Tag Archives: Satyajit Ray

Feluda in Comic books

“Our aim is to introduce the new generation to the genius of Satyajit Ray by bringing his stories of Feluda, the professional detective with a super-sharp brain, in comic book form,” said Subhadra Sengupta at the launch of “Murder by the Sea” at Eureka Book Store in DLF Mall, Saket, the other day. The comic book is targeted at children in the age group of nine years and above and is the third in the series that has been launched by Penguin in the last few months, with two more in the pipeline.

The launch was attended by a group of enthusiastic children with their parents in tow, out for a fun-filled Sunday afternoon. To make the occasion interesting, an interactive session was introduced where children were given a series of illustrations with blank boxes. They were asked to interpret the dialogues and “make their own comic”

Their work was evaluated by Tapas Guha, who has done artwork for the comic book. Said Guha, “Ray had already illustrated the character of Feluda and other prominent characters in the series, like his cousin Topshe and friend Lalmohan Ganguli; I kept these illustrations in mind while giving it final shape.”

Sengupta, who has scripted the comic series from the original in Bengali, is enthused by the response. She said, “Satyajit Ray’s adventures of Feluda have been avidly read by children for years. Now this sleuth with a razor-sharp brain appears in an exciting new comic book series.”

She also read sections of the book on the occasion, as children listened with rapt attention about the escapades of Feluda, Topshe and Lalmohan Babu, who, while on a holiday in Puri, discover a body on the beach. Here on, the holiday turns into an edge-of-the-seat hunt for the killer, a murderer with many faces who will not hesitate to kill again.

Sengupta was full of optimism about the comic book series providing a platform for young children to move on to other works by the master, Satyajit Ray, including his novels, poems and music.

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Joi Baba Felunath

Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God) is a 1978 film by Bengali director Satyajit Ray, featuring the actors Soumitra Chatterjee, Santosh Dutta, Siddartha Chatterjee, Utpal Dutt among others.

The film is based on the famous Feluda novel of the same name by Satyajit Ray himself.

Story

Feluda played by Soumitra, the sharp and witty detective from Calcutta, his cousin Topshe and friend Lalmohan Ganguly played by Santosh Dutta visits Benaras (Varanasi), a town on the banks of Ganges. In Benaras they meet a Bengali family. On coming to know that Feluda is a famous detective the head of this family invites him to his place and tells him about theft of an idol of Ganesha, the elephant God.

This idol is made of pure gold and is a prized possession of the family and is supposed to bring good luck to the family. “Maganlal Meghraj” (enacted by Utpal Dutt) a wealthy businessman from Benaras has had his eyes set on the idol. Feluda promises to help the family in finding the idol. Meanwhile, the sculptor who was sculpting the Durga idol for the Durga Puja festival is murdered and the mystery deepens. Feluda uses his brilliant detective skills to unravel the mystery and bring the culprits to the book.

The story has two sub plots. On the one hand, it is the story of the acquisitive instinct of a greed Marwari businessman, who would spare no expenses to get what he desires, even at the cost of murdering some innocents and bribing the willing. On the other, it is also the tale of cautionary foresight exercised by the family head. The sights and sounds and the brilliant cinematography and photographic imagery takes the nostalgic viewer to a lost world of the innocence, the beauty and the freshness of a north Indian town, that is at once, far from the madding corruptibility of big cities. Subaltern texts like the caste and the communal divide do make their presence felt, but they exist as subplots, that further enrich the viewer’s understanding.

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