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Pradosh Chandra Mitter
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Feluda
Tapesh Ranjan Mitra
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Cousin Topshe
Lal Mohan Ganguly
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Jatayu

Feluda

Prodosh C Mitter, aka Feluda who lives in Calcutta,is a private investigator much in lines of the great Holmes, taking up only interesting cases and willing to put both physical and mental energy into solving them. He is assisted by his young cousin, Tapesh (aka Topshe) an able lieutenant who records the cases and picks up useful snippets of Feluda's methods on the way. The two are often accompanied by Lalmohan Ganguly, an enthusiastic and cheerful companion who writes potboiler thrillers under the alias Jatayu.

Ray said that he loved the Sherlock Holmes stories as a child, and the structure of the Feluda stories is very similar. They were originally written in Bengali for Sandesh, the children's magazine that his grandfather started in 1913. Each story starts with Feluda and Topshe at home, a client arrives and frames the mystery, and the trio set off on their adventures. Feluda is a Holmesian combination of mental and physical agility -- almost 6 feet tall, he is in fine shape due to his early-morning yoga -- and all his skills are called upon during the course of the story.
 
The Golden Fortress is the story in which Feluda and Topshe meet Jatayu. The client in this story is the father of 10-year-old Mukul, who has started having vivid dreams of what is presumed to be a past life. The dreams involve the fort of the title, and contain many details about peacocks and sand, none of which the child has ever seen. A 'parapsychologist' takes the boy off to Rajasthan, hoping to pump his memories for hidden treasure. But nefarious scoundrels are also on the trail of this treasure -- will Feluda and co. get there in time?
Of course they will. The pleasure of such books lies in knowing that Feluda will undoubtedly outwit the crooks, but the reader can exercise his or her own brain in discovering their identities.
Unlike many modern thrillers, the Feluda stories are not at all gruesome. People are captured or tied up or even beaten up, but the reader is not assailed by blood and gore (as, quite likely, he would be if he read Jatayu's thrillers!). Sensitive children will not get nightmares after these books, but they are no less delightful for the lack of exploding eyeballs.
From an adult perspective, one of the charms of the Feluda stories is the sly commentary sprinkled throughout, which undoubtedly reflect the author's opinionsFeluda's world is strange in one notable respect -- there are no women. He is entirely surrounded by men. He has no aunts or female cousins, as is common in large extended families. Every person he comes across on a bus or train is male, as is every person selling chappals on the roadside or eating in a train. There are little boys, but no little girls. One might think the author was uncomfortable with women characters, if this had not been the same person who created Charulata, Durga and Arati in his movies. Feluda's household arrangements are a little mysterious too -- there is an occasional mention of Topshe's father, who seems to live in the same house, but no other relatives seem to live there or run the household. Perhaps Satyajit Ray left these particular mysteries for his readers to solve.
 
(partly edited)
Excerpts from a review by Susan Chacko. She is a bioinformaticist in Maryland. 



The title of the article is "Divergent Rays", actual article can be found at Parabaas. click to go to the article at Parabaas.

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PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A PERSONAL HOBBYIST SITE WITH NO COMMERCIAL INTENTIONS. IT IS MADE ONLY FOR OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND FELUDA ENTHUSIASTS TO HAVE FUN AND APPRECIATE THE EXCELLENT WORK OF SRI SATYAJIT RAY.WE ALSO THANK ALL THOSE FROM WE HAVE COLLECTED THE INFORMATION IN BITS AND PARTS.ALL ILLUSTRATIONS ARE BY SATYAJIT RAY.WE HAVE ALSO PROVIDED THE LINK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTICLES.
ALSO MY THANKS TO SRI SANDIP RAY. SB2007