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Satyajit Ray’s Feluda Mysteries: Danger in Darjeeling by Subhadra Sen Gupta & Tapas Guha

Posted by RB Kollannur on March 30, 2014


Note: This review is part of a weekly book review column that I write for City Journal, an English newspaper based in Thrissur, Kerala.

Published on 23/11/2012

Publisher – Penguin; Year of Publication – 2010; Pages – 49; Cost at the time of purchase – Rs 99; Purchased from Cosmo

Pradosh Chandra Mitter, aka Feluda, is a private detective. A creation of the acclaimed film director Satyajit Ray, Feluda has been a favourite among Indian mystery seekers for decades. During his lifetime, Ray wrote 35 stories about Feluda which have since appeared as stand-alone stories, anthologies, periodicals and more recently as comic books. Originally published as “Darjeeling Jamjamat” in 1987, Tapas Guha brings to picture the characters of the Feluda story, while Subhadra Sen Gupta provides the rehashed script to allow the novel be presented as a comic book.

“Danger in Darjeeling” has all of the usual suspects of the Feluda story line. Feluda, accompanied by his cousin / sidekick, Topshe and their writer friend, Jatayu, are off to Darjeeling for the filming of a novel written by Jatayu. But before they could enjoy the scenic climes of the hill city, a murder happens. Their host, Virupaksha Majumdar, is killed and a priceless idol is stolen. There is danger lurking at every corner for Feluda and his companions as Feluda is literally thrown off into a ravine while attempting to solve the mystery. Another murder follows and the mystery becomes ever so murkier.

It is inevitable for a reader to look at parallels while reading detective fiction. Every great detective has a knowledgeable sidekick, be it Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. There are few such clichés that you can spot immediately in Feluda, but these add to the nostalgia by helping the reader get familiar with the characters than be a hindrance in the development of the story. There are enough twists and turns for the ardent mystery fan and the mystery is perfectly solvable too, provided you avoid the false leads and not take any missteps.

It is a welcome sign to see Feluda presented as a comic book, competing with the familiar Tintin and Asterix ranges. Though they are excellent and entertaining stories for all children from 6 to 60, Tintin and Asterix tend to be on the expensive side. The story is well written and just as entertaining. The other books in the series are also set in different parts of India and her neighbouring countries bringing out local culture, society and scenery creating a visual feast and give out a wealth of information for the observant reader.

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One Response to “Satyajit Ray’s Feluda Mysteries: Danger in Darjeeling by Subhadra Sen Gupta & Tapas Guha”

  1. […] Riordan – Published on 03/11/2012 35)  Imperium by Robert Harris – Published on 10/11/2012 36)  Satyajit Ray’s Feluda Mysteries: Danger in Darjeeling by Subhadra Sen Gupta & Tapas Guha – Published on 23/11/2012 37)  The Bonfire of Vanities by Tom Wolfe – Published on 01/12/2012 […]

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