The Complete Adventures of FeluDa (Part 2) – Satyajit Ray.
I have read a lot of books from a lot of writers from all over the world but no one comes any closer to the way Satyajit Ray writes. Yes, call me a biased Indian, I am one but my love for the man and his art just keeps growing by the day and by every book that I come across by him and even “on him” too. There are books, there are writers and then there is “The Legend called Ray”. Hats off to him and the way he wrote. Every-time I come across a book by him I get totally excited but by the time it comes to an end it starts making me sad to have finished the fantastic book and will have to wait till the next one come in my kitty. But the journey is simply amazing, never fails to keep a permanent smile plastered on my face and at times his anecdotes, jokes and comments on his own team by him make me laugh out loud totally. He is almost as good as PG Wodehouse, If I may say that in making me laugh while reading a book, no other author other than these two have that magic on me so far. And this one was special as it actually made my dream come true of seeing FeluDa go to Holmes land and pay a tribute. Just imagine how amazing it is when you see one of your fictional character visit his own fictional character’s birth place and pay a tribute. The scene as written by Ray in the story “FeluDa in London” brought tears of joy to my eyes and made me totally breathless as he steps At 220 Baker Street and says “Guru, you showed us the way. If I am an Investigator today, it is only because of you. Now I can say coming to London was truly worthwhile”. Very few writers, books and stories have that impact on a reader what this one did to me.
This is the second book of the FeluDa series which he started writing in 1965 and wrote a story each till 1992 (34 in total). Later all these stories got printed in form of two books called “The Complete Adventures of Feluda” Part 1 and 2. He was a huge fan of Sir Doyle and had read all Sherlock Holmes stories before leaving school :). The best part about the success of his stories and his characters was that they were all normal human beings like you and me and no superman. But look at the impact it had on his fans especially children for whom he initially wrote and later realized that even parents too weren’t untouched with the stories. I totally loved the way almost all the stories are told in a simple way, no way they made me feel that it was actually Ray who has written them and no Topshe his teenage cousin (to start) was writing them. FeluDa the detective is such a nice warm character that one just couldn’t help but fall in love with him. Loved his lopsided smile, the way he will get up in the morning before everyone and finished off with his yoga, shave and dress up, almost in all the stories is simply unbelievable. His acute power of observation and a razor sharp brain on top of that the plethora of knowledge that he had on all the subjects under the sun from history to hypnotism is simply outstanding. Imagine he was not only good in sports, he could actually write with both hands, he could even write in Greek too as its mentioned all over the stories about his “Blue Diaries” that he kept his secrets written so no one could read them.
What I love almost equally well the way I loved FeluDa was his side kicks. Topshe (his Watson) and Jatayu (Lalmohan Ganguli) the ever so comical cheap thrillers writer, always at his service with his green Ambassador. Hilarious I tell you. Just thinking of his name makes me grin from ear to ear, what a man, what a character, he was actually as good as Jeeves (PGW Character) at the service of his master FeluDa :), if you ask me. This part gives him some much deserved footage where FeluDa actually let him fill in his shoes a couple of times to a hilarious outcome. But Ray’s love and affection to his other characters was simply superb. Not only these two there is another third character, the Google of then era for FeluDa, Uncle Sidhu, who knows anything and everything about everything but to know more about his character you’ve got to read the book. The knowledge that Uncle Sidhu possessed is simply out of this world, just one word and he will open up the details without batting an eyelid. Terrific it is. I just fail to understand one thing though that I had so much fun reading the “Translation”, I just cant imagine how much fun the original will be only if I knew “Bangla” to really enjoy it. Still I fell I haven’t missed much (hope so) and have no idea as what to look forward to now since I am done with this.
One question I have especially from the people from that part of India who have read the FeluDa stories. Is this character “Jatayu” Lalmohan Ganguli actually based on some real life Author? If yes, I would seriously loved to read one of his translated works too. Do let me know if you know anything about that. I will be on the lookout for Ray’s other works now, any recommendations will be very highly appreciated.