REVIEW Shonar Kella (The Golden Fort): Satyajit Ray


This is one of my favorite Bengali books, one I read after I had just learnt to read Bengali. It has a special place on my bookshelf- a book I read again and again.

Pradosh Mitter a.k.a. Feluda is a private investigator hired by Mr. Dhar to protect his son, Mukul. Mukul is a young boy who has visions of his past life, and Dr. Hajra, an eminent parapsychologist deciphers the place of his dreams to be Rajasthan, and takes him there, hoping to shed light on such matters. Feluda, along with his cousin Topshe, travel to Rajasthan, and thus begins a adventure in the golden sands.

This is a really enjoyable detective story, simple in its plot yet elegant in its construction. There is a wealth of information and I learned a lot about Rajasthan. The writing is humorous, though many jokes are best rendered in Bengali, and I am not very sure how they can be translated without losing the essence of the joke. Ray's Feluda books are a must-read for lovers of detective fiction and if you can get your hands on a copy, please do read them. A movie has also been made on this book by Ray himself, and captures its essence well on celluloid.

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