Feluda, or Prodosh Chandra Mitra [Mitter], is a fictional detective, Private investigator created by famous Indian director and writer Satyajit Ray. Feluda resides at 21 Rajani Sen Road, Ballygunge, Calcutta, West Bengal. Feluda first made his appearance in a Bengali children's magazine called Sandesh in 1965, under the editorialship of Satyajit and Subhas Mukhopadhyay. His first adventure was Feludar Goendagiri.
|First appearance||Feludar Goendagiri|
|Last appearance||Aditya Bardhaner Abishkar|
|Created by||Satyajit Ray|
|Full name||Pradosh Chandra Mitter|
|Family||Jaykrishna Mitra (father)|
|Relatives||Topesh Ranjan Mitra(Topshe) (cousin)|
|Home||21, Rajani Sen Road, Kolkata-700029.|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
Feluda is often accompanied by his cousin, who is also his assistant, Tapesh Ranjan Mitter (affectionately called Topshe by Feluda), who serves as the narrator of the stories. From the sixth story, Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress), the duo are joined by a popular thriller writer Jatayu (Lalmohon Ganguli).
Feluda has had been filmed at times, with the character been played by Soumitra Chatterjee Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Ahmed Rubel, Shashi Kapoor, Abir Chatterjee, Parambrata Chatterjee, Tota Roy Chowdhury and Indraneil Sengupta. Satyajit Ray directed two Feluda movies — Sonar Kella (1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (1978). Sandip Ray made a new Feluda film series (continuation of the original series) on Feluda's adventures which started from Baksho Rahashya (1996). In this series he made ten TV films and six theatrical films in Bengali on the character. Sandip Ray also made a stand-alone Feluda film Badshahi Angti (2014) which was intended to be the first film of a reboot series, but the series was cancelled and Sandip Ray came back to the previous film series.
Satyajit Ray had deep interests in crime fiction and he read all of Sherlock Holmes fictions in his school days. And when Ray himself started writing on crime fictions, unsurprisingly, the character Sherlock Holmes inspired his writings. Feluda's character resembles Sherlock Holmes and Tapesh/Topshe's character resembles Dr. Watson. In the stories of Feluda, he is displayed as a big admirer of Sherlock Holmes which he mentions multiple times. In Kailash Choudhury'r Pathar he praises the way Holmes used to draw large conclusions from observations. In Londone Feluda, when Feluda goes to Baker Street, he openly considers Holmes as the "master" (Bengali: guru) of all private detectives.
Pradosh Chandra Mitter, popularly known by his nickname Feluda, first appeared in the eponymous Bengali short story Feludar Goyendagiri (Danger in Darjeeling) in 1965.The story, written by Satyajit Ray, was published in Sandesh, a children's periodical founded by Ray's grandfather, Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury and edited by Ray himself. In the Feluda series that followed, he was portrayed as a man of around 27 (born around 1938) with a tall (almost 6'2"), athletic figure. Despite being a strongly built man adept in martial arts, Feluda relies mostly upon his superb analytical ability and observation skill (jokingly referred to as the Magajastra or brain-weapon) to solve cases instead of using physical strength or weapons. He is very choosy about taking up cases and prefers cases that require cerebral effort. He possesses a .32 Colt revolver, but the weapon is used very infrequently and mostly for non-violent purposes. However, contemporary (2000s) movies based on Feluda stories feature scenes of violence uncharacteristic of the series, where Feluda demonstrates his martial art powers. Feluda is known to be a skillful sleight-of-hand, and he put that skill to use for solving a couple of cases. He is also adept at disguises. Feluda often calls a meeting while solving the mystery, where he cajoles the culprit into admitting their crime.
In his personal life, Feluda is a common Bengali youth who has been brought up by his father's younger brother (Tapesh/Topshe's father) after his parent's death when he was only 9. His father, the late Joykrishna Mitra, used to teach Mathematics and Sanskrit at Dhaka Collegiate School. According to the story 'Royal Bengal Rahasya', The Anchestral Home of Feluda was in SonaDighi Village of Bikrampur Region of Dhaka(Now Munshiganj District). His Elder Uncle was Manager of a Zamindari Estate in Mymensingh and a hunter. After the Partition of 1947, His family moved from Dhaka to Calcutta, On a rented house in Tara Road. Later, they moved in 21, Rajani Sen Road. Feluda had a job in bank before his detective career. He finds an avid listener in his cousin Tapesh. Also, he often uses his oratory skill at the climactic scenes to cajole the culprit in confessing his crime. He is an early riser and is often shown starting his day with exercises and yoga.
Contrary to his otherwise healthy lifestyle, Feluda enjoys smoking charminar cigarettes, exercising and chewing betel leaves. His favourite brand of cigarettes is Charminar. He is a connoisseur of delicious foods, popular music and movies, and books. He has a great appreciation for Sherlock Holmes and, according to the film Tintorettor Jishu, Bruce Lee. Like Sherlock Holmes, he has a voracious reading habit (reflecting that of Ray's own), which add up to his enormous general knowledge. This know-how often comes handy while socialising with people and unravelling mysteries. He always reads about the place he is visiting. He says it comes in handy sometimes. He is also fond of Tintin, specially his cousin Topshe is a fan of Tintin. Some of the Feluda stories and films have many references of The Adventures of Tintin. He is also a huge fan of the books by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson. His Favourite book was "Aranyak" written by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.
Feluda has love and respect for Lalmohan Ganguly (Jatayu) and his fictional creation Prakhar Rudra is liked by Feluda. Feluda is protective and caring about his cousin, yet he always keeps picking mistakes or humor of or from Topshe. Topshe, the narrator, greatly admires his brother and loves to be with his adventures. Feluda has never shown interest in any woman, and there are very few female characters (except some minor like Topshe's mother).
Feluda's paternal cousin Tapesh Ranjan Mitter, who is fondly referred to as Topshe, is based on Arthur Conan Doyle's conception of Dr. John Watson. In the first couple of stories, his surname was Bose, but later it changed to Mitra. Just like the former army surgeon, Topshe is the quintessential accomplice and faithfully records each of Pradosh Mitter's exploits accurately. Topshe is a smart teenager. In the first story of Feluda series (i.e. Feludar Goyendagiri), Topshe was thirteen and a half where Feluda's age was twenty-seven, just the double of Topshe. Though Feluda often teases his young cousin, he is extremely fond and very protective of him. Feluda lives with Topshe's family. Topshe's father, Binay Mitter is the younger brother of Feluda's father, and therefore his uncle, and they all reside at 21, Rajani Sen Road, Kolkata-700029. Although there really is a 'Rajani Sen Road' in Kolkata, the house number is missing. Formerly, they all used to live in Tara road, Kolkata. Though not mentioned explicitly, Topshe is good-looking, fair, tall and handsome, as per different illustrations made by Satyajit Ray himself.
Detailed knowledge regarding Topshe's high school education is not available, but he used to go to school during the adventure of Sonar Kella (the sixth book of Feluda series). In the film adaptation of Sonar Kella, Topshe's mother shows her concern regarding his career and study as he spends much time solving cases with Feluda. By the time of Kailashe Kelenkari (the eighth book of the series) he have had his secondary examination ('Madhyamik Pariksha'). Just like Feluda, Topshe also used to read lot of books to enhance his knowledge. Topshe often gets his lessons from Feluda himself. In many cases, Feluda tests his deductive knowledge and he usually passes the test satisfactorily. In the movie Sonar Kella Topshe's father aptly said that Topshe is a lucky boy who got Feluda as his mentor. Topshe is fond of 'Adventures of Tintin' comic series. In the book Kailashe Kelenkari, he is found reading 'Tintin in Tibet'.
Topshe always takes an active part in Feluda's adventure. Though in most cases, he follows Feluda's instructions or indications, there are instances where he himself gets involved into some action/investigation. To mention a few, he and Jatayu (a.k.a. Lalmohan Ganguly) sneaks into a warehouse in 'Patan' (Nepal) to discover vast collection of smuggled narcotics (book Jato Kando Kathmandute); finds out the stabbed body of a missing man in the woods (book Darjeeling Jomjomat); replaces the pink pearl with a fake for safe-keeping (book Golapi Mukta Rahasya). The last incident impressed Feluda as well. However, all these activities mainly comes in the latter part of the series. He also interrogated the suspects in Apsara Theaterer Mamla when Feluda was sick and bed-ridden. Feluda solved the case just from the report of that interrogation.
In movies and TV films the character of Feluda has been played by Soumitra Chatterjee, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty and recently Abir Chatterjee, while Topshe has been played by Siddartha Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee, Parambrata Chattopadhyay and Saheb Bhattacharya over the years. In Sandip Ray's 2014 film Badshahi Angti, actor Sourav Das played the role.
Lalmohan Ganguli is a close friend of Pradosh Chandra Mitter, and is described as the author of a series of Bengali crime thrillers written under the pseudonym 'Jatayu'. His crime stories and novels are usually derided as unbelievable, considering that his main character is always the superhero Prakhar Rudra, and in his words, Height:6 ft 3 1/2 inches, waist:36, chest:46, shoulders:22 and wrist:8 1/2. Though all his novels seem to have become best-sellers, he often tends to make extremely silly mistakes such as spelling igloos as 'ilgoos'. In Baksho Rahasya or Incident on the Kalka Mail, he confuses hippos with walruses — a tendency that Feluda often tries to correct. He sometimes serves as a perfect foil to the group and in Ray's own words provides 'dollops of humour', although he sometimes does some brave acts not expected of him. To mention a few, he knocked out goons in Baksho Rahasya, Joto Kando Kathmandute, Tintorettor Jishu and Ebar Kando Kedarnathe, which impressed Feluda as well. He owns a 'Madrasi green' Ambassador car. Jatayu makes his first appearance in Sonar Kella joining Feluda and Topshe in the train at Kanpur, on their way to Jodhpur. In the first two films on Feluda, which were directed by Ray himself, the character was played by Santosh Dutta, and after the first one, Ray modified the literary character to some extent, making him look and behave quite like Dutta himself. In the next films directed by Ray's son, Sandip Ray, this character was played by Mohan Agashe, Rabi Ghosh, Anup Kumar and Bibhu Bhattacharya respectively. Jatayu also has a fantasy of collecting weapons. In various books he carried weapons like 'kukri' (Nepali knife), and smoke bomb. Jatayu lives at Garpar in Kolkata, and it may be recalled that Satyajit Ray himself passed his childhood at 100, Garpar.
Sidhu Jetha's formal name is Siddheshwar Bose. He is an aged character who has described himself to be like Sherlock Holmes's brother Mycroft, living in Sardar Sankar Road, Lake Market, Kalighat, Kolkata. He is a bibliophile, and has an extensive base of general knowledge, current and historical affairs. He is a close friend of Feluda's father, being former neighbours in their ancestral village in Bangladesh. Feluda's jyatha (that is, uncle) is said to have a 'photographic memory', and is a vast source of information which comes in handy when Feluda is in need of some. His vast knowledge comes from his collection of varied kinds of newspaper clippings which he has accumulated over the years. The role was played by Harindranath Chattopadhyay in Sonar Kella, Ajit Bandopadhyay in Baksho Rahashya, Dibya Bhattacharya in Golapi Mukto Rahashya, Haradhan Banerjee in Kailashe Kelenkari and in Gorosthaney Sabdhan and by Paran Bandyopadhyay in Double Feluda. Following recent Feluda films made by Sandip Ray, Satyajit Ray's son, there have been questions over Sidhu Jyatha's continued relevance in the stories considering technologies such as the internet offer a faster, wider and more effective knowledge base than a well-read person.
Haripada Datta is the driver of Lalmohon Ganguli's second-hand green Mark II Ambassador car. He is a loyal, intelligent and reliable person and is of great help when needed. He played a crucial role in Gorosthaney Sabhdhan where he saved the lives of Feluda, Jatayu, and Topshe. He also has a minor role in Boshpukery Khunkharapi, where he takes part in a surveillance mission with the rest of Feluda's gang in disguise playing 29 cardgame.
Meghraj is a villainous character who appears in three Feluda stories, including Joi Baba Felunath, Joto Kando Kathmandute, and Golapi Mukta Rahasya. He has been compared to Professor Moriarty of the Sherlock Holmes series. Utpal Dutta immortalised this character in one Feluda movie Joi Baba Felunath, which Satyajit Ray directed. After him Mohan Agashe played this character two times in telefilms.
Maganlal lives in Benaras. He has a house in Joka, Kolkata also. His son's name is Surajlal Meghraj. He is officially a money-lender but is involved in smuggling artifacts, narcotics (through Indo-Nepal border) and jewellery. His Kolkata house had been raided once but he escaped any charges until Feluda caught him red-handed in smuggling an invaluable Ganesh Murti (an idol of the elephant god) during the case of Joi Baba Felunath. However, he was not behind bars for a long time. In the nineteenth book, Jato Kando Kathmandute, Feluda said that he was not at all surprised seeing Meghraj out of jail as that was nothing for such an influential person. Once again he was arrested in charge of murder and smuggling, yet he averted any long term punishment and we saw him once again in the thirty-first story, Golapi Mukta Rahasya.
Maganlal is a good judge of human character. He lured Bikash Singh, secretary of Umanath Ghoshal, to steal the invaluable 'Ganesh Murti' from the Ghoshal-house. He also has a special interest in humiliating Jatayu. In Joi Baba Felunath he made Jatayu the subject of a knife-throwing play. In Jato Kando Kathmandute, he purposefully slips an LSD-laced sugar cube in Jatayu's tea. In his third appearance, he made Jatayu to sing a Tagore song (which Jatayu said his first time experience of singing a song). Surprisingly, he shows a queer fondness to Jatayu and usually calls him 'Uncle'.
During these three stories, we see many accomplices of Maganlal. Some of them are Machhli-Baba, Bikash Sinha, Arjun the knife thrower, Anantalaal Bantra, Dr. Dibakar and Manohar. Maganlaal has his own Bajra by which he travels in Ganga near Benaras. The door of his house in Benaras is painted with figures of two swordsmen. During the making of the movie, Joi Baba Felunath, this swordsmen were painted by Satyajit Ray himself.
Ghoshal is a Mumbai-based popular Hindi film director hailing from Kolkata. His original home in Kolkata is in the neighbourhood of Lalmohonbabu's in northern Kolkata's Garpar. He has directed two films based on Lalmohonbabu's stories. During the shooting of both these films, dangerous events took place, resulting in arrest of a producer in one film (Bombaiyer Bombete) and arrest of an actor in another film (Darjeeling Jamjomat).
Satyajit Ray directed Sonar Kella (1974) and Joi Baba Felunath (1979) into movies in Bengali, starring actor Soumitra Chatterjee as Feluda, Santosh Dutta as Jatayu and Siddartha Chatterjee as Topshe. This two films created a cult following in Bengali cinema later years.
Until 2011, Sandip Ray directed five Feluda theatrical feature-length films. The first theatrically released Feluda film directed by Ray was Baksho Rahashya (1996) which was the first film of the Feluda TV film series.
In addition to the feature films, 10 Feluda stories have been filmed by Sandip Ray as television films under the names/packages:
In the Hindi telefilm Kissa Kathmandu Mein (1985), Feluda was played by Shashi Kapoor, Jatayu by Mohan Agashe, Topshe by Alankar Joshi and Magan Lal Meghraj once again by Utpal Dutt. Feluda was played by Soumitra Chatterjee in two Bengali Feluda telefilms made in 1992, while Sabyasachi Chakrabarty played that role in Feluda telefilms made later. After the death of Santosh Dutta Jatayu was played by Rabi Ghosh in the first two TV films, after his death Anup Kumar played Jatayu and finally by Bibhu Bhattacharya. In Sandip Ray's ten Feluda TV films Topshe was played by Saswata Chatterjee.
Sandip Ray has sold the rights of Feluda stories to Bangladeshi production company Kandy Productions, who are producing a TV series inspired by the original Feluda series. It premiered on Channel i as well as digitally on Bioscopelive from September, 2017. The series will be available in India on the digital platform Addatimes Digital. Dhaka based Kandy Production is producing the series jointly with Top of Mind Creations, another Bangladeshi TV and film production house. Parambrata Chatterjee plays Feluda and Riddhi Sen plays Topshe. The first season of the series is directed by Parambrata Chatterjee.
In 2020 a web series is making, named 'Feluda Pherot' based on the iconic Bengali detective and there will be two popular stories, ‘Chhinnamastar Abhishap’ and 'Joto Kando Kathmandute'. Bengali actors Tota Roy Chowdhury is playing the main character 'Feluda' and Kalpan Mitra as 'Topesh' seemed to be the his young assistant and the iconic character Lalmohan Ganguly, alias 'Jatayu' is playing by Anirban Chakraborty who played the main character in Detective Series Eken Babu before.
It will be available to stream on the web platform addatimes. The song which has been sung by Rupankar Bagchi, Rupam Islam and Anupam Roy was out on 2 May 2020 on Srijit Mukherji's Facebook account and Anupam Roy's YouTube channel. The trailer of the Feluda Pherot Season 1 Chhinnamastar Abhishap is released on 21 November 2020 and the trailer of the Feluda Pherot Season 2 Joto Kando Kathmandute is released on 22 November 2020.The Season 1 released on 26 December 2020.
In 2010 an animated TV film produced by DQE Productions titled Feluda: The Kathmandu Caper was produced and the rights were acquired by Disney Channel (India). The movie premiered on 1 January 2011. DQE Productions also made a 13-episode animation series named Mysteries and Feluda after the animated TV film for Disney XD. The series including the TV film was set into a new universe, where Feluda, Topshe and Jatayu have many gadgets.
Some of the Feluda stories have been made into comic strips by artists and authors. Abhijit Chattopadhyay creates a comic strip based on Feluda stories in every Pujabarshiki Anondomela. The comics are published by Ananda Publishers. English versions of comics have appeared in The Telegraph.
In a collaborative album brought out in 1996 by HMV, Kabir Suman sings a 'Feludar Gaan' (Feluda's song). The song written by Kabir Suman was first publicised at Sandesh magazine on the special Feluda 30 issue released in December 1995 on the completion of 30 years of Feluda stories. Later in a collaborative album by HMV Choto Boro Miley (1996) the song was composed and performed by three-legend singer-songwriter Kabir Suman, Nachiketa Chakraborty and Anjan Dutt.
A Bengali documentary film Feluda: 50 Years Of Ray's Detective in 2019 was directed by Sagnik Chatterjee. This is the first biopic of India based on a fictional character. This film was released on 7 June 2019.
Nearly every Feluda story was published annually in the Pujabarshiki Desh (the edition of Desh commemorating the Durgapuja published every year). Thereafter the stories were published as hard-back editions by Ananda Publishers. Some of the stories were published originally in Sandesh, a children's magazine co-edited by Satyajit Ray. In 2015 Feluda celebrates his 50 th years after appearance. This is printed as 'Feluda 50' in anandamela.