesh Bakshi novels while Ajit and Byomkesh are having a conversation in the living room of their Harrison Road flat. Byomkesh has noticed a rather unusual advertisement hidden away in the classifieds section of the Dainik Kalketu daily with the heading Pother Kanta (Thorn of the Road). Translated the ad reads, "If anyone wants to remove the Thorn of the Road, stand next to and hold on to the lamp-post on the southwest corner of the Whiteway-Ladley store on Saturday evening at 5:30." Byomkesh had noticed this peculiar ad being published withoutn fail every Friday for the previous three months. Byomkesh immediately inferred that the person posting the add went to great pains to remain anonymous and chose this cryptic message on purpose. He also selected a meeting place in the centre of Hogg's Market in Calcutta at a very busy time of the day, so that he could pass by the responder without being detected. Byomkesh guessed that the advertiser would probably want to slip something into the responder's pocket, perhaps some instructions, and would want to accomplish this without being detected. Ajit argued that all of this was circumstantial evidence at best and challenged Byomkesh to prove it, a challenge that Byomkesh heartily accepted.All this light banter was interrupted by the entrance of a podgy, middle-aged man who introduced himself as Ashutosh Mitra, a single businessman by profession, and a resident of Nebutola. He had come to seek Byomkesh's service with respect to the gramophone pin mystery. Ajit describes the mystery in detail for the benefit of the reader. Basically, metropolitan Calcutta had been plagued recently by the murders of quite a few influential businessmen who had all been killed by being shot with what resembled an Edison gramophone pin embedded in their hearts. All these individuals had been killed in busy areas of Calcutta in broad daylight while crossing the street. There were no witnesses to any of the crimes and no one had reported hearing anything unusual as would be expected from the release of a projectile from a firearm. The police had been frantically trying to nab the murderer or murderers and had even cordoned off and searched all pedestrians and motorists in the area of a crime immediately after an attack, but were unsuccessful in getting any leads. The police had started to arrest anyone who they suspected might have a motive, but still the murders continued. Calcutta was gripped in a spell of panic.Ashutosh Mitra himself had been the subject of an attack the previous day but his pocket watch which he wore close to his chest had saved him from a death. Since he had lost his faith in the police, he approached Byomkesh, and pleaded with him to save his life. Byomkesh interrogated him and discovered that he had no children, but a nephew who was an alcoholic currently imprisoned for rowdiness. He did have a living will but he politely refused to state who his successor would be, apart from stating that it was not his cousin. Byomkesh took the broken watch and examined it and came to the conclusion that it was broken beyond repair, that the assailant must have fired from no more than 7-8 yards and that he was most likely alone since it is quite unlikely that more than one person would have developed such an acute sense of accuracy. Byomkesh inquired if Mr. Mitra had heard anything when he was attacked to which he replied that he had not, apart from the usual humdrum of midday traffic. Byomkesh noted that all those attacked had been attacked while crossing the street. He also noted a strange coincidence; all the attacked had been successful businessmen with no children to succeed them.On spying on Mr. Mitra that afternoon, Byomkesh learned that he had a mistress, quite pretty according to his account, who lived in a separate house. This woman was accomplished as a musician, but relied solely on Mr. Mitra for living expenses. Unknown to Mr. Mitra, she, had a younger, more handsome lover, who as it turns out, was Mr. Mitra's lawyer.In the evening it was time for Byomkesh and Ajit to pursue the mysterious Pother kanta advertiser. Ajit was sent out in disguise and Byomkesh followed him but maintained a safe distance. Ajit arrived at the designated spot and waited but nothing happened. On his way back he was accosted by a beggar who handed him an envelope. As Ajit was looking at its contents, the beggar left the scene. Ajit them took a roundabout way on his way back home. Byomkesh remarked that inside the envelope was the letter he had been expecting but since Ajit had been searching his own pockets incessantly, the advertiser had waited until he left the scene. did Inside was a letter with the message that when translated would read, "Who is your Thorn of the road? What is his name and address? Clearly state what you want. Next time we'll meet at midnight. Please come alone to the Khiddirpore Road and walk along it. A man on a bicycle will come and take your written responses from you."The very next day a devastated Mr. Mitra arrived and told Byomkesh that his mistress had eloped with his lawyer with all the money that the lawyer could get his hands on. After consoling Mr. Mitra, Byomkesh advised him to go home and to not worry about being attacked again since he believed he was safe now. After Mr. Mitra left, Byomkesh told Ajit that he was responsible for warning the lawyer and the law enforcement officials. He mentioned in passing that he believed that the lawyer and the mistress had conspired to get Mr. Mitra killed by responding to the Pather kanta ad. He had expected the lawyer to elope with his lover and the Burdwan police had nabbed then while en route to escaping.The next morning a certain Mr. Prafulla Roy arrived at their doorstep. He said he was an insurance agent currently in trouble, and he had responded to the Pather kanta ad. He asked Byomkesh whether or not he should pursue it or call the police. To this Byomkesh reacted violently and said he never collaborated with the police and if Mr Roy wanted the police's help he would get none from Byomkesh.The meeting between Ajit and the advertiser was set up to proceed. However, both Ajit and Byomkesh had thick porcelain plates fastened to their chests before heading out for the denoted destination. At the mentioned time while Ajit was on the street he heard the bell of a passing bicycle coming from the opposite direction and immediately fell to the ground. However, the plate had saved his life.Byomkesh jumped on the assailant and thus his sting operation was successful in nabbing the culprit who was none other than Prafulla Roy. But before the police arrived, he was successful in committing suicide by eating a poisoned betel leaf. His only regret before dying was that he had not taken Byomkesh more seriously and had thus fallen prey to the trap Byomkesh had set for him. Byomkesh was awarded by the Metropolitan Police and received a check for two thousand rupees from Mr Mitra. However, he did have to relinquish the bicycle bell which had a spring action mechanism for shooting the gramophone pins while masking the noise with the ringing of the bell.
  3. Seemanto-heera (also transliterated as Sheemanto heera, Seemanta heera or Shimantohira). A story featuring the theft of a diamond.Unlike most of the novels featuring Byomkesh, this one does not involve any violent crime or major plot twists. The story revolves around the theft of a priceless heirloom, the Seemanto-heera or "Frontier Diamond", belonging to the heir of the Roy clan, one of the minor rulers of North Bengal. Byomkesh and Ajit have been invited by the current heir, a young Rai Bahadur Tridibendra Narayan Roy to recover the diamond. The diamond had been in the possession of the ruler for generations and a legend had been built around it. According to the legend, if the diamond were to ever be lost, then the line of succession would end. Tridibendran was the sole heir of his line according to the rules of succession where only the eldest son became ruler, but he did have an uncle, Sir Digindra Narayan Roy who was the younger brother of his father. Sir Roy was an established painter and sculptor who worked with mixed media such as plaster of paris. Sir Roy received a lavish monthly pension but since he wasn't heir-apparent, he did not get possession of the diamond. Consumed by greed, he did steal it while the diamond was on display in Calcutta and he replaced it with a fake that looked exactly the same to the untrained eye. He then notified his nephew that he had taken the diamond.Tridibendra had sought the services of Byomkesh and Ajit to recover the diamond but also requested the utmost secrecy, since he didn't want the press to get wind of this loss. Byomkesh and Ajit returned to Calcutta and checked Sir Roy's house in Ballygunge. The house was very well protected by high walls and a number of guards. Both Ajit and Byomkesh then applied for the post of a secretary to Sir Roy but were detected by the latter and thoroughly humiliated. Not one to lose heart, Byomkesh still boasted that he would find and recover the diamond by the end of the week to which the arrogant Sir Roy took immediate offence. Sir Roy then offered to let him search the house for seven days because he was so confident it wouldn't be discovered. Byomkesh immediately took up the challenge because he realized that this might be the only chance to examine the house and he had already inferred that Sir Roy had hidden it there.Searching for the diamond turned out to be an aruduous task with the work been made even harder by the constant scorn of Sir Roy. Byomkesh could not find anything but he did notice that there were quite a few plaster sculptures including various figurines of Nataraj of different sizes. One was placed on a table in the living room and Byomkesh noticed that Sir Roy stared at the table often though the other items on the table were inconspicuous. Byomkesh asked if he could have the small Nataraj figurine to which Sir Roy said he could, but he also said that this was a priceless work-of-art that had been exhibited at the Louvre and he didn't want Byomkesh to break it because there was nothing hidden inside. Byomkesh took the figurine home but he was disheartened that his major line of enquiry had been busted. Almost casually, he put his initials on the bottom of the figurine. The next day's search seemed to be friutless as well. When he came home though while staring at the figurine, he noticed that the initials were gone and he immediately came to the conclusion that the figurine had been exchanged while he was away. So he had the diamond in his possession for an entire day without being aware of it!He returned to Sir Roy's house and used a sleight-of-hand to replace the figurine with his initials with the one it had been replaced by at his home. He returned the figurine to Tridibendra and when they broke the figurine, they found the diamond inside.
  4. Makorshar rosh. A story about a man consuming tarantula venom as intoxication.Byomkesh solves the case by seeing the colour of the tongue.
  5. Arthamonorthom. A story in which Byomkesh first meets Satyabati.
  6. Chorabali.A story in which the culprit imitates tiger call to give his victims a fright and henceforth they sink in quicksand
  7. Agnibaan. This story is about a scientist who invents matchsticks to kill his second wife to claim the insurance money but eventually his only son and daughter, from his deceased first wife, die.
  8. Upasonghaar. In this story Anukul Babu (villain of the novel "Satyanveshi") has returned and tried to kill Byomkesh using the matchsticks which were used in "Agnibaan".But he did not succeed in doing so.Byomkesh caught him before he could kill him.
  9. Raktomukhi Neela. How a thief gets a precious blue stone from another thief who stole it from a rich man to whom the first thief eventually comes and when he decides to return it back, gets killed.
  10. Byomkesh o Boroda. Sharadindu's two famous character Byomkesh and Boroda meet together and "planchet" takes an important part in this story.
  11. Chitrochor. A Story about a man who stole a group photograph to conceal his identity.In this story ,the character Purandar Pandey was first introduced.
  12. Durgo-rahasyo. A sequel to Chitrochor in terms of location where a descendant of a local historic leader would find inherited gold . In this story , Byomkesh's son was born .In this story Byomkesh and ajit go to the santal district on the invitation of the character Purandar Pandey.The character Purandar Pandey (whome Sharadindu introduced in the Chitrochor case) reappears here . In this case , the criminal murders his wife and a saint by using snake's poison put inside an pen. He also tells the descendant of local historic leader (whose name is Ishan babu) that all the gold kept by his ancestors are hidden inside a canon by liquefying the gold.Byomkesh solves this case by using his razor sharp intillegence.
  13. Chiriyakhana. (Menagerie, literally,refers to zoo of a mundane residential center for handicaps and social outcastes.) Chiriakhana or Chiriyakhana (Bengali: চিড়িয়াখানা) is a 1967 Bengali film by Satyajit Ray. It is a whodunit suspense thriller, starring Uttam Kumar as Byomkesh Bakshi. The title means "The Zoo". The screenplay is by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay.The story revolves around a retired judge, Mr. Sen, who stays at a farm house at the outskirts of Calcutta. His house was previously inhabited by inmates with notorious pasts. One day the judge is murdered under mysterious circumstances, and the local police assign Byomkesh to the investigation. As a close acquaintance of the judge, Byomkesh is more than willing to solve the murder mystery. He then goes on to solve the mystery with lot of twists and turns in the story.

Anthologized in Sharadindu Omnibus Volume II

  1. Adim ripu Story set in the backdrop of indepedence of India where a condemned & miserly rich man gets killed mysteriously.
  2. Banhi-patanga A painting of Shakuntala takes an imoportant part to solve the mystery.
  3. Rokter daag The client himself requests Byomkesh to start investigation if he will be murdered.
  4. Monimondon A cleverly planned theft of a Necklace from a Jeweller's house and kept in a post box.
  5. Amriter mrityu A story about weapon smuglers.The story starts with Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit investigating a government issue in a small village. Nearby, in outskirts of a forest near by a group of children are arguing among each other. One of the boys Amrit proclaims that he had been to the forest previous night while following his wandering calf and had seen a ghost riding on a black horse through the forest. The other boys chide him saying that he is lying and challenges Amrit to go in the forest and mark a tree as proof. Amrit accepts the challenges and goes to the forest. After sometime, the boys hear a gun shot and run inside the forest. There they see Amrit dead on the ground. The boys knowing that Byomkesh is in the village goes to him and asks for his help. Byomkesh agrees to help the children but he is not happy with the police commissioner who never discussed the murder with him. In response the police commissioner says that he should concentrate on the government investigation and leave the petty crimes to the police. Byomkesh is not happy with it and even has a small argument with the commissioner.Later in the evening, Byomkesh goes to the murder scene with the children. He doesn't see any chalk mark and deduces that Amrit was killed before he could his mark. Nearby, he notices a house which belongs to Sadanand Sur who has been out of village for last 6–7 days. Just then he sees horse footsteps around the place. When enquired the children tell Byomkesh that nobody has black horse nor a gun. At the same time they see Sadanand returning to the village. He tells that he has been to Kolkata for some business work. Telling that he walks towards his house. Couple of moments later, Byomkesh and the boys hear a bomb blast coming from Sadanands house. They run down to the spot and see Sadanand lying on the ground dead with injuries inflicted by the blast.Byomkesh investigates around and finds that the bomb was kept as a booby trap. He deduces whoever set up the bomb knew that Sadanand would be coming soon and placed the bomb. Byomkesh also suggests that Amrit death was linked to the killing of Sadanand and whoever wanted to kill Sadanand killed Amrit too.Byomkesh asks the police for the post mortem and the goes on to meet the conductor of the village station. The conductor clearly remembers Sadanand going to Kolkata on train 713 down. He also mentions that Sadanand was a very genial person and has a married sister staying in a nearby village with her husband.Byomkesh then goes along to meet couple of important person in the village. First on the list is Vishwanath Mullick who has 7-6 horses though in the conversation he denies having a black horse though he tells that another businessman in the village Badridas Marwari has a black horse. They also come to know from his manager that Sadanand was a good person and he had borrowed Rs. 1000 from Vishwanath to start a dispensary in Kolkata but no record was kept for the transaction.Post-mortem report of Amrit comes out and its found that the bullet was shot from a revolver which was used by Americans during World War II when they had a military barrack in the village. After the war, they left behind the ammunitions and now people sell them in the black market.They go on and meet Badridas Marwari but he lies to all the questions.Byomkesh then decides to go and meet Sadanands sister and makes sure that everybody knows about it. In the station they see Badridas coming and returning after seeing Byomkesh. They also meet Vishwanath who is in station to deal with some business matter. Just as the train starts, we realise that it was a plan by Byomkesh to tell everybody that he was going out of village. Actually, he plans to get down in the next station and goes back to the village as he is convinced that the solution to the mystery lies in the village itself and he hopes to capture the killer the same night.Back in the village, Byomkesh groups the children and goes to the forest. There he assigns each of them a job to lookout for. After some time, they see that a person comes riding on a black horse, goes near a tree and does something with one of the branches.Next day Byomkesh visits Vishwanath and arrests him for the murder of Amrit and Sadanand Sur.In the ending scenes, Byomkesh discloses that Vishwanath used to illegally deal with ammunition and he used to hide them near Sadanands house. It happens that Sadanand comes to know about it and blackmails Vishwanath. Initially, Vishwanath pays him Rs. 1000 but later on decides to kill him. So he plants the bomb in his house. It was at this time when he was planting the bomb that Amrit saw and he had no choice but to kill him.
  6. Shaila Rahasya A ghostly event helps Byomkesh to solve the crime but he fails to catch murderers.
  7. Ochin pakhi Where byomkesh finds out the killer by merely hearing the event from a retired policeman .
  8. Kohen kobi Kalidas Killing of a cunning man in a city full of coaliaries.
  9. Adrishyo trikon A constable requests Byomkesh to trap the killer of his love.
  10. Khunji khunji nari A cleverly designed will to share property to daughter as well.
  11. Adwitiyo. Byomkesh solves the mystery of a lady in disguise.
  12. Mognomoinak An eminent man being blackmailed by the daughter of his old flame.
  13. Dushtochokro A future killer tries to create allibi to Byomkesh by calling him.
  14. Hneyalir chhondo A father takes revenge to the killer of his son.
  15. Room no. 2 .A murder in a Hotel room.From this story Ajit stops narrating Byomkesh's case history.
  16. Chholonar chhondo A person tries to kill a lookalike of the original person he wanted to kill.
  17. Shojarur kanta Excellent saga of post marriage love where the girl's ex-boyfriend tried to kill his love's husband.Shojarur kanta was also made into a successful Bengali film .
  18. Benishonghar. Master gets killed as well to divert the motive to kill the servant.
  19. Lohar biscuit In this story Byomkesh solves the mystery of Golden Biscuits.
  20. Bishupal bodh. Murder of a Dramatist & Thespian while acting in a play.Incomplete

Translations

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)

In 2008, Sarup and Sons, New Delhi, published Pinaki Roy's The Manichean Investigators: A Postcolonial and Cultural Rereading of the Sherlock Holmes and Byomkesh Bakshi Stories (ISBN 9788176258494) that offers a postcolonial rereading of almost all the Byomkesh Bakshi stories (in English translated form). Critical works on Byomkesh Bakshi in English being sparse, the Malda College lecturer's criticism could provide researchers in Indian detective fiction with plenty of information regarding the history of Indian sleuth stories and the authors' postcolonial reactions in the stories written between the 1930s and 1970s.

The Gramophone Pin Mystery (Pather Kanta) Story :- This is a short novel featuring an innovative serial killer.Pather Kanta starts off like many of the Byomkesh Bakshi novels while Ajit and Byomkesh are having a conversation in the living room of their Harrison Road flat. Byomkesh has noticed a rather unusual advertisement hidden away in the classifieds section of the Dainik Kalketu daily with the heading Pother Kanta (Thorn of the Road). Translated the ad reads, "If anyone wants to remove the Thorn of the Road, stand next to and hold on to the lamp-post on the southwest corner of the Whiteway-Ladley store on Saturday evening at 5:30." Byomkesh had noticed this peculiar ad being published withoutn fail every Friday for the previous three months. Byomkesh immediately inferred that the person posting the add went to great pains to remain anonymous and chose this cryptic message on purpose. He also selected a meeting place in the centre of Hogg's Market in Calcutta at a very busy time of the day, so that he could pass by the responder without being detected. Byomkesh guessed that the advertiser would probably want to slip something into the responder's pocket, perhaps some instructions, and would want to accomplish this without being detected. Ajit argued that all of this was circumstantial evidence at best and challenged Byomkesh to prove it, a challenge that Byomkesh heartily accepted.All this light banter was interrupted by the entrance of a podgy, middle-aged man who introduced himself as Ashutosh Mitra, a single businessman by profession, and a resident of Nebutola. He had come to seek Byomkesh's service with respect to the gramophone pin mystery. Ajit describes the mystery in detail for the benefit of the reader. Basically, metropolitan Calcutta had been plagued recently by the murders of quite a few influential businessmen who had all been killed by being shot with what resembled an Edison gramophone pin embedded in their hearts. All these individuals had been killed in busy areas of Calcutta in broad daylight while crossing the street. There were no witnesses to any of the crimes and no one had reported hearing anything unusual as would be expected from the release of a projectile from a firearm. The police had been frantically trying to nab the murderer or murderers and had even cordoned off and searched all pedestrians and motorists in the area of a crime immediately after an attack, but were unsuccessful in getting any leads. The police had started to arrest anyone who they suspected might have a motive, but still the murders continued. Calcutta was gripped in a spell of panic.Ashutosh Mitra himself had been the subject of an attack the previous day but his pocket watch which he wore close to his chest had saved him from a death. Since he had lost his faith in the police, he approached Byomkesh, and pleaded with him to save his life. Byomkesh interrogated him and discovered that he had no children, but a nephew who was an alcoholic currently imprisoned for rowdiness. He did have a living will but he politely refused to state who his successor would be, apart from stating that it was not his cousin. Byomkesh took the broken watch and examined it and came to the conclusion that it was broken beyond repair, that the assailant must have fired from no more than 7-8 yards and that he was most likely alone since it is quite unlikely that more than one person would have developed such an acute sense of accuracy. Byomkesh inquired if Mr. Mitra had heard anything when he was attacked to which he replied that he had not, apart from the usual humdrum of midday traffic. Byomkesh noted that all those attacked had been attacked while crossing the street. He also noted a strange coincidence; all the attacked had been successful businessmen with no children to succeed them.On spying on Mr. Mitra that afternoon, Byomkesh learned that he had a mistress, quite pretty according to his account, who lived in a separate house. This woman was accomplished as a musician, but relied solely on Mr. Mitra for living expenses. Unknown to Mr. Mitra, she, had a younger, more handsome lover, who as it turns out, was Mr. Mitra's lawyer.In the evening it was time for Byomkesh and Ajit to pursue the mysterious Pother kanta advertiser. Ajit was sent out in disguise and Byomkesh followed him but maintained a safe distance. Ajit arrived at the designated spot and waited but nothing happened. On his way back he was accosted by a beggar who handed him an envelope. As Ajit was looking at its contents, the beggar left the scene. Ajit them took a roundabout way on his way back home. Byomkesh remarked that inside the envelope was the letter he had been expecting but since Ajit had been searching his own pockets incessantly, the advertiser had waited until he left the scene. did Inside was a letter with the message that when translated would read, "Who is your Thorn of the road? What is his name and address? Clearly state what you want. Next time we'll meet at midnight. Please come alone to the Khiddirpore Road and walk along it. A man on a bicycle will come and take your written responses from you."The very next day a devastated Mr. Mitra arrived and told Byomkesh that his mistress had eloped with his lawyer with all the money that the lawyer could get his hands on. After consoling Mr. Mitra, Byomkesh advised him to go home and to not worry about being attacked again since he believed he was safe now. After Mr. Mitra left, Byomkesh told Ajit that he was responsible for warning the lawyer and the law enforcement officials. He mentioned in passing that he believed that the lawyer and the mistress had conspired to get Mr. Mitra killed by responding to the Pather kanta ad. He had expected the lawyer to elope with his lover and the Burdwan police had nabbed then while en route to escaping.The next morning a certain Mr. Prafulla Roy arrived at their doorstep. He said he was an insurance agent currently in trouble, and he had responded to the Pather kanta ad. He asked Byomkesh whether or not he should pursue it or call the police. To this Byomkesh reacted violently and said he never collaborated with the police and if Mr Roy wanted the police's help he would get none from Byomkesh.The meeting between Ajit and the advertiser was set up to proceed. However, both Ajit and Byomkesh had thick porcelain plates fastened to their chests before heading out for the denoted destination. At the mentioned time while Ajit was on the street he heard the bell of a passing bicycle coming from the opposite direction and immediately fell to the ground. However, the plate had saved his life.Byomkesh jumped on the assailant and thus his sting operation was successful in nabbing the culprit who was none other than Prafulla Roy. But before the police arrived, he was successful in committing suicide by eating a poisoned betel leaf. His only regret before dying was that he had not taken Byomkesh more seriously and had thus fallen prey to the trap Byomkesh had set for him. Byomkesh was awarded by the Metropolitan Police and received a check for two thousand rupees from Mr Mitra. However, he did have to relinquish the bicycle bell which had a spring action mechanism for shooting the gramophone pins while masking the noise with the ringing of the bell.

Trivia

Harrison Road and Strand Road intersection c. 1945. Byomkesh and Ajit spent most of the years in an apartment not far from here.
  • 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, Satyanveshi, 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 Satyanveshi 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'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.

Byomkesh Bakshi Stories

  1. Satyanveshi
  2. Pother kanta
  3. Seemanto-heera
  4. Makorshar rosh
  5. Arthamonorthom
  6. Chorabali
  7. Agnibaan
  8. Upasonghaar
  9. Raktomukhi Neela
  10. Byomkesh o Boroda
  11. Chitrochor
  12. Durgo-rahasyo
  13. Chiriyakhana
  14. Adim shatru
  15. Banhi-patanga
  16. Rokter daag
  17. Monimondon
  18. Amriter mrityu
  19. Shaila Rahasya
  20. Ochin pakhi
  21. Kohen kobi Kalidas
  22. Adrishyo trikon
  23. Khunji khunji nari
  24. Adwitiyo
  25. Mognomoinak
  26. Dushtochokro
  27. Hneyalir chhondo
  28. Room no. 2
  29. Chholonar chhondo
  30. Shojarur kanta
  31. Benishonghar
  32. Lohar biscuit
  33. Bishupal bodh

Film and TV adaptations

  • Chiriyakhana aka The Zoo(1967) directed by Satyajit Ray and produced by Harendranath Bhattacharjya of Star Productions was the first Screen Adaptation of the Sleuth's cases.Uttam Kumar had played the role of Byomkesh Bakshi while Shailen Mukherjee played the character of Ajit. The film boasted an ensemble cast of contemporary actors. The film was a huge success with Uttam Kumar as Bakshi bagging his first National Award for the role and director Satyajit Ray receiving a National Award for best direction. In 2006, the film was released by Angel Video on DVD, along with a separate 'Remastered Collector's Edition'.
  • Shajarur Kanta(1974) directed by actress-turned-director Manju Dey and produced by Star Productions was the second (and last) film of the Bakshi series. Uttam Kumar and Shailen Mukherjee reprised their role as Bakshi and Ajit. The film was a moderate success, not being able to attract as large an audience as the first film.
  • Byomkesh Bakshi(1993) directed by Basu Chatterjee was the critically acclaimed television adaptation of the series. Actor Rajit Kapur played the role of Byomkesh Bakshi, for which he was highly praised. Ajit was played by K.K. Raina and Satyavati was played by Sukanya Kulkarni who was the first actress to play the character. The series lasted for 54 episodes.
  • Byomkesh Bakshi(2004) directed by Swapan Ghoshal was the second television adaptation of the series also aired on Duradarshan. This series was also a success. Actor Sudip Mukherjee debuted with the role of Byomkesh Bakshi and got a grand success following Rajit kapur. Debdut Ghosh have played he role of Ajit and also accepted by audience. Satyavati was played by Maitreyi Mitra. Like the Hindi Series this series also had some of ensemble cast of that time.
  • Byomkesh(2007) directed by Swapan ghoshal who also directed the previous series for Durdarshan that time he collaborated with Tara Muzik(a private bengali channel). Actor Saptarshi Roy have played Bakshi while Ajit and Satyavati were played by two other lesser-known actors. This version of series is a bit low-profile unlike its predecedors. The series did not get the success also. the DVDs of the series was released by Mosearbear again.
  • Magna-Mainak(in-production)is an upcoming bengali feature-length film adaptation of the series directed by Swapan Ghoshal again who also directed the two bengali TV series on the sleuth. The film is featuring several TV actors. TV Actor Shuvrajit Dutta is playing Bakshi. The director-producer have announced that they will make at least a Trilogy on Byomkesh with stories such Bonhi-Potongo and Rokter Daag.
  • Adim Ripu(in-production) is first installment of anther upcoming Byomkesh-film-trilogy directed by Singer-Song-writer-Actor-Director Anjan Dutta and produced by Red Molucules. The trilogy is shooting in Black and White to capture the essence of the post-colonial Kolkata. The film is scheduled to release on December 2009. The series will be followed by the other two stories Chitrachor and Kohen Kobi Kalidas. Like the several successful films of Dutta this Trilogy also led by some young and relatively non-celebrity actors. Actor Abir Chatterjee is playing Bakshi while Ushashi Chakrabarty is playing Satyvati. While the character of Ajit is being played by veteran actor Saswata Chatterjee who was the initial choice of Dutta for the role of the sleuth. Coincidentally the actor also played the role of Topse - the juvenile assistant of another great sleuth of bengal Feluda along with Sabyasachi Chakraborty in Baksho Rahashya (film)(1996) and a TV miniseries Feluda 30(1997-2001).
  • Director Shaibal Mitra have approached Naseeruddin Shah for the role of Bakshi in his 60s for an Hindi Film-adaptation of Shajarur Kanta.
  • A Bengali director from Bollywood is negotiating for the Hindi rights of six Byomkesh, including that of Arthamonorthom!” says Malabika, Prabir Chakrabarty’s better half who has the power of attorney for dealing with Bandopadhyay’s works said on Times of India, 21 Feb, 2009.
  • Director Rituporno Ghosh was also announced to make a film-trilogy on Byomkesh starting with Arthamanartham under the productions of Rose Valleys Motion Pictures. He has cast an ensemble cast for the series along with Prosenjit as Bakshi, Tapas Paul as Ajit and Paoli Damas Satyavati. Later the project was shelved.

See also

References

External links








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