Favorite Indian Detectives – Feluda by Satyajit Ray

Who –

Feluda aka Prodosh Chandra Mitra

Creator –

Satyajit Ray

Novels –

Originally written in Bengali, a large number of Ray’s detective books have been translated to English and are available for purchase on various e-commerce platforms.

About the detective –

Prodosh Chandra Mitra or Prodosh C Mitter is a private investigator based out of 21, Rajani Sen Road, Kolkata. He is assisted by his cousin Tapesh Ranjan Mitra aka Topshe in all the cases. They befriend a writer Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu during their adventure in Jaipur (in the book Sonar Kella) and the trio remains inseparable until the last book.

It is believed that Ray was highly influenced by the writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous detective character Sherlock Holmes. In multiple instances, Feluda is heard calling Sherlock his ‘guru’. Topshe is similar to the character of Dr. Watson. Even the character of Sidhu Jetha is said to be inspired by Sherlock’s elder brother Mycroft Holmes. Feluda is 6ft 2inches, fond of exercise and is often choosy about the cases he accepts. He loves his pack of Charminar cigarettes, prefers to have his evening tea with a snack made from Bengal gram called dalmut and keeps a 0.32 colt revolver for security. Feluda manages to solve most of his cases through his analytical abilities using his brains that he refers to as magajashtra and thus the books rarely have unnecessary action-packed sequences. While most of his initial cases are set in Kolkata and other parts of Bengal, we see him move to Bombay in Bombaiyyer Bombete, Kashmir in Bhuswarga Bhayankar, Hong Kong in Tintorettor Jishu and London in Golapi Mukto rahasya. The climax in this series usually involved a scene where Feluda gathered all the characters and revealed the modus operandi and thoughts of the killer before revealing the identity of the antagonist.

From books to screens –

Two of the books had been adapted to Bengali movies by Ray himself. Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath starring the Bengali veteran actor Soumitro Chatterjee. His son, the renowned filmmaker, Sandip Ray directed a few more of his stories like Royal Bengal rahasya, Bombaiyyer Bombette starring Sabyasachi Chakroborty in the lead role. Recently, he adapted one of the earlier works of Ray titled Hirer angti casting actor Abir Chatterjee (who rose to fame portraying the character Byomkesh Bakshy in movies). Very recently a web series has also made. This goes to prove that the appeal of this sharp-minded detective is evergreen.

My bookish connection with Feluda – 

Feluda by Satyajit Ray
Feluda by Satyajit Ray

I grew up in a family of Bibliophiles. My Maths Professor father had one exclusive bookshelf for his academic books and the second one was shared with my mother for Bengali literature classics and contemporary Bengali novels. I was in class four my parents gifted me the first-ever detective book of my life on my birthday – Gangtoke Gondogol.

The first time that I read this book, I found it to be too complicated for a ten-year-old. It involved concepts like planchette that was unrelatable to me at that point. But Baba started buying me more of Ray’s books and eventually the first Feluda book that I ended up reading and loving was Joto Kando Kathmandute. There has been no looking back ever since. My entire childhood has been focussed on collecting the complete set of all the detective Bengali novels I loved reading and books on Feluda happen to top that list.

With time, I realized the biggest appeal of Feluda was in the fact that the stories were loved by children and adults alike. Ray’s lucid portrayal of a young Bengali detective (still running 35) cracking cases through sheer intelligence and logic makes him a favorite of all generations.  If you love the old world detective fiction with a good story and great illustrations, Ray’s Feluda is a series that I would strongly urge you to read.

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© Sonia Chatterjee and soniasmusings.com, (2017-2019). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Postgraduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my three and half-year-old toddler son What is this blog about? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

38 thoughts on “Favorite Indian Detectives – Feluda by Satyajit Ray”

  1. I have to admit I really haven’t read a lot of Feluda. I’ve heard of the character often but somehow never got around. Will go through your list and then see what Amazon has.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Feluda! I have only recently started reading the stories. I bought both the volumes of complete adventures of Feluda a few months ago, and I am loving everything about the mysteries. Definitely one of my favourite detectives too, along with Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohh that’s one series I’m definitely adding to my “to read” list. I was very young when my father gifted me his prized copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Though it took me a lot of years and multiple re-reading to wrap my head around it, it ignited a love of detective novels in me. So I could really relate to this piece. I’ve always found that books are much better than their tv/movie adaptations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My maternal grandfather was a bibliophile, he could read and write in multiple languages. I vividly remember he had a Satyajit Ray book with Feluda, though I don’t remember the book title or plot anymore, it was over 20 years ago. Reading this reminded me of him and I am intrigued to read the Feluda series.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing Sonia. I hadn’t heard of Feluda. There are so many wonderful authors who we miss out on because of our ignorance of regional literature.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My mom is a big fan of Munshi Premchand and Satyajit ray. She has read quite a lot of books before motherhood happened. N now when she has time, her eyes don’t allow much. But i am recommending your blog to her and I am sure she will love it. Thanks for bringing up such an interesting topic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Sonia, firstly i want to compliment you on picking up such an interesting theme. Secondly, i liked your post about Feluda. To be honest, i wasn’t aware about this creation of Satyajit Ray until a few years back when i happened to see the detective series in stores. I, immediately picked up a couple, one in comic format and the other in the novel format. Your post made me relive those moments. i still remember the title of on of the books, it was “The House of Death” .

    Thanks for the interesting post and look forward to more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! Feluda sounds like a very interesting detective with exciting cases to solve. In Tamil, there was a detective by the name of Thuppariyum Sambu meaning detective Sambu who used to be my favourite. I used to enjoy the Byomkesh Bakshi series when it was shown on television. I was not aware that there were so many fictional Bengali detectives. Look forward to reading about all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 1stly welcome back after a break, look forward to reading this as I love detective novels a lot, right now reading Hercule Poirot short stories. I’m already humming tidin tidin…. that detective series tune. Was a big byomkesh bakshi fan when it was showcased on TV.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Knowing Feluda has been on my list for the longest but somehow it keeps getting postponed. I think now I am surely going to get a copy and read. Wonderful post with your personal anecdote! #thatchedroofreads

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Perfect plot for a perfect leisurely Sunday afternoon. I haven’t come to like too many thrillers by Indian authors but this might be it. Thanks for sharing this. #MyFriendAlexa #CloudandSunshineReads

    Liked by 1 person

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