50 years of Feluda highlights Ray’s genius

An exhibition of over a hundred exhibits celebrating 50 years of Feluda, the iconic sleuth created by auteur Satyajit Ray, was inaugurated here on Sunday evening ahead of the legend’s 96th birth anniversary on May 2.

The Oscar winning film director’s 25th death anniversary was observed on April 23.

The assemblage essentially captures everything related to Ray’s much-feted oeuvre, including photos from his famed “Kheror Khata” (red books or manuscripts) where he jotted down minute details associated with his films.

“Though the theme is Feluda, there is much more to be seen in the exhibition, such as his doodles. Initially we were restricting the exhibits to 90 but it has crossed 100. The items exhibited capture his multifaceted personality, as a writer, as an illustrator and as a composer.

“For Feluda afficionados, there are shooting schedule of films like aSonar Kella’, sketches and illustrations of Feluda,” a representative of The Society for the Preservation of Satyajit Ray Archives, told IANS.

The exposition will run till May 4 at ICCR and then move to the Calcutta Club.

Revolving around the 27-year-old athletic Pradosh Chandra Mitter, nicknamed Feluda, the novellas showcase the private eye’s superb analytical and observational skills to dig out clues that ultimately lead to a solution of the mysteries – be it murders, theft or kidnapping.

Said to have been modelled on Sherlock Holmes, the cigarette-smoking and martial art-trained Feluda is accompanied in his sleuthing pursuits by cousin, Tapesh Ranjan Mitra or Topshe who is the narrator of the stories and may have been loosely based on character of Dr John Watson.

Ray also brings in a character called Jatayu (Lal Mohon Ganguly), a writer of thriller novels who provides a much-loved comic relief, from his sixth novella onward.

Feluda possesses a .32 Colt revolver but rarely uses it. In story after story, his major weapon is “magajastra” (the brain).

Since the first Feluda whodunit “Feludar Goyendagiri (Feluda’s investigation)” debuted in December 1965 in the ‘Sandesh’ magazine, the series have been translated in four Indian languages besides English, French, Italian, Swedish, German and Japanese. The first Feluda book came out in 1967.

The books have spawned hit films, animations and comics and the character has attained cult status among the old and the young alike.