Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, was born on 30th of March. We share a discussion on the creator of the Byomkesh Bakshi, as a tribute to him on his birth anniversary. We delve into his life, education, and contributions to Bengali literature, which continue to inspire readers and writers even today.
“But do you know he started his career as a school teacher in English?” Suman spoke avidly.
“English teacher? and he created Byomkesh?” I was surprised.
“Yes, Sir.” replied Suman, “he created Byomkesh who remains as the most popular characters in Bengali literature. ”
This was how Thursday morning began. So, I share the story of legendary Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay on his birth anniversary which was on 30th March.
“His early life and education were marked by his father’s transferable job as a government official,” informed Suman.
“Yes I am aware, and this led him to move frequently across various cities in India, including Jaunpur, Allahabad, and Calcutta.” I was confident.
“Yes, but despite these frequent movements, Bandyopadhyay received a good education and was a bright student. He finally completed his graduation from the University of Calcutta and later went on to study Law.” Suman informed.
“Yes, but again , Bandyopadhyay started working as a teacher of English literature at Hooghly Mohsin College in West Bengal.”
“However,” Suman added, “he soon realized that his true passion lay in writing, and he started to write short stories for magazines.”
“Yes I am aware that in 1932, he published his first novel, ‘Jauboner Bondhu’ (Friend of Youth)”
“This was well-received by readers and critics alike,” Suman informed.
“But, Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay’s most significant contribution to Bengali literature is the creation of the fictional detective Byomkesh Bakshi.” I opined.
“Byomkesh is often referred to as, ‘Bengali Sherlock Holmes’ and has become an integral part of Bengali popular culture,” Suman said.
“I know ,” I continued “he is a character who is romanticized even today by most Bengalis”
“I know,” Suman continued “Byomkesh was published first in 1932, and the first story, ‘Satyanweshi’ (The Truth-Seeker), was just so great that he went on to write 32 Byomkesh stories in total. “
“32, it it?” I asked
“Yes, the stories were immensely popular,” Suman continued, “ In-fact Manik Babu did a movie the famous ‘Chiriyakhana’ on Byomkesh Bakshi with Uttam Kumar playing the sleuthe.”
“Recently it was remade by Anjan Dutta casting Jishu Sengupta as Byomkesh.”
“Well, I personally liked Abir Chatterjee as Byomkesh in Anjan Dutt’s Byomkesh series.” I continued, “but, I think Rajat Kapoor was the best face for Byomkesh.”
“What about Sushant?”
“Who Sushant?” I was confused.
“Sir, is this how we treat our artists?” Suman was furious.
“I’m sorry.” I apologized, “are you referring to Sushant Singh Rajput?”
“Yes Sir,” Suman continued, “Sushant as Byomkesh in Dibakar Banerjee ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshi’ was brilliant I felt.”
“But,” I said , “Byomkesh Bakshi became a household name in Bengal. Bandyopadhyay’s unique style of writing and his ability to create intricate plots and characters were the key factors behind the success of the Byomkesh Bakshi series.”
“I don’t disagree. But apart from the Byomkesh Bakshi ,” Suman added, “Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay wrote several other novels, short stories, and plays.”
“What?” I questioned.
“Yes, some of his notable works include, Tungabhadrar Teere‘ (On the Banks of the Tungabhadra), Sadashib Series, Boroda Series”, Suman informed , “his works often explored social issues and human psychology and were a reflection of the changing times in Bengal.”
“Hmm,” I agreed and continued, “that is why Sharadindu Babu’s contributions to Bengali literature were recognized by several prestigious awards, including the Rabindra Puraskar and the Ananda Puraskar.”
“Yes,” Suman said, “and interestingly, his works have been translated into several languages”
“Is it?” I was curious now.
“Before that, let me inform you about a person named Onkarnath Bhattacharya….”
“Who is he?” I asked
“He is a freelance comic book artist, from Howrah who is creating Graphic novels on the Byomkesh for Andanda publishers.”
“In fact, to add to this,” Suman added, “Ananda Publishers has also worked with Onkarnath on Sharadindu’s horror stories titled “Alaukik”
“I was not aware of so many details, but salute to Bandyopadhyay whose legacy continues to live on in our Bengali hearts , I plan to do a story exclusively on him in my channel Rusteze Production this Saturday.”
“Do check it .”
“I surely would, ” I added, “what about his work on the historical fiction titled ‘Sadashib Obhijan’ and the famous ghost chaser ‘Boroda’?”
Well, let that be the story for another day…
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.