Whether we are a child or a grown up, we all love story books and if it comes to the term Detective, the 8 to 80 would jump into it. Though there may be disagreement but I think I am the biggest fan of detective novels, from the Sherlock Holmes to our very own feluda, I am addicted to them. Here is the popular Bengali detective character of all time.
Nihar ranjan Gupta composed his first detective story, ‘Kalo Bhromor’ where he launched detective Kiriti Roy. He wrote 80 stories featuring Kiriti Roy.
He is the most dashing detective of Bengali novel with 6’2 height, a long coat, cap, and a pipe hanging from his lips, and is just the opposite character of Byomkesh Byokshi. Mostly he carries a magnifying glass with him. He solves crimes with his assistant Subrata Roy. His stories with a adventure sense and blood-curdling quality are still popular.
Feluda or Prodosh Chandra Mitra, who also uses the Anglicized name Pradosh C. Mitter, is the detective of 8 to 80, written by Satyajit Roy.
The suave, sharp, dashing detective lives at 21 Rajani Sen Road, Ballygunge, Kolkata. Feluda first appeared in 1965. His first story was ‘Feludar Goendagiri’ published on a children magazine ‘Sandesh’.
Despite being a strongly built man adept in martial arts, he solves crime with his superb analytical ability and observation skill which he referred as ‘magajashtro’(brain weapon). In the stories of Feluda, he is displayed as a big admirer of Sherlock Holmes which he mentions multiple times.
Feluda is most of the times accompanied by his cousin Tapesh Ranjan or Tyopshye, who serves as the narrator of the stories. From the sixth story, Sonar Kella, the duo is joined by a popular thriller writer Lalmohon Ganguli famous as Jatayu .
One of the oldest and most read and filmed Detective of the Bengali novels, Byomkesh Bakshi, a cap-a-pie Bengali man with an intelligent appearance and personality was created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay.
The first story appeared in print in 1932. The stories are chronicled by Ajit, a writer who meets Byomkesh in ‘Satyanweshi’.
Byomkesh preferred the term ‘satyaneshi’ means seeker of truth instead of ‘detective’. Unlike many other fictional detectives, Byomkesh ages, marries, has a son, starts a publishing firm with his assistant-cum-chronicler Ajit, buys a house in South Calcutta, and ponders buying a car for his wife Satyabati.
He is mostly portrayed as lean, lanky and a tall gentleman who minds his manners. Byomkesh’s only addiction is smoking and tea. He has a passion for football and a solid grasp over Bengali literature and a working knowledge of the Sanskrit classics from which both he and Ajit quote freely.
This handicapped intelligent character was created by Sunil Gangopadhyay, that has become legendary in Indian children’s literature.
The series started in the autumn of 1979 with the publication of ‘Bhoyonkor Sundor’ in Anandamela magazine, puja number. Since then, the series continued for 33 years on popular demand, with over 36 adventure novels in print until the death of the author in 2012.
Kakababu is ex-Director of the Archaeological Survey of India, whose real name is Raja Roychowdhury. In “Kakabaubur Prothom Abhijan”, it is revealed that Kakababu lost his leg when he jumped off a cliff to help his friend Kamal, walks with the help of a crutch. This accident however has not crippled his strong mental will and physical strength. He is much sought after by the Indian intelligence to solve critical cases of crime. He has worked in CBI for some years.
Kakababu’s two companions are Sontu aka Sunanda Roychowdhury, the nephew of kakababu and Santu’s best friend Jojo who was introduced as a character to give comic relief.
We have an aunt and niece detective team, our detective is Mitin Mashi or Aunt Mitin created by Suchitra Bhattacharya for young adults.
Pragyaparamita Mukherjee, who, like all good Bengalis, is known by her nick name, Mitin, lives in Kolkata, with her husband, Partho and son, Boomboom, and works as a private detective. She is the 21st century, educated, confident Kolkata woman in her mid 30s.
There are only a few female detective characters in Bengali literature and Mitin mashi is one of them. Mitin has an assistant: her niece, Oindrilla, popularly known as Tupur, who is still in school. Although we have a third person narrator in these novels, the action is seen through Tupur’s eyes.
Arjun is a young handsome detective from Jalpaiguri created by Samaresh Majumdar in 1983 for young children.
Arjun has solved cases all over the world. His stories have an inherent sense of adventure. Unlike most of the detectives Arjun doesn’t have any assistant whether he has a preceptor, Amal Shome.
He is young and is not a detective by profession. Working closely with Amol Shome inspires him to take on more such adventures. Arjun is a small-town guy who works under restrictions. He is neither aged nor mature. Arjun has an athletic body with a sharp mind.
Pandob Goyenda is a popular detective novel among children which is written by Sasthipada Chattopadhyay.
This is about five young children detectives, who solve mystery in around India. The idea of the story is based on the western series‘Famous Five’ created by Enid Blyton. The five detectives are Bablu, Bhombol, Bilu and two sisters, Bachchu and Bichchhu. The first story ‘Pandan Goyenda’ was published in 1981.
Colonel Somogro is a popular series and child novel which is written by Syed Mustafa Siraj. The series make him popular.
Ex-colonel Niladri Sarkar is the eccentric sleuth in Syed Mustafa Siraj’s stories, narrated by a lazy journalist, Jayanta, who accompanies him on his missions. The colonel is a butterfly collector and ornithologist, smokes pipes and has a Santa beard. He is also jovial and likes quoting Bengali proverbs & nursery rhymes.
The first published novel featuring colonel was ‘Chhaaya Pawrey’.