Byomkesh Bakshi

Byomkesh Bakshi is an Indian-Bengali fictional detective created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. Referring to himself as a "truth-seeker" in the stories, Bakshi is known for his proficiency with observation, logical reasoning, and forensic science which he uses to solve complicated cases, usually murders. The character has often been called the Indian version of Sherlock Holmes. Initially appearing in the 1932 story Satyanweshi, the character's popularity immensely increased in Bengal and other parts of India. Though it gained huge popularity in the Indian Sub-Continent with the film Chiriyakhana directed by Satyajit Ray, screenplay by Sharadindu himself, with Uttam Kumar portraying Byomkesh.

Byomkesh Bakshi
First appearanceSatyanweshi
Last appearanceBishupal Bodh
Created bySharadindu Bandyopadhyay
Portrayed byUttam Kumar
Ajoy Ganguli
Shyamal Ghosal
Rajit Kapur
Sudip Mukherjee
Aneesh See Yay
Saptarshi Roy
Subhrajit Dutta
Gaurav Chakrabarty
Anirban Bhattacharya
Jisshu Sengupta
Abir Chatterjee
Parambrata Chatterjee
Dhritiman Chatterjee
Sushant Singh Rajput
In-universe information
TitleSatyanweshi
OccupationPrivate investigator
FamilySatyabati (wife)
Khoka (son)
Ajit Kumar Banerjee (right hand and writer)
NationalityIndian

Both of Byomkesh' names have since entered the Bengali language to describe someone who is both intelligent and observant. It is also used sarcastically to mean someone who states the obvious.

CharacterEdit

Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay's most well known fictional character Byomkesh Bakshi first appeared as a character in the story Satyanweshi (The Inquisitor). The story is set in 1932 in the Chinabazar area of Kolkata where a 'non-government detective' Byomkesh Bakshi, owing to the permission from the police commissioner, starts living in a mess in that area under the pseudonym of Atul Chandra Niyogi to probe a series of murders.

Most of the stories are written from Ajit Kumar Banerjee's perspective, who meets Byomkesh in the mess at Chinabazar. Byomkesh later asks Ajit to live with him at his three-story rented house at Harrison Road as his assistant and chronicler. The only other person in his household is his attendant Putiram.

In the beginning of the stories, Byomkesh Bakshi is described as "a man of twenty-three or twenty-four years of age who looked well educated." Byomkesh is a Hindu and wears mostly a white shirt/kurta with a white dhoti, occasionally draping a shawl. He does not live in luxury but possess numerous books. He travels frequently, and does not own a gun and does not consider himself to be an "expensive helper". He habitually smokes and drinks tea with milk. He is fluent in Bengali, Hindi, and English.

Byomkesh does not like being called a detective, and thinks the word 'investigator' even worse. Thus he fashions a new name for himself which he inscribes on a brass plate in front of his house. The plaque read "Byomkesh Bakshi Satyanweshi" (The Inquisitor).

FamilyEdit

Unlike other lead characters in detective fictional stories, Byomkesh Bakshi marries, ages, and also contemplates material things such as buying a car. Later, he also decides to buy land in Keyatala in South Kolkata and shifts to his new home. Byomkesh meets Satyabati, his future wife and the accused Sukumar's sister, in ‘Arthamanartham. The story 'Adim Ripu' provides some information about Byomkesh's early childhood. His father Mahadev Bakshi was a mathematics teacher at a school and practised Sankhya philosophy at home while his mother was the daughter of a Vaishnavite. When Byomkesh was seventeen years old, his parents died of tuberculosis. Later, Byomkesh passed University with scholarship. During the Second World War and after India's independence, Byomkesh, Satyabati and Ajit live in the mess house of Harrison Road.Byomkesh gradually ages through the series, and has a son called Khoka (Little Boy) in the series.

Byomkesh storiesEdit

Saradindu Bandopadhyay penned 32 Byomkesh stories from 1932 to 1970 prior to his death. In his early stories, Ajit Kumar Banerjee is described as his companion, and chronicler of his stories. But in some cases Ajit also investigates in absence of Byomkesh (examples, Makorshar Rosh, Shoilo Rahasya). The stories are all written in traditional formal Bengali language. However, later the stories shift to more colloquial language. The later stories (Room Nombor Dui, Chhlonar Chhondo, Shajarur Kanta, Benisonghaar and Lohar Biskut) are not penned by Ajit, who was engaged in his publication business.

The stories are not very complicated but very engaging, with a long series of surprising events. The stories present a range of crimes from the first story, Satyanweshi, where Byomkesh destroys an international drug racket, to household mysteries and crimes like Arthamanartham and Makorshar Rosh.

Sharadindu did not want to continue the Byomkesh stories, due to which he stopped writing from 1938 to 1951. During that time he busied himself writing scripts for films in Bombay. After his return to West Bengal, Byomkesh stories were still in demand so he wrote Chitrachor (Picture Imperfect) in 1951 and other stories gradually on to 1970, when his last story "Bishupal Badh" (Killing of Bishupal) was left incomplete owing to his untimely death.

List of storiesEdit

There are 32 published and 1 unpublished Byomkesh Bakshi stories. The list is chronologically arranged.

Color key

  •   indicates "story".
  •   indicates "novel".
  •   indicates unfinished writings.
Novel/Story English title Year of publicaton Characters
Ajit Satyabati
Satyanweshi The Truth-Seeker 1932 Yes No
Pother Kanta The Gramaphone Pin Killer 1932 Yes No
Seemanto-heera The Hidden Heirloom 1932 Yes No
Makorshar Rosh The Tarantula's Juice 1933 Yes No
Arthamanartham The Meaningless Fortune 1933 Yes Yes
Chorabali The Quicksand 1933 Yes No
Agnibaan The Calamity Aflame 1935 Yes No
Uposonghaar The Last Encounter 1935 Yes No
Roktomukhi Neela The Bloody Sapphire 1936 Yes No
Byomkesh O Boroda Byomkesh and Boroda 1936 Yes No
Chitrochor Picture Imperfect 1951 Yes Yes
Durgo Rahasya The Fortress Mystery 1952 Yes Yes
Chiriyakhana The Menagerie 1953 Yes No
Adim Ripu The Pristine Enemy 1955 Yes No
Banhi-patanga The Moth and the Flame 1956 Yes Yes
Rokter Daag The Fault in The Bloodline 1956 Yes Yes
Monimondon The Jewel Case 1958 Yes Yes
Amriter Mrityu The Death of Amrito 1959 Yes No
Shailo Rahasya The Phantom Client 1959 Yes
Achin Pakhi The Unknown Prey 1960 Yes No
Kohen Kobi Kalidas Thus Spoke the Poet Kalidasa 1961 Yes
Adrishyo Trikon The Invisible Triangle 1961 Yes No
Khuji Khuji Nari The Missing Will 1961 Yes No
Adwitiyo The Only One 1961 Yes Yes
Mognomoinak The Magnificent 1963 Yes
Dushtochokro The Crooked Circle 1963 Yes
Henyalir Chhondo The Rhythm of the Riddles 1964 Yes Yes
Room Nombor Dui Room No. 2 1964 No Yes
Cholonar Chhondo The Vengeful Collision 1965 No Yes
Shajarur Kanta The Porcupine Quills 1967 No Yes
Benishonghar The Annihilation of Beni 1968 No Yes
Lohar Biskut The Iron Biscuits 1969 No Yes
Bishupal Bodh (unfinished) The Annihilation of Bishu Paal[1] 1970

In other mediaEdit

The Byomkesh Bakshi stories have been adapted into several television series, radio programs, audio dramas, films, and video games.

The most brilliant and versatile Byomkesh Bakshi cinema is Chiriyakhana, directed by Oscar winning director Satyajit Ray, screenplayed by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay and Satyajit. The detective is portrayed by Mahanayak Uttam Kumar.

The 1993-97 Byomkesh Bakshi television series, created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, and starring Rajit Kapur as Bakshi, and K.K. Raina as Ajit respectively, became the most critically acclaimed and most celebrated adaptation of the character.[2][3]

There have been 20 Bakshi movies, with Abir Chatterjee portraying the character seven times.

The Satyanweshi audio drama series adapted nineteen Byomkesh Bakshi novels and three original audio drama in the Malayalam language.[4]

In 2015, A Bollywood movie named Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! starring Sushant Singh Rajput in lead role was also released.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stories". 25 December 2009.
  2. ^ "Byomkesh Bakshi (1993, 1997)".
  3. ^ "Off the beaten track: TV show Byomkesh Bakshi is popular even now". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Satyanweshi".