Byomkesh Bakshi is a famous character in Bengali Literature, along with Kakababu of Sunil Gangopadhyay, Feluda of Satyajit Ray, Ghanada of Premendra Mitra and Tenida of Narayan Gangopadhyay. Not much detail is known about Byomkesh Bakshi's life and background. Though, in Adim Ripu, Ajit mentions that his father used to be a teacher of mathematics in a local school and his mother kept herself busy reading scripts. However, both his parents died due to tuberculosis when he was very young. His relatives never took care of him, and it was due to his own endeavour that he completed his education- Master in Physics from University of Calcutta.
Development of the Character and Coming Together With Ajit
The first Byomkesh story that one finds in most anthologies is Satyanveshi, in which Byomkesh and Ajit meet for the first time. But, the first Byomkesh story written was Pother Kanta in 1932, followed by Sheemonto Heera in the same year.
In the story Sattyanveshi, one sees Byomkesh meets Ajit for the first time. Ajit first introduces himself as Atul Mitra to prevent others from knowing his actual motives there. After a series of difficult and complicated events, one of which led to his arrest by the police on charge of murder, he finally unmasks the perpetrator, which reveals to be the mess owner himself. Due to the bizarre incidents the occupants had to vacate the mess immediately. Byomkesh takes Ajit to his own mess in Harrison Road. From that time, they both stayed together, along with their devoted servant Putiram, until in Arthamanartham Byomkesh gets married to Satyabati who henceforth lives there too.
Character Sketch of Byomkesh Bakshi
Ajit writes in Pother Kanta, that Byomkesh Bakshi with all his astuteness, smartness and intelligence, is bit strange. He also tells us that the outer appearance of Byomkesh does not at all suggest the kind of person he is and it is when he comes out of his shell and then his words and actions become something to be reckoned with. He likes being called a 'Sattyanveshi' (truth-seeker), and snubs when called a detective.
It is seen that Byomkesh Bakshi, during the later part found fascination in Abol Tabol, non-sense verse of Sukumar Ray. He found interest in Rabindranath Tagore too, and often quoted him during a conversation. He was a keen reader of Mahabharata which we discover in "The Will That Vanished".
Byomkesh Bakshi is game for intelligent cases and never really interested with petty thefts or murders as they do not provide much space to exercise his brainpower, most of the times he remains at home idling away his time in newspapers and his personal library.
In most of the stories Byomkesh depends on intuition and instinct when proper evidence is not available. Sharandindu, through Ajit, never unravels the character of Byomkesh explicitly to the readers. However, in Sheemonto Heera the proud and haughty Sir Digindranarayan Roy mentions it while he pretends to make a study of Byomkesh's faculties from his look only. In Bahnni Patanga Byomkesh is somewhat baffled by the seemingly insignificant fact that in a painting portraying Dushyanta stealing a glimpse at Shakuntala, the artist had chosen to paint the iris of the latter in blue. Based on this fact alone, he assembles the entire case, which we later we find accurate. Many times we see that even though he already knows who the culprit is, he waits for an opportune moment to catch him flagrant delicto, such as in Pather Kanta, Lohar Biscuit and Sajarur Kanta.
Byomkesh Bakshi is an immortal character that has come out of the stable of the great Bengali literary genius, Sharandindu Bandyopadhyay. This Bengali sleuth will remain the hearts and minds of all bengalies in the years to come. Some of the stories of Byomkesh have been made into feature films and some of them have also been used as TV serials.
Byomkesh Bakshi stories
2. Pother kanta
4. Makorshar rosh
9. Raktomukhi Neela
10. Byomkesh o Boroda
14. Adim ripu
16. Rokter daag
18. Amriter mrityu
19. Shaila Rahasya
20. Ochin pakhi
21. Kohen kobi Kalidas
22. Adrishyo trikon
23. Khunji khunji nari
27. Hneyalir chhondo
28. Room no. 2
29. Chholonar chhondo
30. Shojarur kanta
32. Lohar biscuit
33. Bishupal bodh